Suffering, spiritual or otherwise, is a call from the Lord to realize your helplessness and come to know that you don’t have the power to heal yourself. Only God does. It is in this recognition that you ultimately turn to the Lord and begin to surrender. Jesus wants us to give Him all of our sufferings, no matter how small, so that He can bring us to know and love Him. How long you suffer is up to God. But you have to participate in your healing if you want to get better. It is a journey of discovery. Because of your suffering, you begin to search for Jesus because you finally know that He is the only cure. Healing is going to happen a little bit at a time. You have to be patient and not expect a quick end to your suffering. It doesn’t work that way. Because if this is the path God has chosen to bring you to Himself, then this is how it is going to be until God says otherwise. You have to accept and go through the suffering, even if you do not yet understand why.
People have wounds they don’t even know are there, and sadly they bury them deep down inside without ever being healed. These injuries change who we are and how we react to certain situations in life. It is the result of the trauma. There could be deep wounds there that will take time to heal. This is what happened to me through witchcraft. I have been free of the attacks for maybe 15 years now, but there are still some effects of the attacks that remain. So I am still healing today, even though I am happy and unafraid. It is the same for anyone. We all have suffered in our lives. But we don’t all know Jesus. So He uses suffering to get our attention. And if we do know Jesus, He allows these sufferings so we can let go of ourselves and become aware of our utter dependence on God for everything.
“Heal me, Lord, that I may be healed; save me, that I may be saved, for it is you whom I praise.Jer 17:14
Living a sacramental life has been an integral part of my healing. Without the sacraments, without Jesus, I don’t know that I would have gotten through it all. Jesus saved me, but it took years. Healing comes through the Mass and the sacraments. Prayer, fasting, scripture reading, and adoration, are all vital steps you will need to take to build your relationship with God. You are not going to master all of them at the same time. Just choose one, and the Holy Spirit will develop that within you. As you grow closer to Him through these spiritual exercises, He will inspire you to begin another one. No matter how you feel, be consistent in your spiritual life. This is how you receive grace. The sacraments are the keys that ignite the fire of the Holy Spirit within you, within your soul. They will strengthen you and help you bear the pain, the fear, and everything else you are going through. Your relationship with God will grow, even if you feel totally abandoned and alone. You are not alone or abandoned. God is with You in it all. Suffering deepens your spirituality and enriches your relationship with God. So don’t give up. Remember, God works in secret. He changes us without our knowledge.
“In the same way, the spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself interceeds with inexpressible groanings.”Rom 8:26
There is no cap on spiritual growth. The more you give Jesus, the more He gives you. Jesus knocks on the door of our hearts, waiting for us to open to Him. And when we respond, He takes us on a spiritual journey and makes us something more than we were before. This Lent, I committed to a weekly Catholic Podcast on healing. And I also came across a series taught by Father David Nix on scriptural meditation called VLX. Meditation is a part of spiritual growth. It happens naturally through consistent prayer and adoration. These videos are more of an in-depth explanation and a how-to guide, so I thought it would be great to learn more. In Father David’s first few videos, he explains that there are two ways to meditate. One is by choosing a few words from the scriptural passage that pop out to you. And another is to place yourself in the scripture scene by using your imagination.
“When Jesus came down from the mountain great crowds followed him. And then a leaper approached, did him homage, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do will it. Be made clean.” His leprocy was cleansed immediately.”
One morning, I went on the VLX website because I thought I should give this method of meditation a try. I chose the video titled Jesus Cleanses a Leper. I use the imaginative method to meditate. So when I went to adoration, I got comfortable and placed myself in the scene. What happened next surprised me. I saw myself in the middle of a marketplace. I was kind of hidden, off to the side. I was wearing a shawl to cover myself since I was the leper in the scene. After surveying my surroundings, I looked up and saw Jesus coming down the mountain, so I went to meet Him. When I got close to Jesus, I knelt down and bowed my head. Jesus approached me, stooped down, lifted my face, and looked directly into my eyes. I knew He wanted me to speak. To tell Him what I wanted. So I asked Him if he willed it, He could heal me of everything that remained from the attacks of witchcraft. Instantly, Jesus lifted the shawl from my body, threw it on the ground, and said, “Remove this cloak of suffering and be freed.” At that, I opened my eyes and was back in the adoration chapel. It was a real encounter with Christ. A tangible experience that not only healed me but enriched my love for Jesus. What a gift. Try never to be discouraged. God has a plan for your life. He is waiting for you to open the door of your heart so He can give you everything you need and flood you with His everlasting love. Holy week is upon us. It is the perfect time to enter more deeply into the spiritual life. Just wait and see what Jesus has in store for you.
“O Lord, my God, I cried out to you for help and you healed me.”Psalm 30:3
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