Emmitsburg Council of Churches

Healing, Happiness and Holiness…

Father John J. Lombardi

Acupuncturists seek it. So do soccer moms. And Johns Hopkins Hospital doctors do, too. Ditto for you and I. Just what is it we all seek? -God made us for health and happiness. Everyone wants these, yet we are sick.

In the West (the USA ) there is so much money and wealth and yet tons of depression and sometimes even suicide and despair. Yet in poor countries while there is suffering the vast numbers of depression and doctors of psychiatry do not exist there as here.

In this Sunday’s Gospel (St. Mk. 5:21-43 ) Jesus heals a woman whom doctors could not heal. The sick woman, just by her touching The Divine Physician is restored to life. The Anointed One-Christ is a living- healing-radiating Healer. Christ is radiating sacred power and He heals thru Divine Connectivity. When we divorce ourselves from Him we get sick, un-happy. Let us (re) discover those ways of healing …

We all have need of healing­ physical, mental, spiritual; family, relationships, in our errant thoughts and bodies and souls. And, too, we are all homesick­desirous to get home, ultimately, to God, Heaven and Bliss. We humans are seeking health and happiness because in our deepest level we want to restore the holy equilibrium God gave Adam and Eve in The Garden of Eden­perfect body and soul union, of man and woman, and of mankind and nature­which was lost there thru sin. We are trying to "get back there" thru so many ways, some good (the Sacraments, good friends), some bad (drugs, illicit relationships). As St Augustine said, Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee O God". As Catholics we believe our Sacred Religion is one of holistic healing­there are all kinds of ways to be restored and become happy and healthy. Let us (re) discover those ways…

Jesus says: "Come to Me all who are weary and I will refresh you" (Mt. 11:28).

Firstly, Jesus heals us by His Sacred Blood: In the Holy Eucharist we receive Divinity-God. He heals us if not in body then in spirit and soul. Remember His healing and come to Mass a lot: for "Life is in the Blood" (Lv. 17:11) Jesus heals us when we come to Him in Adoration of His Eucharist­in any church or tabernacle of the world. Jesus says Mary "chose the better part" when she adored Jesus at his feet: so don’t just do something, sit there! (See Lk. 10:42 ).

God has a Plan and Order for us and the world. It is called Natural Law­a theo-centric and organic Way of living. Saints like Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) knew this Law and thru natural living and a firm spiritual life, wherein the body and soul are like a microcosm of the macrocosm (universe) which God originally created in perfect unison. When we toxify the body (bad food) or soul (sinful behavior), and when we live outside God’s Order, we may get sick physically or morally. The body-soul is a finely tuned instrument and needs good food--physical and spiritual; attunement- the rhythm of nature’s seasons and praise of God thru holy music; illumination--proper sunlight and SonLight of union with God; natural-herbal cures of God’s world­Hildegard lived on the Rhine in Germany and especially loved the viriditas-greening power of her land, and also the healing Bread of Christ in the Eucharist. Saints like this can show us how to truly in God’s world with Jesus as our Healer. Folks out here in the beautiful world of Hancock and Little Orleans may know this intuitively!

You probably know Michael Jackson, pop entertainer, just died. I saw two commentators who boldly spoke regarding health, sickness and salvation. One said that a worst problem today is not street drugs but overmedicating prescription drugs. Another person said Mr. Jackson lived in darkness and tried to heal himself thru drugs, aberrant behavior, and others enabled him without confronting, helping him. And: addictions lead to illusion and sometimes death. Let us pray for Mr. Jackson-for his salvation and learn from the situation: we are sick, we seek solutions: let is be Salvation’s solution, not false ones.

Now, have you ever noticed some persons who are healed and holy? We sense a lightness and vibrancy about them­an aura of peace and pleasingness. Around the saints some noticed this in the form of an aura or halo and nimbus, around the head or whole body. One person spoke a holy person he had met and said: "When I’m around him I feel holy". Holiness radiates and makes for health and happiness. Bonum diffusm est= Latin for goodness is diffusive of itself. What are some other ways of Healing?

Exercise: when you walk, jog or run, go to a fitness center, you re-balance the body and soul and bring new life to what becomes old and sterile.

Manual labor: one of my favorite things since arriving here has to been to help cut our grass. Amidst so much busyness I had missed this manual labor over the years and realized it was actually healthy­an antidote to officiousness. Physical labor (in right proportion) helps body and soul re-calibrate and settle, lest we become too sedentary. I’m now ready to split some wood!

Music: play some Gregorian chant music, or other sacred music and soothe your soul.

Jesus Christ Himself was like this: "For power went out from Him and He healed all" (Lk. ).

Drug addictions: so many are attached or addicted to illegal or prescription drugs ("Medication Madness" is the title of one book describing this) and these folks need to heal and replace this with Grace. This is one of the most vicious forms of sickness. Yet Matt Talbot (d.1925) was an over-drinking Irishman who overcame his addiction thru sacraments, confession, good works, and Pope John Paul declared him a venerable, the first step to sainthood. You can do it!

Pornography-many are influenced by this insidious drug and aggression and need liberation and healing. Seek counsel and a support group. Put an icon near your computer or where the occasion of sin tempts you: be healed and freed.

Moral healing: sometimes when people commit moral sins ( anger, lust, envy, fornication, stealing) they become sick/er. Although there is not always a direct connection, sometimes it is so. Although the holiness/healthiness connection is tenuous (some really evil people prosper or live long lives, etc) we should always be holy to because is a natural law-nature’s Law­way to be, part of God’s Plan. If we get healthy and happy in the process, that’s icing on the organic cake!

Reconciliation: go to confession and get the junk out which plagues you.

Beauty: I was walking in my parents neighborhood recently and saw a wonderful garden of many colors­and I was entranced and lightened.

Slowness: in a fast paced world try walking –therapeutic for body and soul.

Now, some physical healing is common sense There are a lotta books/articles out today stating­we are eating too much, too much junk food and preservatives and need to literally "lighten up". We need to purify the body of any inordinate food, preservatives, chemicals and toxins so we will not be sick and unhappy. The popular writer Michael Pollan suggests: Eat food, not too much, more vegetables. That’s what the "first green people"­Benedictines did centuries ago!

As we seek healing, think now and image within this prayer-phrase: Healing Unity/ of the Trinity / Is loving Divinity ­and become "one spirit with the Lord" (I Cor. 6:17) Who is the essence of healing. The word salvation means healing! And, don’t’ forget­ask the Virgin Mary to help you in all, and help heal others!

Read other reflections by Father John J. Lombardi