Just as both joy and sorrow are continual in our lives, so too is healing. We can take comfort in the many forms of healing—including physical, spiritual, and emotional—that cushion our pains and worries and move us to a place of wholeness and well-being.
Healing was a constant focus in the life and works of Jesus on earth, even as a very young boy. His preaching of the love of God was fundamentally about healing the spiritual, emotional, and physical afflictions of everyone. He connected that healing to the divine grace from God—often delivered through human means via forgiveness, prayer, gratitude, and faith.
The Gospels give us a rich account of the role of healing in the life of Jesus. John tells us that “there are many things Jesus did, which if written in detail, even the world itself would not contain the books which were written” (John 21:25). Jesus liberated everyone from sickness who came to Him (Mark 7:31–37), motivated by His compassion and the faith of those who believed they would be healed by Him. That same compassion and faith are there for us, too. The faith of others was significant in harnessing Jesus’ healing power, an inspiring strength for our own faith.
We know very well what is needed when we are physically sick. We simply want to get better and feel like ourselves again, to live our lives freely and without pain. In the context of faith, physical suffering takes on new meaning as it draws us to God through need and prayer.
Spiritual healing, the renewal and restoration of our human spirit, is directly tied to our relationship with God. We find spiritual healing by strengthening our connection with God through daily prayer and as we celebrate the Eucharist. We especially find healing through channels of forgiveness: awareness of damage that may have occurred to the spirit, seeking forgiveness from God, and seeking and giving forgiveness in our relationships. The cycle of forgiveness is ongoing and needs to be maintained to keep our spirits healthy.
The emotional healing we seek goes deep to the heart of our beings, because emotional pain can be so all-encompassing. The host of negative emotions at the root of that pain—including guilt, shame, anger, fear, envy, and unresolved grief and loss— are healed by the flow of grace God gives us by helping us be aware of areas for emotional growth.
The examined lives we strive to live, which help us better understand the cause of the emotional pain we inevitably feel at various times, reveal to us deeper aspects of our own role in why we are hurting. From there we can begin to grow and change and ultimately to let go of the hurt that, carried with us over long periods of time, can become a weight that clouds our emotional resilience.