| Faq | Member Missions | | Login
Choose Your Languagee
Smokh Logo  
On This Day   -  ()
 
Ecclesiastic Therapeutic & Medical Seminary
 
Your Are Here: Main Page

BOOK: HEALTH SOVEREIGNTY & MEDICINE OF HOPE ™

 

now at Amazon

Health sovereignty is generally considered to be the exercise of a secular state's sovereign power to protect and promote health and provide health services. A sovereign state is classically defined as a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty and police power over its citizens. Few people realize that there is also the ecclesiastical state, a form of religious government in which the official policy is to be governed by divine guidance from officials who are pursuant to the doctrine of Christ as a religious Order. Thus became the doctrine – separation of Church and State. We invoke protections for our Church, Religion, Culture, traditional medicines and foods, and members in general under international laws, protection of human rights, and preservation of a cultural heritage. These are assured in international law.

This sacred religious Order is a millennium long lineage of a tradition of monks, physicians and nurses (Hospitaller’s) who lived apart from society in accordance with their specific religious devotion and worship- that of medical care for the poor and needy, and defense of the Christian culture and faith. This thousand-year period of holiness mentioned in Revelation 20, during which Jesus and his faithful followers are to rule on earth continues into the 21st century. This Order is a modern continuance and is composed of initiates (laity), communicants, citizens of Christendom, postulants, members of vocation, and ordained clergy. Members strive to achieve a common purpose through formally dedicating their life to God's medicines and Christ's gospel to help and heal.

This active, Medical Order is the last such organization, carrying on the work of monastic medicine as today’s nature cure, and we wish to have it preserved for the benefit of future generations as well as serve a lasting memory of a movement that contributed significantly to the Renaissance of today's modern medicine. This heritage included languages, transcription, folk tales, ceremonies, modalities, etc. about traditional medicine, and all the medical and nursing skills that were handed down from generation to generation including surgery and ambulatory care. These traditions and practices reflect the spirit of members and communities of the Hospitaller’s from Europe to the Americas, to the Philippines. Yet this intangible heritage is at great risk as the natural and spiritual heritage must be preserved to the world for future posterity.


When Christ sent out the twelve disciples on their first missionary tour, He bade them, "As ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give." Matthew 10:7, 8.

ORDER YOUR COPY HERE

 Prayer as medicine: how much have we lost?

 

The spiritual search for meaning and hope in life is integral to human existence. This is particularly evident during times of personal stress and crisis. Recent census findings indicate that 74% of Australians and 96% of Americans believe in a higher power, and similar percentages claim some form of religious affiliation. Evidence also suggests that certain spiritual beliefs and the practice of prayer are associated with improved coping and better health outcomes. The knowledge that spirituality has an impact on the health and wellbeing of individuals needs to be reflected in patient care. Research shows that patients consider prayer and spiritual issues to be important and express the conviction that health care providers should be respectful of their beliefs. Open dialogue upon inquiry from patients may encourage disclosure of important spiritual beliefs and practices that ought to be documented in clinical notes. Such information may be relevant to understanding the patient's resources for coping with illness. 

 

Professionally, HOPE counselors are well qualified to address patients' spiritual concerns. Other professionals, including doctors and nurses, should also be willing to listen and make appropriate decisions on how these important issues can be best addressed. However, because of the very personal nature of spiritual beliefs and secular practices, prayer is not a practice that can be always prescribed, nor should it generally take the place of medical care in today's world. However, patients' requests for prayer need to be addressed in the context of the wishes of the individual.

 

The Bible, Foods and Herbs

 

There are numerous references in the Bible to a wide variety of foods and herbs. Obviously, most of these herbs are well-suited to the dry, desert-like conditions as one would find in the Middle East. When researching the herbs in the Bible, one finds many different herbs referenced by verse. Historically, herbs like spices, are rich in legend, fact, lore, romance, and commerce. Wars have been fought, trade routes established, and cultures, countries and businesses founded, all in the name of the plants and spices we call herbs. In past centuries, monks, folk healers, and the common people used herbs as part of medical treatment. As modern medicine evolved away from this practice and depended on synthetic drugs, a rich tradition has been almost entirely lost. Today, trends are moving back the other direction, with herbs representing one of the fastest growing segments of health food stores and pharmacies. However their religious associations have been mostly lost. 

