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If You Want Healing

May 31, AD2017

confess

But she answered him, “Yes Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” And he said to her, “For saying this you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.” And she went home, found the child lying in bed, and the demon gone. Mark 7:28-30

I find that the prayers of most people are for healing and relief from suffering. Many people contact me asking for prayers for their sufferings and healing for themselves or their family members. I believe deeply that prayers have efficacy, and that as part of the Communion of Saints we are bound to one another so we must pray for one another.

I do not pretend to know the mind of God as His immensity is far beyond my capacity. I also know the fullness of healing will be when we are glorified is in heaven. I know that our suffering is supposed to be redemptive. I also know that we can be filled with the Divine Will if we run toward the suffering because it is when we empty ourselves like Christ did on the Cross, we become like him.

But we should ask for healing. Jesus tells us to ask and it will be given. He has revealed His glory with miraculous healing, as we know about in the bible when he healed the man born blind. Sometimes he grants healing to us here.

I was reading the Gospel of Mark the other day and the exchange between Jesus and the Syrophoenician woman seemed strange to me. Jesus seemed so, well, un-Jesus-like! She wanted healing for her daughter from a demon, and His response was to say, “Let the children first be fed, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” This is not the kindest response I have heard from Jesus.

Then I got to thinking, He is talking about bread here… is that an allusion to the Eucharist? She is not of Jewish lineage, is he saying that perhaps His sacrifice would not be appreciated by someone who doesn’t understand? Would it be like throwing pearls to swine if there is no transformation of life? It’s a rebuke to be sure. It’s a rebuke about belief and faith.

She Responded in Faith

And many of us, who in hearing something like this, well we would be OFFENDED, and stomp off, and talk about ourselves and our hurt, instead of looking at the truth of his words. But she didn’t. She humbled herself. She recognized what he was saying. And she responded. She responded in faith, knowing she had been humbled, humiliated even, but knowing she was standing before the one who could cure her daughter. And her faith in Him showed. And He cured her daughter. And we got to see the God of everyone. He is for all of us. He wants to transform all of us.  I think Jesus already knew her faith, but as Mother Angelica pointed out, he wanted us to see it.  He wanted us to learn how to receive a rebuke and humble ourselves instead of being perpetually offended.

Healing Begins in the Confessional

Which brings me to the fact that if you want to be healed, we must humble ourselves. The very first place that healing begins is inside the confessional.  Spiritual healing must take place before any kind of physical relief is given. This is why the Sacrament of the Sick is most often accompanied by Confession. Because it is our souls that are the sickest. We must humble ourselves and receive the graces that Confession has to offer. Realize the Priest is “in persona Christi” and hold nothing back. In this Sacrament, you receive the grace that Jesus offers when you choose to ask for it.    The Sacrament makes you try to do better and this helps spread His goodness forward. It also teaches us how to forgive others and how to let go of those offenses against us.  I don’t know Confession will physically heal you or not because that is up to God, but I do know it will heal your soul, and once you have emptied all of you, you can be filled up with God. And being filled with God, well, that is healing.

St Faustina said Jesus told her,

“My daughter, just as you prepare in My presence, so also you make your confession before Me. The person of the priest is, for Me, only a screen. Never analyze what sort of a priest it is that I am making use of; open your soul in confession as you would to Me, and I will fill it with My light.” Divine Mercy in My Soul (1725)

Imagine that, being filled with the light of God.  I don’t think there is anything more healing. God will not reject you if you sincerely humble yourself before him. He has been chasing you for your whole life. Let Him in.

Photography: See our Photographers page.

About the Author:

My name is Susan Skinner and I am a lifelong Catholic. I attended all Catholic schools including the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. I am a mother to 3 children and a wonderful husband and we now reside in the South. I love living in the South. Though I have always identified as Catholic, it was the murder of my friend in 2010 that brought a transforming change to my heart and made me a true disciple of Jesus Christ. I now make it my mission to spread His Love and Good News everywhere I go. Jesus isn’t just someone we should just know about, He is someone we should KNOW, personally. He has made me new. I am now the Adult RCIA and Faith Formation Coordinator of a Catholic Church where I live and I know God has brought me to where I am. I am nothing without him.

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  • Eddie

    Amen. I can attest to the healing power of the great Sacrament of Confession. It is also a form of exorcism and robs the devil of his power over sinners. Great essay.

  • Maria A.

    Good discussion , yet , think this might be an occasion of our Lord’s compassionate humor as well , as in the post Resurrection encounter with Mary Magdalene .

    The Cannanite woman, as per Bl.Emmerich, was a wealthy merchant . The Apostles , possibly still not having recognized the mission of our Lord to the gentiles might have been offended by her presence and treats her in accordance .

    It is likely that if The Lord had just called her and healed the child, she might still have been left with a bit of hurt from the way the Apostles treated her .

    Thus , our Lord steps in with a sort of a joke – one can almost see the twinkle in His eyes , smiling at the poor woman , knowing how she would respond to His teasing . She does rise up to the expectation , possibly having sensed that the Lord knew of her trust in Him and has the joy of the miraculous healing of her child , with the gift of a little laughter to go with it , after the years of terror and heartache that the enemy had brought in .

    Mary Magdalene too, she was said to have been almost ‘out of her mind ‘ with grief and our Lord prepares an occasion of surprise and laughter for her too , with her misunderstanding Him for the gardener .( OTOH , tradition , also alluded by St.John Paul 11 , there is mention that our Lord had presented Himself , in stately glory , to The Mother , before any apparitions to others but she did not mention this to others .)

    Face of The Father , in The Lord , full of compassion for the afflicted – may we too be blessed with trusting love in His goodness , free of human prideful limitations .

    • Sue

      That’s an interesting perspective. I am not sure the Lord would tease someone who had been tormented by the demonic, as it really isn’t a laughing matter to the person going through it, but perhaps you are right. I feel certain that Jesus had a great sense of humor.

    • Maria A.

      Thank you for the feedback ; may be ‘teasing ‘ was not the right word to use ;
      think the Fatherly Heart of The Lord , also taking in the pain of both the woman and the child , would have connected with her at a heart level , even before one word was uttered .
      The Lord thus likely having used the occasion to overturn her being spurned , into one
      for her to share her trust in Him .

      God bless !