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Two Kinds of Healing

This power of healing is not at human disposal

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United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

The Church recognizes two kinds of healing: healing by divine grace and healing that utilizes the powers of nature.

As for the first, we can point to the ministry of Christ, who performed many physical healings and who commissioned his disciples to carry on that work. In fidelity to this commission, from the time of the Apostles the Church has interceded on behalf of the sick through the invocation of the name of the Lord Jesus, asking for healing through the power of the Holy Spirit, whether in the form of the sacramental laying on of hands and anointing with oil or of simple prayers for healing, which often include an appeal to the saints for their aid.

As for the second, the Church has never considered a plea for divine healing, which comes as a gift from God, to exclude recourse to natural means of healing through the practice of medicine. (See Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on Prayers for Healing: “Obviously, recourse to prayer does not exclude, but rather encourages the use of effective natural means for preserving and restoring health, as well as leading the Church’s sons and daughters to care for the sick, to assist them in body and spirit, and to seek to cure disease.”)

Alongside her sacrament of healing and various prayers for healing, the Church has a long history of caring for the sick through the use of natural means. The most obvious sign of this is the great number of Catholic hospitals that are found throughout our country.

The two kinds of healing are not mutually exclusive. Because it is possible to be healed by divine power does not mean that we should not use natural means at our disposal. It is not our decision whether or not God will heal someone by supernatural means. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church points out, the Holy Spirit sometimes gives to certain human beings “a special charism of healing so as to make manifest the power of the grace of the risen Lord.”

This power of healing is not at human disposal, however, for “even the most intense prayers do not always obtain the healing of all illnesses.” Recourse to natural means of healing therefore remains entirely appropriate, as these are at human disposal. In fact, Christian charity demands that we not neglect natural means of healing people who are ill.

From Committee on Doctrine (2009)


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Why Go To Church

Timothy Radcliffe O.P.

The Greek word for ‘church’, ekklesia, means ‘gathering’, and Eucharist is the foundation of all our gathering. Jesus sat at supper with the disciples on the night before he died. The community was breaking up. Judas had betrayed Jesus; Peter was about to deny him; the rest would be scattered. At this moment of dispersion and disintegration he gave the community his body. So every Christian assembly implicitly is founded on this moment which is remembered at the Eucharist…. In the words of the old Latin saying, ‘Unus cristianus, nullus cristianus’, ‘The single Christian is no Christian.’

But what community? Why should I drag myself out of bed to go to a parish church with a congregation of people whom I do not know, and to whom I feel no attachment? In our society one chooses those to whom one belongs. Our ancestors were born into given communities. They lived and died surrounded by people whom they had not chosen but who were there neighbours…. The local church was the gathering of one’s natural community.

But today our neighbourhoods have nothing to do with geography…. Why cannot I belong to a virtual Christian community too?…

I wish to argue … that the ‘huge event’ of the Eucharist works in our lives in ways that are profound but often barely noticeable and hardly register as experiences at all…. The liturgy works in the depths of our minds and hearts a very gradual, barely perceptible transformation of who we are, so quietly that we might easily think nothing is happening at all….

Our transformtion by God’s grace is a slow business. A generation used to the immediacy of cyber communication might find it hard to believe in…. The Eucharist is indeed a drama; it enacts the fundamental drama of all human existence…. a drama in three acts, through which we share God’s life and begin even now to be touched by God’s happiness. Each act prepares for the next…. Going to the Eucharist is not like going to see a film…. The Eucharist is the drama of one’s whole life – birth to death and beyond….

One’s average church may not look much like heaven; its statues may be tatty and in embarrassingly poor taste, and the stained-glass windows ooze Victorian sentimentality, but it is still a reminder that we are on the way. We drag ourselves out of bed and leave our house because they are not our final homes….

By faith, hope and charity we belong to the community of saints and sinners, the living and the dead. In the Middle Ages these dead were often buried all around the church. When the parish gathered to celebrate the Eucharist, the dead were the outer ring of participants, our brothers and sisters in the resurrection.

Even in a secular age, churches remain signs, question marks against the assumptions of our time.
From Why Go to Church (2008)

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Pope Francis blesses a rosary for a pilgrim in St. Peter's Square during the Wednesday general audience on Dec. 4, 2013. Credit: Kyle Burkhart / CNA.

Pope Francis blesses a rosary for a pilgrim in St. Peter’s Square during the Wednesday general audience on Dec. 4, 2013. Credit: Kyle Burkhart / CNA.

.- In his Wednesday general audience this morning, Pope Francis stressed the importance of humility and service in the Christian life.

“It is an ugly thing when one sees a Christian who does not want to lower himself, who does not want to serve, a Christian who parades around everywhere. It’s terrible, no? That person isn’t a Christian: he is a pagan! The Christian serves (and) lowers himself,” said the Pope on Dec. 18 in St. Peter’s Square.

With Christmas approaching, Pope Francis focused on the great ‘gift’ of God in sending his son, who came humbly as a baby in Bethlehem.

“In Christmas, God reveals himself not as one who stands above and who dominates the universe, but as He who lowers himself,” explained the Pontiff.

“God lowers himself, coming down to earth as little and poor, showing that in order to be similar to him we must not place ourselves above others, but rather lower ourselves, place ourselves in service, make ourselves small with the small, poor with the poor.”

The incarnation of God made man, encouraged Pope Francis, should be a model for every Christian.

“We must make it so that our brothers and sisters never feel alone. Our presence in solidarity to their side expresses not only with words but with the eloquence of gestures that God is close to all.”