  St. Basil the Great of Caesarea, who has been attributed with the creation of the hospital in 350 A.D. It is said that St. Basil was approached by one of the monks that he worked with, regarding the use of medicinal herbs and prayer as a means to diminish human suffering. The monk asked, ÒIf it were God's will for people to be ill, then to remedy it would be against the will of God.  St. Basil's answer was that herbs and prayer were a gift of divine providence and therefore should be used to ameliorate human suffering, just as agriculture was placed on the earth to satisfy man's hunger. 

 Herbs and prayers were the fundaments of monastic medicine. Monasteries had to supply not only their own food and herbal medicines. An important part of the monk's duty of care, to their dependents as well as to God, was maintaining the monastic gardens. The monastic community helped to heal the souls of the suffering through prayer, nutritious foods and herbs. 

 

The origin of the abbreviation "Rx"

Actually, there is no x in Rx. The spelling Rx is an attempt to represent this symbol in English letters. The symbol was passed along through the ages. Rx is an abbreviation for the Latin word recipere, which means Òtake or Òtake thus. Long ago, this would not have been a direction to a patient but to an herbalist or chemist, preceding the physician's Òrecipe for preparing a medication. 

 Folk theories about the origin of the symbol Rx note its similarity to the ancient Egyptian, Eye of Horus. . Horus was an Egyptian god, the god of Nekhen, a village in Egypt, and god of the sky, of light, and of goodness. Other folk tales point to the ancient symbol for Zeus or Jupiter, gods whose protection may have been sought in times of need.

 

 As the famous diagnostician Dr. William Osler wrote in 1910, ÒIn a  cursive form it is found in mediaeval translations of the works of Ptolemy the astrologer, as the sign of the planet Jupiter. As such it was placed upon horoscopes and upon formula containing drugs made for administration to the body, so that the harmful properties of these drugs might be removed under the influence of the lucky planet. 

 The word "prescription", from "pre-" ("before") and "script" ("writing, written"), refers today to the fact that the prescription is an order that must be written down before a compound drug can be prepared.  The fact that a prescription instructs someone to "take" rather than "give" is not a trivial distinction, but makes clear it is directed to the patient, and is not directly an instruction to anyone else. In times past, just as a priest writes out a prayer card for the soul, the physician wrote down a prescription for the suffering. The physician and priest worked hand in hand in the healing process. 

 Although the physician and the priest previously relieved the majority of the problems they were presented with by writing a prescription or a prayer, today we face a crisis in faith where people are leaving the church and placing their faith on the tablet for their cure. It is the duty of pastoral counselors and physicians to remind our patrons the power of prayer in healing. Further, we as pastoral physicians can use the act of prescribing as a personal method of prayer, by invocation of our knowledge of plants, our trust in faith and God, and the patron so suited. 

Let the Holy Spirit guide you through prayer and through God's peace so that you can prescribe the foods and herbs that will allow God's healing, thus anointing them to flow through your patrons to help heal their body.

 

 

EXCERPTS:

Monastic Medicine: Monastic medicine developed during the middle ages and was provided as part of a religious duty. Those living the monastic life are known by the generic terms monks (men) and nuns (women). Saint Fabiola was the first person on record to have found a Christian hospital in the late 4th century, into which she gathered sufferers out of the streets, and where she nursed the unfortunate victims of sickness and want. A member of a wealthy Roman family, Fabiola became a Christian ascetic, selling all her belongings and founding the first hospital in the Western world as we know it today.

The Rule of St Benedict states that "before and above all things, care must be taken of the sick, that they be served in the very truth as Christ is served." Virtually every monastery had an infirmary for the monks or nuns, and this led to provision being made for the care of outside patients. Almost half of the hospitals in medieval Europe were directly affiliated with monasteries, priories of the Knightly Orders or other religious institutions and hospices. Most of the religious communities formulated precise rules of conduct, required a uniform type of dress, and integrated worship services into their daily routine.

Monastic Medicine can be defined as: charitable medical services rendered to the poor using natural agents such as food, herbs, and water; and supernatural agents including spiritual counseling, prayer, divination, worship, fasting, and exorcism.

