And his disciples asked him, saying, Teacher, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
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Clement Of Rome
In regard to the man who was blind from his birth, and recovered his sight, if this man sinned, or his parents, that he should be born blind, answered, `Neither did he sin at all, nor his parents, but that the power of God might be made manifest through him in healing the sins of ignorance.'
And His disciples, &c. This question sprang out of the opinion of the ignorant multitude, who think that diseases are the punishments of sin, and, as S. Ambrose says, "They ascribe weaknesses of body to the deserts of their sins." But they are wrong in this; for though it is often the case, yet not always. For Job , though innocent, was afflicted in order to try his patience, as Tobias also, and many others. S. Chrysostom and Theophylact say that this question was out of place and absurd.
Others think that the disciples were led to ask this question by what Christ said (v14), "Sin no more, lest a worse thing happen unto thee."
A man"s own fault, and not that of another, seems to be the cause of his own blindness, by way of punishment. Original sin is in truth the cause of all the evils and punishments which befall us in this life, and of the diseases of infants especially as S. Augustine teaches us (Contr. Julian iii4). But this was not the special reason why this Prayer of Manasseh ...
CHAPTER I. That not from sins of the soul prior to birth do bodily sufferings befal any, nor yet does God bring the sins of their fathers upon any, punishing those who have nothing sinned, but brings righteous doom upon all.
Being desirous (and not without good reason) that the mystery should be explained, or rather being Divinely guided, the most wise disciples were urged to ask instruction on the subject. And they are inquisitive with profit, by this means furnishing an advantage not so much for themselves as for us. For we are benefited greatly both by hearing the true explanation of these things from the Omniscient, and in addition also by being warned off from the abomination of effete doctrines. These errors not only used to exist among the Jews, but are also |2 advocated now by some who are insufferably conceited in their knowledge of inspired Scripture and seem to pass for Christians. Such persons of a truth delight too much in their own sophistries, indulging their private ...