Moreover, God did not expect or demand perfection. “The presence of God in the midst of humanity is not carried out in an ideal, idyllic world, but in this real world, marked by many good and bad things, marked by division, cruelty, poverty, abuse, and war,” noted the Pope.

Still, “he chose to live our history as it is, with all the weight of its limitations and dramas. In so doing, he demonstrated in an unparalleled way his merciful inclinations and overflowing love toward his human creatures.”

Jesus is God with us,” emphasized the Pontiff, making the crowds repeat with him, “Jesus is God with us.”

During this time of Advent, Pope Francis urged the faithful to prepare their hearts for the birth of Jesus as a “celebration of faithfulness and of hope that overcomes uncertainty and pessimism.”

“This is the reason for our hope,” he explained, “God is with us and God is still faithful to us!”

“Think carefully about this: God comes to live with men, he chooses the earth as his dwelling in order to stay together with find where man passes his days in joy and or in sorrow. Therefore the earth is above all not a ‘valley of tears’ but a place where God himself has pitched his tent.  It is the place of meeting for God with man, of solidarity of God with men.”
Tags: Christmas, Advent, Wednesday Audience, Pope Francis, Humility

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Reblog : BILTRIX

October 13, 2013

Has Sunday ever snuck up on you before?

That’s what happened to me this week, which is why this post is going to be just a little different, but I’m taking advantage of providence to share what’s on my mind regarding the Liturgy we are gradually walking into this time of the year. But first…

Our usual brief reflection on today’s liturgy — very brief this time.

The first reading from 2 Kings 5:14-17 and the Gospel of Luke 17:11-19 teach us a lesson in faith, obedience, and gratitude. More specifically, that these three virtues go hand in hand with one another.

Namaan the Leper wants a miracle as do the lepers Jesus heals in the Gospel. In both cases, they are healed because of their faith and because of their obedience. What’s important to note here is that in both cases something ritualistic is required — bathing in a river 7 times, on the one hand, following the prescribed law of Moses, on the other. But in neither case is the ritual the most important thing.

The important thing in both cases is obedience, as an outward sign of practical faith. In both cases, they were healed on account of their faith, shown outwardly by their obedience. In both cases, faith was not a result of the the miracle they received (although they received the reward of having their faith increased as a result); rather, the miracle was a result of their faith.

Let us learn from this example to ask the Lord to increase our faith, which we can be sure he will do when we put our trust in him and follow his will through our obedience — as hard as that may be sometimes.

Lastly, our Lord reminds us of the virtue of gratitude.

Sometimes we can turn sour grapes when we don’t get what we want, what we believe we need when we ask for it in prayer. Last week, our we were told, “Wait for it, and it will come.” Today, Christ gives us the follow up on this lesson: When it comes, be sure to praise the Lord and thank him for it.

Perhaps, a latent lesson can be gleaned from this teaching too. When we start to feel like sour grapes, because we’ve been waiting for it, and waiting for it to come, and we feel ourselves starting to lose hope, we may want to stop and ask:

  • Have I been duly grateful for what I have received or have I taken it for granted?
  • Have a taken the time, as the one Samaritan leper did in today’s Gospel, to thank God?
  • Is there something I should be grateful for that I’ve been overlooking?

Or am I just expecting to get more? More of what I don’t necessarily need or deserve — especially if I have not been grateful for the gifts I’ve received.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it might be a good idea to do a little “personal advent” to prepare ourselves to really enjoy that feast for what it is meant to be — Turkey and Football!

Just kidding (but also that too)… Thankful for the gift of life, of liberty, of happiness, family, and faith.

Speaking of advents and thieves in the night…

2014 liturgical calendar (click here to see more)

2014 liturgical calendar (click here to see more)

This liturgical year is quickly coming to a close. The liturgy itself reminds us of this as the feast of Christ the King approaches. I like to think of this waning period of Ordinary Time as the advent before the Advent. Everything points toward the return of the King. Let’s be prayerful and vigilant as this great day approaches, and not be caught of guard (as I was for this Sunday).

Rather, let’s prepare ourselves to join him for the feast and celebrate with him, both in this world on the Feast of Christ our King, and in the eternal banquet in the next.

God bless you all!

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May 17, 2013

                              Blog :  http://www.parchment9.wordpress.com

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2013-02-11 12:52:49  Printable version

February 11, 2013. (Romereports.com) (-VIDEO ONLY-) “I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry,” starts off the message of Bendict XVI to his cardinals on Monday morning.

His brief speech, issued in Latin, the Pope explains that in today’s fast-paced world, strength of mind and body are necessary to lead over one billion Catholics worldwide, and that his age has taken a toll on both.

Benedict XVI went on to say that his resignation will go into effect as of February 28, 2013 at 8 p.m. European Central Time.

“A Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is,” the Pope stated.
The current number of cardinals eligible to choose the next Pope stands at 118. By canon law, the consistory must be scheduled within 20 days of the resignation of Benedict XVI. RCarr
Blog :  parchment9.wordpress.com

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Homily for 3rd Sunday in Ordinary time year C 2013

During the week, not that I really liked to, but I happened to watch bits of the inaugural speech of President Barack Obama. I couldn’t help it because it had been shown in the  news around the country. I heard him saying as he sworn in ‘so help me God.’ It was a simple yet a beautiful short prayer. And upon hearing that I silently prayed that Obama really meant what he said then: that He would acknowledge God’s help in his role as the president of the United States.

Friends, I’m caught up with this because truly, we need God in our life. We need to complement with what God wills for us and what He wants of us. We need God no matter how much we deny his involvement in our life. We need…

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