Saturday, November 19, 2011

St. Athanasius on Christ the Physician

"What man that ever was, for instance, formed a body for himself from a virgin only?  Or what man ever healed so many diseases as the common Lord of all?  Who restored that which was lacking in man's nature or made one blind from birth to see?  Aesculapius was deified by the Greeks because he practiced the art of healing and discovered herbs as remedies for bodily diseases, not, of course, forming them himself out of the earth, but finding them out by the study of nature.  But what is that in comparison to what the Saviour did when, instead of just healing a wound, He both fashioned essential being and restored to health the thing that He had formed?" 

- St. Athanasius the Great, "Refutation of the Gentiles," On the Incarnation (Crestwood, NY: SVS Press), 1998), 87.