Saturday, 21 June 2008

The Ones He Didn't Heal

I was teaching dd her RE lesson yesterday and we happened to be looking at the story of the Centurion who came to Jesus and asked that his servant be healed. He then came out with those timeless words said at every Mass "Lord I am not worthy to receive you under my roof, but only say the Word and my servant will be healed."

He has made it clear in his previous statement that he recognises the authority of Jesus.

Then, because of the faith of this gentile Jesus does as He has been asked.

We see in other parts of Scripture that lack of faith means lack of miracles.

These days whenever I read a story like this I am left a little saddened and wonder about all those people who did not get healed.

Was it simply lack of faith on their behalf?

In my nursing days I did come across people who actually wanted to stay ill. The secondary gains from their illness were so great they resisted all attempts to help them overcome their problems. In His ever polite way, I assume Jesus would leave people like this alone.

But I can't believe it was simply this and lack of faith that prevented-and still prevents- healing.

There has always been some form of medicine of course. God has provided plants and chemicals that over the years have become ever better forms of medication and these alongside increasing knowledge of how the body works and can be chopped up, sewn up, replaced and patched. So God offers healing through the skill of others.

But there are still plenty of us who are ill and are seeing doctors and getting nowhere.

I did not ask for healing to begin with because I had the belief I was meant to be this way and that's that. But then it became less obvious, I suppose, that being like this was any use at all.

So I have prayed for healing.
I do believe God can heal me if He wants to.
And here I am left with a sense that He doesn't want to.
Do I doubt that He loves me? Yes, honestly, sometimes I do. He heals others. I have seen it and heard about it-but so far He has not healed me.

Blessed Margaret of Costello was never healed either. In fact it seems her disabilities were used by God to help Him reach others who were wounded by life and sin.
She granted healing to a woman against her better judgement, as she believed the woman's disability was saving her from various sins she would otherwise be prone to.
Perhaps I am not to be healed because of sins I would otherwise commit.
During a really bad patch recently I was getting very frustrated and told my daughter I wished we could somehow find the money to let me go to Lourdes.
Fat chance!
However, the next morning I received a letter from a friend sending me a little bookmark that said "I prayed for you at Lourdes."
Perhaps I will have to carry this cross for the rest of my life. Perhaps I will not get worse-but chances are I will. Sometimes I am afraid I will not be much of a mother and will not be able to continue homeschooling. I worry that I wont be there for the children when they are adults-and I know all too well the pain of no parental support.
Or perhaps in the end a day will come when God will heal me.
I do know I am grossly unworthy to have Him under my roof-but if He would only say the Word I would be healed.


gemoftheocean said...

May God comfort you. My mother prayed for healing from cancer, and was not physically relieved of the disease BUT in praying she found she was spiritually healed enough to perserver as best she could.

If it's any small help to you, the Mother of St. Therese was not physically cured after my prayer by her and on her behalf. IIRC correctly she wrote to a relative something along the lines of not feeling she would be physically cured, because she knew that the Lord knew she did not need a physical miracle to believe in Him. I *might* have gotten the details of that wrong, but that's how I remember it.

So why does God heal some physically and not others? Who knows. But I do know if you pray to cope for the strength required to deal with whatever God sends you - you always do get that!

God Bless....

Kit Brookside said...

((HUGS)) WSNS...

Prayers for you, too, for healing if that's God's will for you, and for serenity if it is not. (I'm pulling for the former!)


WhiteStoneNameSeeker said...

Thank you so much ladies. It has been incredibly difficult recently and I am heartely sick of it.
God bless

Philip said...

My love and prayers for you...

I love the way Pope Benedict highlights how “faith” and “hope” are almost interchangeable in much of the Scriptures. When we are truly saved in hope, by God’s grace, we become invincible as we take upon ourselves the spiritual armour of God. S Stephen, who at his martyrdom, was totally distracted by the vision of the Trinity. Clothed in his spiritual armour, I doubt that he felt a single stone. Now, that’s hope!

