(This is a two part article on the wonders of healing with our Lord)
This article is a continuation of the Treasures of Healing – I
Healing as a Tradition in the Church
In his book “Jesus of Nazareth,” Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said “Healing is an essential dimension of the apostolic mission and of Christian faith in general. It can even be said that Christianity is a ‘therapeutic religion, a religion of healing.’” Jesus Christ is the Divine Physician in the flesh. Today, his healing is still available to us in the ministry he passed on to his apostles, which we have now received, through their successors, as a living tradition of the Church. “He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal” (Luke 9:2).
The healing tradition that we inherited from the apostles is continued in our Church as a sacrament. Every sacrament is an encounter with our Living Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Therefore, healing can transpire within us in multidimensional ways by receiving the sacraments of baptism, reconciliation, the Eucharist, confirmation, the holy orders (for those entering the consecrated life), matrimony and the anointing of the sick.
Healing from a Retreat
For those who think that retreat center healings are only physical healings, it is imperative to know that the God of miracles and surprises has much more in store for them. There is not one person who will not benefit from varied healings that come from anointed breaking of the Word of God, at a retreat center. For while there are miraculous physical healings, where doctors or medication have failed, one can receive the type of healings they never imagined or fathomed could exist, in several other areas of their life, which is so liberating. Most people only go to a doctor when they need physical healing and this is what we tend to think happens, in a retreat center. We also tend to limit our thoughts or understanding to what healing is, just physical, however it is so much more to God.
For Him, healing also has to do with areas in our life where we need rejuvenation, as we lack the drive and energy we once had, or we were meant to have, so as to take many more things in our stride and head on to victory. Many of us have a lot of dreams and ambitions, but because we lack the direct, motivation/energy to stay consistent, we do not pursue it. This too can cause us to feel withdrawn, frustrated and depressed. God works to boost our confidence and path that gives us an ongoing optimism (a sort of immunity) to keep us standing strong and firm through adversities. So, one of God’s greatest miraculous healings especially at retreat centres to scores of people is the fixing of our broken spirit with a simultaneous boost of double empowerment.
Another healing that often happens in retreat centres is miraculous encounters with people of our past who also suddenly turn up. These people were important to us but the relationship went sour and this has crushed our spirit and broken our lives. Owing to the power of the Holy spirit moving among people and the offering of the retreatants’ communal prayers, such dead relationships take on a whole new meaning and brings holistic healing and peace.
Intercessory healing is also something many retreatants come for; offering their prayers for a miraculous physical healing or transformation or blessing for another family person or friend who could not attend.
Another known healing in one of the areas of life is, restoration or breakthrough where there were once obstacles in people’s lives. Such surprises await retreatants as they return home, to their workplaces or social life and this has brought them great joy.
There are those who yearn to find fulfilment in life through settling down and while making a retreat to be blessed with a life partner, God sometimes surprises them with an immediate find, in the very retreat centre itself. Often, we are told at retreats we have not come here by our choice alone, but God had destined this visit and likewise and He did so, for our life partner, who is also on a retreat. In finding God, they also end up finding each other.
So, God’s healing is not limited to fixing of problems, but has a lot to do with equipping and empowering, removing obstacles and placing blessings, filling us with joy and faith, such that we go home has victorious with renewed lives, living in confidence.
The mystery of Christ’s healing is in how he goes through the very heart of our dysfunction and sets it free from the burden of sin. There’s nothing that bars us from receiving our healing through Christ. It all boils down to just one thing—faith. Jesus says,“your faith has saved you” (Luke 7:50). It is when we demonstrate and live the faith in Christ, that healing comes to our body and soul.
(1) First, we must have faith in his word.“For neither herb nor poultice cured them, but it was your word, O Lord, that heals all people” (Wisdom 16:12).
(2) Secondly, we must have faith in the reality of his person becoming flesh and dwelling among us. We must use our eyes, ears and hearts to recognize him in the Sacraments, including the ministers of Christ’s healing. Otherwise, our blindness, deafness and hardness of heart will be an obstacle to getting healed. “For this people’s heart has grown dull, and their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes; so that they might not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and understand with their heart and turn—and I would heal them” (Matthew 13:15).
(3) Lastly, we must have faith and entrust our lives totally in the Lord’s unfailing love and mercy.“God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5). “Keep yourselves in the love of God; look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life” (Jude 1:21).
We may have some sickness in the physical, psychological, emotional or spiritual aspect of our life, but the best antidote we have against any of that is the restoration of our relationship with God. As long as we are reconciled with God through Jesus Christ, we will have his peace that conquered all.