THE EVIL SPIRIT OF INFIRMITY The classic epitaph on the tombstone of a hypochondriac read: ‘I told you I was sick!’ But without distorting reality, almost every one of us could claim some ailment, whether we suffer from terminal cancer or a bothersome pimple, from merciless back pain or less-than-perfect vision requiring eyeglasses. ‘Those who are sick need a physician,’ said Jesus (Matt. 9:12). Moreover, ‘there may come a time when one’s recovery lies in the hands of physicians.’ (Sirach 38:13). Our natural response to that truism is, ‘Yes, but doctors don’t know everything.’ And most doctors would readily acknowledge their limits. But those same doctors– and most of their patients–would be reluctant to attribute to evil spirits of infirmity either the cause or the aggravation of any bodily ailments. Yet in many illnesses (certainly not all), evil spirits of infirmity may be at work, like the ‘messenger of Satan’ that tormented Paul with his mysterious ‘thorn-in-the-flesh’ ailment (2 Cor. 12:7). Or the Satan-delegated spirit of affliction that Jesus exorcised in the stooped-over woman, noting that ‘Satan has kept her bound these eighteen long years’ (Luke 13:16). This talk will open your eyes to things you may never have imagined; it offers a way of coping with unrecognized avenues of illness among us.