Monday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time
“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
Monday, September 6th Lk. 6: 6-11 “Jesus said to them, ‘I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?’”
- What is there in us that Jesus needs to heal, that we have not the strength or will to overcome? Let us come to Him in our greatest weakness and beg Him to heal us.
A WOUNDED HEALER OR A WOUNDED WOUNDER? By Fr. Ed Broom, OMV
Making a prophecy about Jesus, the Prophet Isaiah speaks about wounds, about wounds that would be inflicted on the Body of Jesus Christ. The Prophet states: “It is by His wounds that we are healed.” (Is. 53:5) Of course, the Prophet Isaiah, inspired by the Holy Spirit, projecting himself into the future, was prophesying the Sorrowful Passion of Jesus.
Jesus’ scourging at the Pillar, His crowning with thorns, His falling under the weight of the cross and His wounded shoulder where the weight of cross cut deeply, His hands and feet nailed to the cross, and finally His Sacred Heart wounded and pierced with the lance are all graphic and evident depictions of the wounds of Jesus.
OUR WOUNDED PERSON. Every person entering into this wounded world of humanity, enters wounded. The Original Sin inherited from our first parents, Adam and Eve, is the first wound that is inflicted on us, even though we did not will this. Our personal and actual sins wound us still more. Add to this living in a wounded and dysfunctional family that is the world, and the imperfections in our own natural family, and we can see that we receive many wounds; and we in turn, wound others.
In a word, as part of wounded humanity, all of us are walking, gaping, and dripping wounded persons. Whether we know this, deny this, or simply ignore this wounded condition, does not change the reality of all of us as wounded humanity and wounded individuals.
Therefore, turning the corner, with our hearts and minds lifted on high with great hope and trust in God and His infinite love for all of humanity, and His overflowing love for each and every one of us individually, let us present a plan to work for our healing, the healing of our family, the healing of the Church, and the healing of the world at large. Indeed, healing is a real possibility!
Off the bat, it must be asserted this all-encompassing truth: either we will be wounded wounders or we will be wounded healers! Our hope and prayer is that you will choose to be part of the army of the wounded-healers!
This being the case, let us look at some positive and concrete steps that we can take to attain to this healing so as to be an instrument of healing in the world, starting in our own family. Let’s start!
PLAN FOR PROCESS OF BEING A WOUNDED HEALER
1. HUMBLE ADMISSION OF MY WOUNDED NATURE. Now if we are living in a state of denial in which we state that we are really not wounded, then the healing process will never take place. There is a well-known proverb in Spanish: “No hay peor ciego que aquel que no quiere verl no hay peor sordo que aquel quen no quiere oir.” Translation: “There is no worse blind man than he who does not want to see; there is no worse deaf man than he who does not want to hear.” Many alcoholics will never be healed for the simple reason that they do not admit that they have problems with drinking. Quite simply, we must admit, “I am a wounded person!”
2. BEG FOR HEALING. Time and time again the blind, the deaf, the paralytics, the lepers, and many wounded people would approach Jesus with faith and trust and they would be healed, and more often than not, the healing was immediate! Like Bartimaeus, the blind beggar, first we must beg the Lord to see our blindness, to recognize our woundedness, and then beg the Lord to stretch out His hand and heal us. “Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened.” (Mt. 7:7)
3. SACRAMENT OF CONFESSION. The Sacraments are exterior signs instituted by Christ to confer grace. One of the Sacraments that was instituted specifically for healing is the Sacrament of Confession, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the Sacrament of God’s Infinite Mercy. If you like, every time we sin, our soul is marked with a wound, a moral wound. The more often we sin, the deeper are the moral wounds. To the contrary, a well-prepared, well-done Confession heals these wounds. The Precious Blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross on Good Friday, washes and heals our moral wounds—that we call sins. Any person who has made a good Sacramental Confession can testify to the joy, peace, happiness, lightness of soul, and the healing presence and power of God when they leave the confessional. What medicine is to the sick body, Confession is to the ailing soul!
4. COMMUNION. The specific Sacramental grace of Confession is healing of the soul. Whereas the specific Sacramental grace of Holy Communion and the Eucharist is nourishment of the soul. Still, one of the secondary effects of a worthy and fervent Holy Communion is that of healing. Such that the Council of Trent specifies that Holy Communion can serve as an antidote to heal our daily minor infirmities—meaning our venial sins. On one occasion, Saint Faustina experienced great weakness in her chest due to lung failure. She received Holy Communion and experienced the power of the Real Presence of Jesus healing even her bodily weakness! This healing by Jesus in His Eucharistic Presence in the body of St. Faustina, He does in our soul in every Holy Communion received worthily, that is, in the state of grace. The same Jesus who healed many people sick in body and soul some 2000 years ago is still healing people today! His strength never abates!
