Amen, amen I say to you: If any man keep My word, he shall not see death for ever.—Jn 8:51 (From the Gospel from the First Sunday of Passiontide.)

Several years ago I would have written something like this:  “If you are living in sanctifying grace, your soul is invincible but your body is not.”  Not that I totally disagree with that statement now, but as I go a little deeper into theology, I would say almost the opposite—or at least the inverse:  “If you are living in sanctifying grace, your body is invincible but your soul is not.”

That last sentence might sound weird to you, but here’s why I stick with it:  If you die in grace, then you are absolutely guaranteed that you get a resurrected body back.  (And the way to die in sanctifying grace is to be baptized and/or confess all mortal sins.)  After that, if you are flayed alive or burnt on the gridiron by your enemies for following Christ, you can be 100.0% sure that you will get your own resurrected body back with two resurrected eyes and ten resurrected fingers and ten resurrected toes (even if you walked through this stinky earthly life with a mere 8 toes.)  Dying in grace, you are even guaranteed the return of a resurrected pancreas and two resurrected kidneys.  So, if you are persevering in sanctifying grace, your body is now invincible.  (The only reason all this is foreign to most Catholics is because they have never been taught about the resurrection of the body.)

St. John Chrysostom wrote five astonishing words.  I’m sure he wrote them originally in the Greek, but I first came across them in the Latin: Nemo Laeditur Nisi A Seipso.  It means, “No one is harmed except by himself” or “No one can hurt you except yourself.”  That means the person who tortures you for Christ simply sends you to God.  The enemy who ruins your reputation for being a good Catholic just increases your future glory in heaven.  Only the God-man Jesus Christ could have turned suffering into power and life.  Thus, our bodies are invincible, but our souls are not.  At least, our souls are not invincible if we sin.  Why?  Because sin is a turning from God who is our only source of life.  Also, remember that sin is never “an accident.”  It always requires your consent.

So, the good news is that the only person who can now harm your body or soul is you.  Only by sin can you harm yourself.  As we walk through this valley of tears, we know that in the era before our will is locked onto the Beatific Vision, we unfortunately still have free will.  And as long as we have free-will, we can sin. This means we can still lose both body and soul in hell.  But absent mortal sin, we know that the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ have made us Christians absolutely invincible in body and soul.

Sin is done in the body (or at least the brain.)  But sin originates in consent, in the soul.  We must remember that the Divine Liturgy says “Christ trampled down death by death,” meaning that every exterior obstacle is now harmless to the Christian.  Since the Resurrection of Christ, the only future formidable obstacle in your life is now interior, namely, sin.  This is why St. John Chrysostom wrote,  No one is harmed except by himself.

You are now invincible because of what happened in Holy Week 2000 years ago.