You know my recent story. Many thought me foolish because, at the time, I claimed that faith could move mountains and that by faith, Stephen would be healed. In various places, I documented my certainty in this. Of course, Stephen died and I was not without a few “I told you so” (Christian) commentators, who felt that I was being naive to even think that prayer (faith and hope) could cure someone. However, I don’t regret this and looking back, I can see how God was working through the situation. Although hard for his loved ones to accept, the Lord wanted Stephen to come home and in doing so, the “testimony” of Stephen’s death was imbued with the grace of conversion for those who had ears and eyes and hearts to apprehend it. It’s taken me a while, but by God’s grace, little by little, I am able to understand more of what God wants me to do. Siena’s death, following on so soon afterwards, emphasised the need for hope and faith in God. (As S Ambrose once wrote (something like this, as I can’t dig up the exact quote), our relationships are not ours to keep, selfishly; rather, they are short-term gifts from God, on loan. We should not mourn their absence, but celebrate the fact that they have been part of our lives in assurance that, one day, they will be again.)

That said, the suffering has been transferred and I find now that I must seek healing for myself, too. The mental burden is far greater than I would ever have imagined. However, the more the mental pain, the greater the grace that I receive. Funnily enough, I was chatting to a mutual friend of ours about something similar last week. We discussed what Paul says in 2 Cor 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for thee; for power is made perfect in infirmity. Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” I think that’s where I find myself. I dare say, I’m not alone in this, either. Like our Lord’s agony in the Garden, I want to ask God to take it away. But then, there’s that linguistic clue in the word “agony”, which in its Greek form, “agonia” is more about preparation for a difficult task, specifically athletes preparing for a long and arduous race. I guess, therefore, that our agonia is our own preparation for that spiritual race which, while difficult will ultimately lead to the prize. As Paul writes to Timothy in his second letter, “… I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith; all there is to come now is the crown of righteousness reserved for me which the Lord…will give to me on that day”. However, we can only hope for that prize with preparation, with agonia. It’s probably a different experience for all of us; but, nonetheless, it exists for all of us.

I’ve been blessed in that I’ve visited Lourdes many times and I shall pray that the opportunity will present itself for you to offer yourself at this shrine of great mercy. Once again, however, the difficult message keeps presenting itself. As I’m sure you know, our Lady said that she could not promise happiness in this life, but we were to look to the eternal happiness of the next. The many sufferings of S Bernadette are proof of this. It’s as if the more beloved of God we are, the more suffering, or proving, or agonia we must endure. If we can run that race to the finish, what glory we must give to God; how he must look down on us and see not men and women, but the image of his Son as we live through and offer our sufferings in the faith and hope which Christ exhibited in the Garden.

In the meantime, have you thought about visiting “England’s Nazareth”. It’s a place that recalls the Incarnation. There can be no better place to recall how God became a man to take upon himself the burden of humanity for our sake. If you can go (and I shouldn’t really say this) try and stay at the Anglican shrine as the facilities, in my humble opinion, are better.

You are in my prayers, daily.

Philip said...

PS I shall be "moving" blogs soon. A watershed appears to have been reached and it feels right for a change of direction. (Plus, it will also be an opportunity for me to undo that embarrassing Latin spelling mistake in my URL!! LOL

New URL is

gemoftheocean said...

sisto and not sixto? :-D

Ponte Sisto said...

What can I say... I've gone Italiano! ;-)

WhiteStoneNameSeeker said...

Thank You! I am getting my head around all this and God in His goodness has offered me some good reading. I accidently came across a book by Dom Benedict on Christedem Awake-all about healing and suffering. It has proved very helpful to me.
I am trying to be more proactive and also offer my daily pain for others-you, Stephen's eternal soul, Deb (UKOK) and other friends and family. The fact that God can use this as prayer is a great comfort.
Meanwhile, as the NHS docs seem just rude and out of their depth I'm off to a chiropractor and other places in search of answers.
No where weird! Just 'other' than NHS.
God bless you my friends here.

Ponte Sisto said...

Bless you for your prayers and your offering. Please be assured of my love and prayers. It's great how, through our faith, we can all share very intimately in each other's lives, without it being an intrusion. Maybe this is an earthly foretaste of what it means to share in the life of the Trinity?

On a more down to earth note, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you about the NHS, but keep on top of things where you and yours are concerned. Never have I come across an organisation where one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing. If they did, then Stephen (and goodness knows how many others) would still be here.

By way of something to cheer you up, would you like to join our altar-railers group?


sexy said...