“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” // Psalm 147:3
I’d given a talk on the tricky topic of when healing doesn’t happen. A woman who listened writes to me saying she’s been suffering illness for years, all the while praying, frequenting the Sacraments, reading her Bible, saying her Rosary, keeping Holy Hours—and still Jesus does not heal her. What is she doing wrong? she wonders. He’s healing other people. Why not her?
It’s an honest question and one we need, as sisters in Christ, to be prepared to receive in charity and answer in truth while respecting the mystery that is the heart of Jesus.
Having MS, for example, has brought me unexpected graces: patience, compassion, gentleness of spirit, and focus. I’ve learned that there are threats far more corrosive to my soul than physical illness, like pride, vanity, self-centeredness, avarice, and envy. Maybe Jesus allows my illness to protect me from the disease of sin.
This is part of how Jesus heals: not by relieving us of our pain and suffering, but by giving them meaning, purpose, a place to go and be used, redeemed, glorified.
Though it may seem the Gospel is contradictory—we note clearly in the passage from Saint Matthew that Jesus “went around . . . curing every disease and illness,” (Matthew 9:35) with zero mention of the healed person’s worthiness or superior prayer life or holiness—we don’t want to forget that soul-healing is the first healing Jesus brings, and by far the most important one.
In his brilliant book, The Divine Pity, Father Gerald Vann wrote, “You need suffering of one sort or another to become adult in love . . .you need it in order to experience the deepest truths and realities” (book here). This is another way of saying that suffering makes us deep.
God chose to make Himself known to us through a body that suffered. Do not doubt for one second that He knows your suffering, every atom of it—and just like His own, He will use it if you let Him.
Are you hoping for healing? Ask Jesus to show you how He’s first making you deep.He knows your suffering. // Liz Kelly Click To Tweet