5. FORGIVENESS, MERCY, RECONCILIATION. Jesus stated that if you come to the altar to offer your gift and you recognize that your brother has something against you, leave your gift and first be reconciled with your brother. Then return to offer your gift to God. Jesus does not address who was at fault, who was right and who was wrong. Reconcile regardless! Many wounds foul and festering in our hearts and souls derive from resentments (often for years) that we cling to and are unwilling to relinquish. By reconciling, we set the captives free—ourselves as well as the other person! If they refuse to reconcile, be at peace, but continue to pray for them. As the Catholic English poet, Alexander Pope put it: “To err is human; to forgive is divine.”
6. HONEST CONVERSATION BEFORE JESUS ON THE CROSS. Another most efficacious means by which the healing process of our soul can take place is through prayer. Like the little boy, Marcelino, in the movie Miracle of Marcelino, or in Spanish Marcelino Pan y Vino, we should sit before Jesus nailed on the cross and contemplate His gaping wounds—in His hands and feet, and His side pierced by the lance. Now open up your heart to Jesus. Tell the Lord Jesus about your hurts, your wounds, your cuts and bruises from the past all the way up to the present, and even your fears about possible future wounds. Jesus is the best of listeners, and He has great love and compassion for you and your wounds. Simply by opening up to Jesus, the wounded-healer, your healing will begin to take place.
7. KISSING THE WOUNDS. After your open and loving conversation with Jesus on the cross, end by approaching the Crucifix, Jesus hanging on the cross for love of you, and thank the Lord. Tell the Lord how much you love Him. Then one by one, kiss each one of His five wounds that He suffered for love of you! Saint Francis and the saints did this, why can’t we? This expression of love brings great comfort to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, as well as to the Heart of Mary, His Mother.
8. PRAY THE ANIMA CHRISTI. One of the prayers that Saint Ignatius treasured most was the ANIMA CHRISTI. This prayer can serve as an excellent prayer of thanksgiving after receiving Holy Communion. When you have the Real Presence of Jesus in the very depths of your soul, His Precious Blood flowing through your veins, His wounds ready to heal your wounds, then pray the prayer Anima Christi. In this prayer you actually pray for healing from the Body of Christ that you have just received in Holy Communion. By His wounds we are healed. (See Appendix below for the Prayer Anima Christi)
9. LEARN TO LOVE GOD AND LEARN TO LOVE OTHERS. The famous novelist, Taylor Caldwell, in her masterpiece about Saint Luke, Dear and Glorious Physician, presents a vivid scene illustrating the power of love as a healing force. There is a man who is very sick and who has gone to many physicians seeking healing, but to no avail. Hearing of the healing power of Saint Luke, the Dear and Glorious Physician, he approaches Luke. The love, compassion, kindness, and gentleness that exude from this Dear and Glorious Physician heals the sick man then and there. Apparently the man had no physical sickness, but rather a gaping spiritual wound. Quite simply, he needed the human love and compassion which he had never received. For this reason, Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta commented that New York City is the poorest city because of the lack of love and coldness in people’s hearts. The good news is you don’t have to wait for someone to love you. If you learn to love God and truly practice loving and serving others, healing will take place in your entire being!
10. OUR LADY: HEALTH OF THE SICK! Among the many titles given to Our Lady, one is that of Health of the Sick. It is recorded in the life of Saint Therese of Lisieux that she was suffering a serious malady. Lifting up her gaze, she saw a beautiful statue of Our Lady and she prayed to her. The future saint was healed instantly. Saint Frances de Sales received great emotional healing by lifting his gaze to Our Lady of Victory and praying the Memorare, attributed to Saint Bernard. If you turn to Our Lady, Health of the Sick, and offer to her your wounds, she will heal those wounds by her most powerful intercession. “Never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided.” (The Memorare Prayer, See Appendix below for the Memorare Prayer.)
In conclusion, friends in Jesus and Mary, we enter a wounded world with our own wounds from Original Sin. Other wounds continue to come through our personal sins. People wound us, often those with whom we share our lives, that is to say, our family members. We, too, wound others by our thoughts, words, and deeds. There are really two options: either we will be Wounded Wounders or we will become Wounded Healers. Let us choose the latter. Let us turn to Jesus, the Wounded Healer and place our wounds in His wounds, and ask Him to transform us into Wounded Healers in a broken and wounded world. Mary Our Lady, our life, our sweetness, and our hope, be there to touch and heal wounded humanity!
Appendix: Anima Christi and Memorare
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me. Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within your wounds hide me.
Suffer me not to be separated from you.
From the malignant enemy, defend me.
At the hour of death, call me
and bid me come to you,
that with your saints I may praise you
forever and ever. Amen.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto you, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to you do I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy hear and answer me.
Copyright 2021 Oblates of the Virgin Mary / St. Peter Chanel Church, Hawaiian Gardens, CA