Monastic medicine had flourished both in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches from earliest Christian times to the Reformation, being reformed and renewed periodically by dynamic individuals with new emphases or departures from current medical practices. With the rise of the universities after the renaissance, the monastic control of education came to an end. Luther liberated Europe with the Reformation and in England allowed members of clergy to marry. Doctors in the clergy would now be referred to as clerical physicians and monastic vows were no longer required.

Clerical Medicine: The last vestiges of monastic medicine, transforming itself into protestant clerical medicine, played out during the time of Shakespeare in London. The Elizabethan era, considered the height of the English renaissance, inherited traditions of folk medicine, while many simpler notions and practices derived from learned sources had found their way into popular literature and become part of common speech. Clerical medicine represented an important transitional period in the history between medieval monastic medicine of Christendom and naturopathy (natural medicine) during which medicine and religion still uniquely coexisted. The ability for pastors to practice medicine in this religious context was based on the subordination (licensure) to the predominant realm of Anglican Church established by Henry VIII and was fostered by the recognized doctrine that the effectiveness of physical medicine was possible only because of this spiritual link as the religious basis for physical treatments.

It was the Imitation of Christ and the Primitive (early) Christians of the "purest ages" who inspired and encouraged the Anglican leader, John Wesley, to create a lasting movement based on his vision of the ancient Church. John Wesley (1703-1791) became the founder of Methodism. His religious movement, subsequently gave rise to numerous separate denominations, and would spread to the new world, and the thirteen colonies. "Justification by Faith," was a doctrine that was central to the developing Methodist movement. Utilizing those cardinal Christian virtues of prayer, temperance, and almsgiving, Wesley saw that the good and holy life, Imitatio Christi, demanded an active faith, combined with a duty to God and one's neighbor. His strong emphasis upon visiting the sick and providing medical advice and treatment to poorer members of society was to him a fundamental Christian principle, and central to its history and doctrine.

Wesley wrote his medical manual, Primitive Physic (1747), out of an absolute necessity to provide medicine to the poor. Yet it was also the case that Primitive Physic fitted into a much wider context and was characteristic of a growing religious movement that placed a high premium on social and medical action. This social action sprang from an active faith, undertaken in Christ's name, but informed by those shining examples of the early Christians who attempted to achieve pristine purity in the form of physical and spiritual health. The Methodist movement was, observes M. Schmidt, a "socially concerned Christianity," and the aim of this movement clearly involved medical practice.

In Wesley's time the causes of disease had been imperfectly understood, but there had been a strong belief in empiric "certain cures" and "tried remedies". Wesley had developed a reasoned view of which remedies were harmful, and was a thoughtful prescriber, feeling the need for treatment of the whole person. Wesley himself had claimed that men of learning had begun to set aside experience, to build on hypothesis, to form theories of diseases and their cure, and to submit these in the place of practical physics. As a firm believer in empiricism, Wesley had claimed that there was no more need for mystery in medicine than to appreciate the simple fact that "such a medicine removes such a pain" and should be used. The best physician, in Wesley's view, was not the one who talked best or who wrote best, but the one who performed the most cures, the one who walked the talk.

Clerical Medicine became the basis of natural medicine practice to which we owe Wesley a large and significant contribution. It could be claimed that he was one of our Fathers of Naturopathy. It can be thus be defined as: charitable medical services (Imitatio Christi) rendered to the poor using natural agents such as food, herbs, electricity, physic, water; "certain cures" and "tried remedies"; and supernatural agents including spiritual counseling, prayer, divination, and worship.

 

John Wesley (1704-1791) pioneered the use of 'physic' and electricity for the treatment of illness. In common with many other Anglican clergymen of the times, Wesley felt a compulsion, obligation, and duty to practice physic (natural medicine). The principle of pastoral care was strong in both the Puritan and Anglican traditions and such practices spread to the America's often being referred to as 'clerical medicine.' Father Kneipp practised the water cure, as modified by himself. In 1854 he became known as the 'cholera vicar' as a result of saving many lives in a village epidemic. His growing fame led to teaching others, including Benedict Lust, the ‘father’ of American naturopathy. Revered Sylvester Graham (1795-1851) was another Christian practitioner of nature cure as well as having invented and becoming famous for his Graham Crackers in 1829. Graham was a Presbyterian minister and avid vegetarian, who delivered lectures on the relationship between diet and disease. Graham had many devoted followers, known as Grahamites, who followed his principles, which included temperance, sexual restraint, and baths, in addition to vegetarianism.

