On Healing and Illness

Saint Isaac the Syrian (d. 700)  

[When you are] afflicted by illness and agonies of the body, be vigilant over yourself and consider the multitude of remedies that the true Physician sends to you for the health of your inner man. God brings illness for the health of the soul. Ascetic Discourse 8

Saint John Chrysostom (347–407)

The physician is not only a physician when he orders baths, adequate nourishment, and when he orders the patient to walk through flower gardens, but also when he burns and cuts…Thus knowing that God loves us more than all the physicians combined, we need not worry nor have any need to ask him to justify the means he employs. Rather, whether he wants to be indulgent or severe, let us abandon ourselves to him. For by either of these means, his desire is always to save us and to unite us to himself. Homily on the Paralytic

Saint John Climacus (6th Century)

Properly speaking, afflictions are not evils; but they appear to be such in the eyes of those who are struck by them for their own good…In fact, however salutary iron and fire may be for treating a gangrenous wound, and however charitable the hand of the doctor may be who uses them, in the eyes of the patient their use in an evil. Every teaching seems bitter at the time to those it is intended to form, just as the apostle declares: “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11). Conferences VI.3.

Saint Gregory of Nazianzus (329-390)

Let us respect the illness that accompanies sanctity and offer homage to those whose sufferings have led to victory; for it may be that among these ill persons there is hidden another Job.

Oration XXIV.34.