March 6, 2017
Healing through repentance and forgiving
In the life of the Church health is always associated with repentance, particularly in the sacraments of Holy Confession and Holy Unction. Unfortunately, in most cases, many people use these sacraments to appease an angry and stern judgmental God, hoping that He will rid them of the curse that brought on their ailments. Thus, they will not undergo any type of self-evaluation that will help them to take responsibility for the condition of their health. This misuse of the sacraments harbors delusion and discontent and does not allow the healing process to take place.
True repentance emanates from an inner pain that exists in the depths of the human soul that is often expressed through illness. It is the pain that brings us face to face with the truths and the realities of our human existence and those of our inter-personal relationships. It is the pain that calls us to reconcile ourselves with these realities and the people in our lives.
This is why repentance cannot be separated from the act of forgiving. In order to forgive, we must reconcile with the fact that we did not receive the love and care that we desired during our lifetime; we must accept our deficiencies in expressing love and lack of willingness to accept our fellowman; we must acknowledge the anger and resentment that fosters within our self, which is turned against our own being and creates conflict with others. When these negative elements harbor in us, our self is weighted down by negative stress and tension that, as many modern medical studies have proven, cause illnesses and impends healing.
When we forgive, we take on the responsibility for our actions and we accept that we are finite; that we are not all-powerful beings. We also can acknowledge that our fellow human beings are equally finite and, to a great extent, are unable to change their lives. The more we can overcome our anger and cast out our hurt, we will allow compassion to abide in us and have love heal the wounds of our hearts. Being compassionate and merciful, we will be able transcend our pain and see the pain in others; we will be able to share and become participants in the suffering of our fellow human beings and the world at large. More so, we will become participants in the crucifying love of Jesus Christ, in His long-suffering love for all mankind.
Thus, the main factor in the healing process is not only repentance and forgiveness, but our willingness to allow compassion to enter our pain-stricken hearts, to allow God’s loving mercy to dominate our lives and to be witnesses of His Philanthropy.