What makes you exclaim “Alas and alack!” are the pleasurable and happy times you have experienced in the past, which with their passing leave a legacy in your spirit of constant pain. Whenever you think of them, the pain is again stimulated, causing regret and sorrow to pour forth.
Since one day’s illicit pleasure sometimes causes a year’s suffering in the spirit, and with the pain of a fleeting day’s illness causes many days’ pleasure and recompense in addition to the pleasure at being relieved at its passing, think of the result of this temporary illness with which you are now afflicted, and of the merits of its inner face. Say: “All is from God! This too will pass!”, and offer thanks instead of complaining.
O brother who thinks of the pleasures of this world and suffers distress at illness! If this world were everlasting, and if on our way there were no death, and if the winds of separation and decease did not blow, and if there were no winters of the spirit in the calamitous and stormy future, I would have pitied you together with you. But since one day the world will bid us to leave it and will close its ears to our cries, we must forego our love of it now through the warnings of these illnesses, before it drives us out. We must try to abandon it in our hearts before it abandons us.
Yes, illness utters this warning to us: “Your body is not composed of stone and iron, but of various materials which are ever disposed to parting. Leave off your pride, perceive your impotence, recognize your Owner, know your duties, learn why you came to this world!” It declares this secretly in the heart’s ear.
Moreover, since the pleasures and enjoyment of this world do not continue, and particularly if they are illicit they are both fleeting, and full of pain, and sinful, do not weep on the pretext of illness because you have lost those pleasures. On the contrary, think of the aspects of worship and reward in the hereafter to be found in illness, and try to receive pleasure from those.
O sick person who has lost the pleasures of health! Your illness does not spoil the pleasure of divine bounties, on the contrary, it causes them to be experienced and increases them. For if something is continuous, it loses its effect. The people of reality even say that “Things are known through their
This Flash occurred to me in a natural manner, and two remedies have been included in the Sixth Remedy. We have left it thus in order not to spoil the naturalness; indeed, we did not change it thinking there may be some mystery contained in it.