Pastoral Medicine was the bringing together for the first time in modern history of the 19th century, members of two distinct circles of spiritual work. the original purpose of Pastoral Medicine in the 19th and 20th centuries was to train theologians in physical sciences, as developed by the medical profession, for the purpose of applying them in pastoral functions with its objective for the role of pastoral labors in rural districts and outposts remote from civilization. Priests would need to be trained in methods of hygiene, nutrition, first aid, and obstetrics.


The last published book in the 20th century on Pastoral Medicine was written by the Theosophist, Rudolf Steiner, in 1924. It was structured as a course of instruction of 11 Lectures, delivered the month of September 1924. It was circulated in manuscript form and the audience to whom the lectures were given was restricted to priests and doctors as they were intended to serve the esoteric needs of these two professions.

The central question of this book is how today's Church lost a special healing ministry and how can we reclaim back our culture, tradition and rights. In our view, the New Medicine of Hope is the sum of todayÕs knowledge, anatomical-physiological, as well as pathological-therapeutical; the former traditions of monastic and clerical medicine, and the principles of nature cure. This knowledge is necessary for the Christian in the exercise of his or her ministerial duties and functions. Health is the greatest of all possessions next to life, and it is only to be expected that every man and woman of faith should take a deep interest in whatever concerns bodily and mental health, its maintenance and recovery. In regard to pathology and therapeutics, there is more than two millennia of Christian tradition, using natural agents such as food, herbs, electricity, physic, water; "certain cures" and "tried remedies"; and supernatural agents including spiritual counseling, prayer, and worship, with concomitant application of sacred waters, salts, foods, herbs and essential oils.

This Order maintains a unique position to sustain an effective way to safeguard Christian medicine, to sustain and to ensure that we, as the bearers of this cultural heritage continue to transmit our knowledge and skills to future and younger generations. This active Medical Order is the last such organization carrying on the work of the Medicine of Hope through education and practice, and we wish to have it preserved for the benefit of future generations as well as serve a lasting memory of a movement that contributed significantly to the Renaissance of natural science and medicine, leading to todayÕs modern medicine.

Many countries today warn of future shortages of doctors, making clergy a logical resource in the immediate future. The world health report 2006 - working together for health - has brought renewed attention to the global human resources required to produce health. It estimated that 57 countries have an absolute shortage of 4.3 million physicians, nurses and midwives.

 

Smokh
 
smokh Herbs, general
smokh Universal Human Rights
smokh Rev. Wesley
smokh Rev. Kuenzle
smokh Father Kneipp
smokh Rev. Graham
smokh Modern Monastic Medicine
smokh Related Topics
 
     
 

 

The New Medicine of Hope fights disease by fostering health on all fronts. The destruction of germs is but a very small part of it. More important than bodily flora is the cultivation of human happiness by means of hygienic, dietetic, emotional and spiritual tonics. It is profoundly true that man does not live by bread alone. We live by our spirit, the shrine of which is our body. We must know about our body; we must know how it works, and how to care for it in its workings.

We must know ourselves in a new and intimate way - how to eat, how to sleep, how to dress, how to exercise, how to work - above all, how to have peace, pray and play. We must know, too, something of the inner workings of our minds so that we may guard these exquisite instruments against depression, dismay and evil spirits which may be more deadly even than the germs of disease. We must understand the basis of happiness as it affects both the intellect and the emotions, and be instructed in its cultivation.

We must lift our eyes above disease, and the treatment of disease, and see the human life which has been so perfectly equipped by nature and our Lord to defend and preserve itself. For the New Pastoral Medicine is neither more nor less than a return to nature herself as the fountainhead of wisdom, and those rules of life that our Lord Jesus Christ and the Bible so ascribed.

ORDER YOUR COPY HERE
 
 

 

I