“Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall; Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. Al the King’s horses and all the kings’ men could not put Humpty Dumpty back together again.” Sound familiar? Possibly this was the first short poem you learned in Kindergarten or maybe first grade.
All of us are really a “Humpty Dumpty.” We all are influenced by a first, enormous and fatal fall which we call Original Sin. The sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve, brought about Original Sin—the first sin of humanity.
This sin can be compared to a moral Tsunami that stretches forth its reverberating repercussions on all of humanity and every individual person, male and female, until the end of time. Original Sin was a moral cataclysm that will rock and shake the ground on which the human person lives and walks until Judgment day.
Whether we will it or not, all of us are conceived with Original Sin and are born with it. True, the Sacrament of Baptism washes away the stain of Original Sin, but not its debilitating effects.
Original sin and its effects influence all of our being as well as the cosmos or world that we live in. Inclement weather—storms, monsoons, excessive cold or heat are derived from the effects of Original sin.
In our person, the dulling of the intellect, emotional unbalances, the vitiated weak will that we all have, sicknesses and of course death—all of these are net-results of Original Sin.
Women must bring forth their babies in pain; men must earn the bread they eat by the sweat of their brow—all as a result of Original Sin.(Gen 3)
With this the human person experiences in the pull of his inner self the tendency, inclination or proclivity towards evil. These tendencies can be summarized in the Capital Sins that we all have and must battle to overcome and conquer with the grace of God. Gluttony, Lust, Greed, Sloth, Anger, Envy, Pride— this is the list!
We are wounded morally and spiritual due to Original Sin and personal sin. Indeed we have gaping wounds that will become even more wide and gaping or they can be healed.
One of the most well-known writers and theologians last century was Henri Nouwen. One of the most noteworthy accomplishments in his literary treasure-box was related to healing. Nouwen asserted in his writings that we are all wounded. Then he goes on to say that we will either be “wounded-wounders or wounded healers.”
What does this priest-theologian intend by this paradoxical assertion? Simply this! Either we stay with our wounds, live in denial or simply do nothing to remedy these wounds—then we will be a wounded wounder. Or, we humbly admit that we have been wounded deeply but seek healing. Then and only then can we be wounded-healers in a broken world. Indeed we can be a Humpty Dumpty that despite the great fall can be healed! Our presence will either be a wounding presence towards others or a healing balm of wholeness and peace!
Are you a wounded-wounder or a wounded healer? The second part of this essay will deal with steps we can all take—even though our past could have been catastrophic—on how we can arrive at healing and indeed be a wounded healer.
1. Humble Admission. There is a proverb in Spanish that says it all: “No hay peor ciego que aquel que no quiere ver; no hay peor sordo que aquel que no quiere oir.” Translation: “There is no worse blind person than he who does not want to see; there is no worse deaf person that he who does not want to hear.” My point! A wounded person must not live in negation or denial, but must humbly admit that he is deeply wounded and in need of desperate healing. The Alcoholic or Drug-addict or any addict at all will never be healed if he/she does not at first admit that he/she is sick, really sick with this addiction! We cannot live a lie. Jesus is the Truth and the Truth will set us free!
2. Jesus: The Redeemer. Read through the Gospels and you will come across a common-denominator: Jesus heals and saves the sick and suffering. However, this is true upon one basic condition: faith and trust in the power and love of Jesus the Divine Physician. Therefore, every time we draw close to Jesus in faith, humility and trust there is a healing process that is already under-way!
3. Blessed Sacrament. The Blessed Sacrament is really and truly and substantially Jesus, the Bread of Life and the Divine Physician. In the Consecrated Host Jesus is just as much present today as He was 2000 years ago. He is just as powerful today as He was in the past. Interesting note! Lourdes, France, where Our Lady appeared 18 times to Saint Bernadette in the grotto, many miracles occur. However, a very interesting note is that most of the miracles occur at dusk during the course of the Eucharistic Procession. As the priest walks outside the Basilica in prayer and procession, blessing the poor and the sick, it is then that most of the sick are healed!
4. Eucharistic Reception. One more step is that of actually receiving Jesus in Holy Communion. It is recorded in the Diary of Saint Faustina, that this saint suffered excruciating pains especially in her chest and lungs. Once she felt as if she were dying. She begged Jesus to show His limitless power through the reception of the most Holy Eucharist. So it happened! The saint received Jesus in the Holy Communion and it was if a spiritual energy, compared to spiritual electricity shot all through her body and she felt her lungs fully restored!
5. Healing of Memories. Many today suffer from past memories that are sources of perpetual torment. Events that happened years ago, even decades ago, can haunt us in the present. Once again, why not let Jesus the Divine Physician touch you and heal you! Saint Paul commands us in these words: “Put on the mind of Christ.” Then in another passage, the same Apostle states: “You have the mind of Christ.” The Apostle goes from the imperative or command to the actual reality of having the mind of Christ. Moreover, this also can be applied to Eucharistic reception. When we receive the most Holy Eucharist we receive the Total Christ: His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. Within the Body of Christ, we also have His Sacred mind and the three faculties of memory, understanding as well as imagination. Therefore, upon reception of Holy Communion we can beg for a new mind. We can beg the Lord Jesus to give us His mind and with that precious gift to burn away or at least to heal our mind of the past memories that constantly torture us in the present.
6. Confession. The specific Sacramental grace that comes from the Sacrament of Confession, Penance, or Reconciliation is that of HEALING. The Eucharist primarily nourishes our soul with the Body and Blood of Jesus the Lord. Confession has as one of its primary functions that of healing our soul of moral infirmity and sickness that we call sin! Saint Augustine, who battled with slavery to sin into his thirties, asserts that the Sacrament of Confession well-received is indeed a “Lazarus-experience.” As Jesus called Lazarus from the tomb, from death to life, likewise, the person who confesses honestly and sincerely to the priest (who represents Jesus the Healer) his mortal sins, is truly reborn in grace! He has come back to life through the Sacramental grace of Confession! What an extraordinary healing grace is available to all Catholics who trust in Jesus’ infinite mercy!
7. Our Lady of Refuge. At the end of his life the Holy Cure of Ars was seen praying and talking to Our Lady in his room. His prayer was that an aged, hunch-back and half-crippled woman would be healed of her infirmity. This same sick person was spying the Cure of Ars through the key-hole. After viewing this, the elderly woman started walking down the corridor, and all of a sudden her back straightened up and she started to walk normally! She was totally healed through the prayers of a saint and through the powerful intercession of Our Lady, Health of the Sick. On one occasion Saint Therese was very sick and she had recourse to Our Lady, by praying in front of a statue of Mary. All of a sudden, the statue of Our Lady smiled upon Saint Therese and she was instantaneously healed of her sickness!
“Humpty-Dumpty, sat on a wall; Humpty-Dumpty had a great fall. All the Kings horses and all the kings’ men could not put Humpty-Dumpty back together again.” Good news! We all belong to the “Humpty-Dumpty club.” However, the King, the Lord Jesus and His men, the angels and saints and the Church and its Sacraments can put this “Humpty-Dumpty” back together again.
My friends let us not be wounded-wounders but rather wounded-healers. Let us go to Jesus who indeed is the “Wounded-healer.” If we bring our wounds to Jesus, the “Wounded-healer” then we will be healed of our wounds and become wounded healers in a broken and wounded world.