Answers to Question on HealingFr. Edward J. McDonough C.S.S.R.
What is the Healing and Restoration Ministry?
It is rather difficult to describe exactly Divine Healing. It is considered from many vantage points. It can be described according to various personal experiences. In the final analysis, we must say that this is something that God does according to His wisdom and love. It is therefore surrounded with the mystery of God Himself.
Allowing for the element
of mystery, I’d like to glimpse at Divine Healing in this way. St. Paul
in his beautiful letter to the Ephesians, teaches us about Christ and
the mystery of our salvation. He tells us: “We are God’s work of art,
created in Christ Jesus, to live the good life, as from the beginning,
He had meant us to live it.”
If you meditate on Paul’s imagery you can consider yourself as a beautiful painting conceived and painted according to the infinite wisdom, love and power of Jesus. This painting has beauty, purpose and a message that comes from the heart of Christ Jesus. Praying for healing in this context is merely coming to Jesus for His help. You ask him to repair, in the canvas of your life, the damage done by your own neglects, the failures of others and the wear and tear caused by life’s sicknesses and problems. Divine healing in this view is merely allowing the Divine Artist to restore His beautiful painting and then you can be spiritually, physically, and emotionally made whole once again - “God’s beautiful work of art, created in the Christ Jesus, so that you can live the good life from the beginning Jesus had planned for you to live.” This explains why we call our Ministry the “Healing and Restoration Ministry.”
What is a Healing Service?
There are many ways of conducting healing services. We will not consider them all. We will only try to address ourselves to the particular kind of healing services we conduct. This is a para-liturgical service. It is a prayer service for healing. The purpose of this service is to establish a community of faith and prayer to seek together the healing love of Jesus and His Holy Spirit. We pray for all in the community as well as those we represent, love and pray for. We pray for spiritual, emotional and physical healing. In this prayer service all who are praying together from a prayer team to bring God’s healing to each individual. The emphasis is on the power of united prayer rather than on receiving an individual blessing.
Is everyone with faith healed at the service?
God heals according to His own infinite wisdom and love. It is His plan and His love that brings healing. God heals persons who have no faith. We see an example of this in the Gospels when Jesus brought Lazarus from death to life, even though he was dead and couldn’t have faith or prayer. I believe God answers our prayer as He promised, but according to His own loving plan. This does not mean that every person seeking physical healing will be healed.
What is “resting in the Spirit”
Often times at the healing service when people are blessed or sprinkled
with holy water they seem to “fall back” or “faint”. Actually they do
not “faint” or lose consciousness. They rest in the Holy Spirit. For most
people this means a deep spiritual experience often combined with a special
prayer experience. The important thing is to remember God may chose to
touch you in many other ways. Many persons are healed physically, emotionally
and spiritually without “resting in the Spirit.”
Is it important that persons healed give testimony of their healing?
Yes, because as Jesus mentions in the Gospel of Mark quoted above, healing is one of the signs associated with believers in Christ. Healings are a sign that God’s promises are true. And that Jesus is with us allowing us to share in the victory of His life, death and resurrection. “By His stripes you are healed.”
Should attending a healing service be a significant experience in your life?
I think it should. It can easily be a lasting experience as you share your faith and prayer for yourself and others at the healing service.You will be using your gift of healing given to you when you received the Holy Spirit at Baptism. You can experience Jesus in a wonderful way if you are healed. When you see others testifying to their healing you can also experience His presence and love. Every healing is a sign from God that He is risen from the dead and is with us today. The Bible tells us that "Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.” You will experience Him today as those persons who prayed to Him personally for healing 2000 years ago. You will understand better His consoling promises: “All things are possible if only you trust in Me.”
Is there any follow up after the healing service?
Hopefully all who have experienced a healing service and answer to their prayers will continue to pray for healing. Read the Gospels, which tell of Jesus’ healing ministry. Read the Acts of the Apostles which teach how Jesus heals through His church today. Pray with expectant faith for physical, emotional and spiritual healing.