Monday, January 14, 2013

Tools for Healing

God wants to heal us. If there is one thing I've learned over the years it is that God desires to heal us more than we desire it ourselves. Christ came to heal the wounds of sin and this healing begins in time. That may seem pretty obvious to many but you'd be surprised at what I hear at times. One of the oddest is that we aren't healed until we reach Heaven. Yes, I've heard this statement a few times too often. Until that time we are left to our own devices. When I think about it I realize that this type of thinking makes God seem...well...


 As if He withholds healing and grace at whim depending on his mood that day.


That sounds more like us, if you ask me.

Many times we are blocking the healing in some way. We may not like to hear that we still have a lot of inner work that needs to be done.

Pride may be a factor.

We are impatient and want God to heal us instantly but very often we need to learn things about ourselves first. What if He gave you an enormous healing but because you have certain patterns of behavior or thinking that aren't healthy you end up right back where you started? Wouldn't that be worst? God wants to heal us...but He wants it to stick.

God's not going to heal an area that you refuse to let Him touch so the first thing to do is to invite Him into the area you are asking Him to heal. A simple prayer like this is fine:

Jesus, I am in deep need of emotional healing and I ask you to begin to bring healing to this area of my life. Today, I place my emotions under your gentle mastery and I  place my trust in your healing love.

Here are some things to consider:

~ Naming your emotions - This is very important for those who have suppressed their emotions for years.
    The first step in naming your emotions isn't so much getting this right as it is becoming aware that you have emotions...and very strong ones at that.
~ Feeling these emotions and bringing them  to God in prayer. If I cannot do this during the course of the day then I do it at bedtime when I go over my day with the Lord.
~Pay attention to your emotional responses to others. Years ago, the Lord made me aware that I sometimes used my emotions to manipulate others instead of speaking clearly and addressing the problem.
~ Many of us were taught that certain emotions were sinful and this is why we suppressed them. Though our brain may tell us it's ridiculous, we automatically feel guilt when we become angry. If you look back into your earlier years you may find that this is a conditioned response. Anger in itself is not a sin - it's what you  do with the anger that becomes the problem (taking it out on others, sitting and stewing in it).
~ Exerting rigid control over your emotions is draining and they'll "leak" out in various ways if you don't address them as they come.
~Using religion to cover up the inner work that needs to be done (doing more and more outwardly to mask inner conflict/ attempting to change others before changing yourself - excessive religiosity). An example would be a person who focuses too much on the outward signs of religion while neglecting the inner because their pride won't accept the need for personal change.)
~ Be aware of the connection between suppressed emotions and the Seven Deadly Sins (For example
    "stuffing" your emotions with food. Addictions are common among suppressors because they deal with emotions in an unhealthy fashion. If gluttony (over-eating, alcoholism, substance abuse, over-exercising, etc..) seems to be a particular problem for you this may be a sign that you need to work on your emotions. Sloth, too, has a connection with the emotions. They all do.You may have a better chance of overcoming these if you address the area of your emotions first.

Here's a quick list of tools and tips that may be helpful:

~Generational healing/ healing of the family tree
    - Intergenerational Healing by Fr. Robert DeGrandis
    -Healing Your Family Tree by Fr. John Hampsch
    - Life Missions, Family Healing by Michael H. Brown
    -Claretian Teaching Ministry (website)
    -Camelot Warfare Library  (website)

~Inner Healing
     - Praying the Rosary for Inner Healing by Fr. Dwight Longenecker
     - Healing Through the Mass by Fr. Robert DeGrandis
     - Catholic Therapists.Com - There are some good articles here

~Naming your emotions - don't worry if you are wrong at first, the point is to notice that you actually have the entire package of feelings.

~Accepting your emotions - don't immediately push them away without attempting to discover what they are trying to tell you. While emotions are certainly not the first thing we should rely on, they can still give us a great deal of information about ourselves. Give them their place but make sure you don't give them first place. As I wrote in a previous post, you cannot master your emotions if you are unable/unwilling to express them -they will always master you. Whether subtly or overtly, if ignored, they will exert  an influence on you.

