Sunday, June 04, 2006

Inner healing: Spiritual Perspective

 Christ said, “Unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat. But if it dies, it produces much fruit.” Success in life is bringing about fruits. Spirituality has a great role in healing of an emotional wound too. A close analysis will make us clear how psychology and spirituality are inter-connected. Forgetting or ignoring this connection can make both psychology and spirituality really dangerous.

The process of healing using psychology or religion is the same. It has to be, since we are dealing with the same human nature. We are only using different means, which God has put at our disposal for our well-being. Hence it is not at all unusual that some people who have not been healed in religious centers of healing get healed in a counseling workshop. There are also cases of people who fail to get healed in counseling centers achieving peace of mind n religious centers of healing.

The point is that physical health and healing are at least to a great extent dependent on true peace of mind. Healing always involves a change of perspective and rarely a change of the situation or of other people. We can use religion or common sense to change the perception and to view things more objectively and healthily. When we use common sense, we call it psychology; when we use religion, we call it spirituality. Which approach is better? What works better for any one person is better for that person? After all, Sabbath was made for man and woman.

This psycho-spiritual approach is specially true in Christian spirituality. The first step is to realize that all of us are wounded and need healing.38 St.Paul speaks in the name of all humanity when he says: I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate… I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. (Rom.7, 15-19).
God is the one who helps us in this mastery over self and healing is the greatest victory according to the scripture. Christ tells: He (God) has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and… to set at liberty those who are oppressed. Luke 4,18-19.

Recognize the areas of wounded ness
Christ came into the world to show us the way to truth and peace. The scribes, Pharisees and priests of the time of Christ witnessed the many miracles He performed. He taught them personally the way to healing and salvation. Yet most of them failed to recognize Him and find salvation. Why? Because they were self-righteous and failed to see that they were on the wrong path.39 Hence He says:

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men’s bones… So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. (Mat 23,27-28). Through out the gospels we see many of them remained unaware of their wounded ness.
Apostle Paul says that the power of evil in us prevents us from seeing the truth about ourselves: In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from the light… 2 Cor (4,4)

According to St Paul this power of evil prevents not only the “wicked’ from seeing and admitting their own wounded ness, But even the apparently holy and pious often fail to recognize who they themselves are and what they are doing.40 ‘No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light’. So it is not strange of his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds (2 Cor 11,14).

To be spiritually blind is perhaps the most serious block for healing. It is easier to show the truth to one who knows that he is a sinner than to a self-righteous person.

Healing the heart results in healing of the body.
In miracles after miracles we see Christ leading people to repentance before He heals the body. To the paralytic He says, “Take heart son; your sins are forgiven.” It is only after that He heals him physically. All centers of religious healing emphasize the importance of repentance and forgiveness as a pre-requisite for physical healing.

Healing does not change the situation
Out of jealousy, his brothers sold Joseph to the Egyptians. Years later when they came to him in search of food not knowing that their brother had become the ruler of the country. Joseph told them: “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed, or be angry with yourselves, because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life… So it is not you who sent me here, but God.” Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck. And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them…(Gen 45,4-15)
The fact of their treachery had not changed. But Joseph looked at the whole event not through purely human eyes, but through God’s Healing always takes place through a change of perspective.

Have a strong desire to get healed
To the Jews who come to hear his preaching, John the Baptist says:
Do not begin to say to yourselves, we have Abraham as our father… Bear fruits that befit repentance. (Luke 3,8) The Jews ask him, “What then shall we do? These Jews own up their wrong ways and want to change them. The woman of the city who was a sinner and who came to Jesus when He was having a meal with Simon, the Pharisee, that woman certainly owned up her sinfulness. She was prepared to do any thing whatever to change her life (Luke 7,36-50)

Healing implies accepting reality, mourning and forgiveness

It was the acceptance of the inevitable reality of His death that brought peace to Christ in the garden of Gethsemane. The woman caught in adultery had to accept the reality of her past. She had to mourn her past life; namely, painfully give up the desire that her life had been different from what it was then. Thus she was able to forgive herself. The best example of forgiving that heals oneself is that of Christ on the cross when He says, “Father, forgive them; for they know not want they do.” Such forgiveness cannot tolerate any rancor or hurt in the one who forgives.
Acceptance of reality, mourning or letting go and forgiveness create in us a state of peace and serenity.

Sharing pain with God

What then is the difference between the process of healing in psychology and in the religion? In psychology one uses one’s common sense and reflection on the life experiences to bring about the shift in perspective. In religion one does not exclude reason and reflection on life experiences. But over and above these, one brings one’s pain before the Lord in faith and prayer.44 Such sharing slowly gives the wounded person the emotional awareness that he is not alone, that his God is actively present in him, strengthening him to bear the burdens of life courageously, that his God has a plan for him and that even his suffering is a part of his master plan and that he is not a helpless victim even in his suffering. Hours of sharing with his Father the pain of the impending crucifixion bring Christ peace. He experiences emotionally that.






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