Thursday 23 December 2010
Jesus, whom we touch in every mystery of the Rosary, is still the source of power, and the author of healing. As we make contact with the simple string of beads, it is as if we were touching the hem of his garment, the very edge of eternity. All the while I like to place the focus of healing on touching the person of the Lord rather than the actual beads. I invite people to enter into the contemplative flow of the prayer and to make contact with the life-giving mysteries which are the soul of the Rosary. I composed the following prayer which brings our personal experience into line with the life-experience of the Lord himself:
Jesus, Son of the living God, I desire to recall the memory of your healing life, death and glory. Through the power of your saving mysteries, touch every area of my being. Let my coming into this world be renewed by your own birth at Bethlehem.
Let your precious death remove from me all fear of death. Grant me to know the power which comes from your glorious resurrection and ascension into heaven.
Through the grace of the Luminous mysteries, enlighten my mind and inflame my heart. Touch every area of my life and be Lord of all that I am and all that I have. O Mary, who first opened yourself to this new creation, pray for me a sinner, that I may be renewed in the love of my Lord.
Blessed Oil for Healing
Pere Bernard of Toulouse in his classic Le Triple Rosaire tells members of the Confraternity to take the oil from the lamp burning before the Rosary Altar and bring it to the sick. He cites the example of the members in Milan who anoint themselves with this oil and receive a great number of cures. He tells them to invoke the names of Jesus and Mary as they do so. He also gave a form of blessing to go with the anointing:
May the Lord Jesus Christ heal you from this illness and anxiety, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
A colleague of my own, relates how the old women of Tralee, in the south of Ireland, would pull down the lamp at the Rosary altar and dip cotton wool in it to take home. They must have been acting under some old instruction, though no one was quite sure and nobody dared stop them or ask why.
I like to first rest with patients, endeavouring to listen with the ears of Jesus, looking with his eyes and reaching out with something of his touch. That demands faith in my own Christian charism and helps to evoke the same attitude in the person before me. Having listened and looked awhile I bless the beads of the sick persons and invite them to join me in saying at least one decade of the Rosary.
I tell those concerned, patient and friends, to pray very slowly and peacefully, resting in the names of Jesus and Mary. I ask for a pause at the Holy Name, saying: “When you say Jesus, breathe out all your fear and trouble. While you breathe in, let the healing love of the Lord fill your whole being, body mind and spirit.”
I will heal you through each other
Healing is not confined to extraordinary charismatic leaders. There is a normative low-key healing always at work in the body of Christ. This operates as an interactive process among the members of a praying group. Expectant faith and unwavering hope can make wonderful things happen. While we thank God for the highly graced ones in the healing ministry we must not, in our rush to meet the stars, miss the flowers beneath our feet.
Apart from actual prayer sessions, listening to a friend in trouble, being available at the other end of a phone, cooking meals, caring for sick children or aged parents, co-operating graciously with those in the office or workshop, - these are essential elements in the whole healing structure.
When one thinks of the hurt done by harsh words, anger, pride, arrogance and lack of forgiveness, then it becomes obvious that their opposites, love, kindness and consideration, are basic to the ministry of healing. How many ulcers, headaches, heart-aches and sheer mental torture and sexual pain could be avoided if people would just be loving towards each other. I don’t have to wait for some great character to come to town. Healing begins with me! It is in my heart and in my hands! The Lord says: “I will heal you through each other.”
Lord Jesus, in your love I was created.
Every breath I take, every morning I wake,
and every moment of every hour,
I live under your power.
Fill me with the healing power of your love.
Cast out anything that should not be in me.
Mend what is broken.
Let the warmth of your healing love
pass through my body, soul and spirit,
to make new any unhealthy areas
Restore me to full health,
in mind and body soul and spirit,
and lead me into the ways of stillness and peace.
(Adapted from a prayer by Fr.Larry Hess)
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