The healing of ‘spirit’ may be exemplified by St. Gregory of Nyssa, who said that curing
the spirit is acquired by Godliness by those who gaze upon the Cross of Jesus, as the
Israelites gazed on the staff of Moses: “There is one antidote for the evil passions
[spiritual illnesses] : the purification of our souls which takes place through
the mystery of godliness.
The chief act of faith in the “mystery of godliness” is to look to Him who suffered the passion for us. The person who looks to the One lifted up on the wood [the Cross] rejects passion, diluting the poison with the fear of the commandment as with a medicine.
The voice of the Lord teaches clearly that the serpent lifted up in the desert is a symbol of the mystery of the cross when he says: “The Son of Man must be lifted up as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert”. (St. Gregory of Nyssa in Malherbe & Ferguson, 1978). This healing takes place by being fully united to the Church, in prayer and sacraments.