 ~Paying attention/going over your day with the Lord.

~Reading the Psalms. David was a very passionate man and the Psalms express many different emotions. He never hid them from God, but rather, expressed them freely in prayer. This is a good model for us to use.

The glory of God is a human being fully alive.
                                       St. Irenaeus


  1. Sorry about the messy post,
    everyone :) You all know me by now - computers aren't my thing and I couldn't fix it.

  2. Mary, I find such wisdom in this. I love that you spoke of naming the emotion, not worrying if you're wrong at first (I have found this quite key: we might stumble about, but that's just fine, and there may even be insight as we try). I also love what you said about God not healing an area that we refuse to let Him touch. Bingo! Love the post.

  3. Thanks for your helpful recommendations. When I was just a teen, I often prayed the Psalms because I found that they expressed how I felt. I always felt such relief afterwards even though I would tell God, "Well really I don't want my enemies cast into a pit, Lord!"

  4. These are great resources! I just found something that I've searched for for some thime. Thanks Mary

  5. Thank you for taking the time and trouble to write such an excellent article which, I'm certain, will be of great help to many. What you say is very sensible and true.

    God bless you.

  6. I concur...great post and resources that I look forward to checking out.

    Will have to drop an email to you later.

    Bless you for your time that your put into writing these posts Mary.

  7. Hi Nancy,
    Thank you - I'm glad you liked the post. For the first thirty years of my life I don't think I was ever sure what I was feeling and no doubt I made many mistakes naming my emotions when I began to acknowledge them (instead of pushing them away).

  8. Hi Monica,
    I'm glad they were helpful! There were a number of others I wanted to list but didn't for various reasons so, depending on what you are looking for, I may be able to give you more ideas. Just e-mail me if you do want more.

  9. Hi Victor,
    I hope it helps others - I hate seeing people suffer deeply when there's a remedy for their pain. God bless you too!

  10. Hi Theresa,
    Thank you! I always look forward to your e-mails. By the way, you'd get a good laugh if you knew how much your recent post about turning off comments has been running through my mind! I'll explain next time we pass e-mails back and forth :) In the meantime, could you stop sending me so much light? Lol...just kidding :)

  11. Thanks for your help Mary. I sent you an email.

  12. wise and compassionate and your title is perfect

  13. Hi Melanie,
    Thank you for visiting and for your kind words.

  14. Thank you, Mary. You know, sometimes I think I use food and small amounts of alcohol to stop me becoming overwhelmed at the size of my smallness and God's greatness, and my fear of the size of what I may have to do on earth...if that makes sense. I need to address this fear/insecurity/overwhelming. I invite Jesus into it now, with thanks for your post.

  15. Mary,
    I found myself nodding my head throughout much of your post. I have been and am still guilty of much of this. I like your point about the link of our emotions to the seven deadly sins- this is so true and something we all need to be aware of. Satan definitely uses our emotions against us.
    Thanks for the great resources. I will definitely be checking these out.

  16. I love this Mary, especially the one about accepting my emotions...a personal struggle of mine!

    Thank you

  17. Thank you for this list!

    God Bless.

  18. Great post, Mary, full of practical advice. I used to have a flash temper - that uncontrolled concupiscence that got me into trouble. Now when I feel angry I am able to stop, step back, and think, then pray to discover what's going on. Often I end up laughing at myself for being so conceited.

    I really liked what you wrote about manipulating others through emotions - mine and theirs. It's a hook we use to get somebody else to take care of us or make us feel better. But feeling lousy and miserable is our choice. That's where the let go and let God comes in. You're right, God can't heal us if we don't let Him in.

    And if it's any consolation, the older we get and the more prayerful we become, our perspective on things often becomes more Christlike - we have a much better handle on what we ought to be upset about and what is really of no consequence. Wish I would have learned all this forty years ago!

  19. This is so helpful and your resources as well. Thank you for your wonderful article and beautiful light! The title is perfect with much to pray and reflect on here...God Bless and I will definitely return here.