In his prophecy, the Prophet Isaiah speaks about wounds, about wounds that would be inflicted on the Body of Jesus Christ. The Prophet states: “It is by His wounds that we are healed.” (Is. 53:5) Of course, the Prophet Isaiah, inspired by the Holy Spirit, was prophesying the Sorrowful Passion of Jesus.
Every person entering into this world enters wounded. The Original Sin inherited from our first parents is the first wound that is inflicted on us, even though we do not will this. Our personal and actual sins wound us still more. Even more, living in a wounded and dysfunctional family that is the world, and our own natural family, we receive many wounds; we in turn, wound our family members and others.
In a word, as part of wounded humanity, all of us are walking, gaping, and dripping wounded persons. Whether we know this, deny this, or simply ignore this wounded condition, it does not change the reality of wounded humanity and wounded individuals.
Therefore, turning the corner, with our hearts and minds lifted on high with great hope and trust in God and His infinite love for all of humanity, and His overflowing love for each and every one of us individually, let us present a plan to work for our healing, the healing of our family, the healing of the Church, and the healing of the world at large. Indeed, healing is a real possibility!
Off the bat, it must be asserted this all-encompassing truth: either we will be wounded-wounders or we will be wounded-healers! Our hope and prayer is that you will choose to be part of the army of wounded-healers.
Let us look at some positive and concrete steps that we can take to attain to this healing so as to be an instrument of healing in the world and starting in our own family. Let’s start!
Plan for Being a Wounded Healer
1. Humble Admission of My Wounded Nature.
Now if we are living in a state of denial in which we state that we are really not wounded, then the healing process will never take place. There is a well-known Spanish proverb: “There is no worse blind man than he who does not want to see; there is no worse deaf person than he who does not want to hear.” Many alcoholics will never be healed for the simple reason that they do not admit that they have a problem. Quite simply, we must admit, “I am a wounded person!”
2. Beg for Healing
Time and time again, the many wounded people would approach Jesus with faith and trust and they would be healed. More often than not, the healing was immediate! Like Bartimaeus, the blind beggar, we must beg the Lord first to see our own blindness, to recognize our woundedness, and then beg the Lord to stretch out His hand and heal us.
“Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened.” (Mt. 7:7)
3. Sacrament of Confession
The Sacraments are exterior signs instituted by Christ to confer grace. One of the Sacraments that was instituted specifically for healing is the Sacrament of Confession, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the Sacrament of God’s Infinite Mercy.
If you like, every time we sin, our soul is marked with a wound, a moral wound. The more often we sin, the deeper are the moral wounds. On the contrary, a well-prepared, well-done Confession heals these wounds. The Precious Blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross on Good Friday, washes and heals our moral wounds—these we call sins!
Any person who has made a good Sacramental Confession can testify to the joy, peace, and healing presence of God when they leave the confessional. What medicine is to the sick body, Confession is to the ailing soul!
The specific Sacramental grace of Confession is healing of the soul. Whereas the specific Sacramental grace of the Eucharist is nourishment. Still, one of the secondary effects of a worthy and fervent Holy Communion is that of healing.
The Council of Trent specifies that Holy Communion can serve as an antidote to heal our daily infirmities—meaning, our venial sins. On one occasion, Saint Faustina experienced great weaknesses in the chest due to lung failure. She received Holy Communion and experienced the healing power of grace and the Real Presence of Jesus healing even her bodily weakness! It is the same Jesus who healed the many sick people 2000 years ago. His strength never abates!
5. Forgiveness, Mercy, Reconciliation
Jesus stated that if you come to the altar to offer your gift and you recognize that your brother has something against you, leave your gift and first be reconciled with your brother. Then return to offer the gift to God. Many wounds, foul and festering in our hearts and souls, derive from resentments (often for years) that we cling to and are unwilling to relinquish.
By forgiving some person who has hurt you, and asking for forgiveness from those you have hurt, you are really setting the captive free, and that captive-prisoner set free is yourself! As the Catholic English poet put it: “To err is human; to forgive is divine.” (Alexander Pope)
6. Honest Conversation Before Jesus on the Cross
Another most efficacious means by which the healing process of our soul can take place can be through prayer. Like the little boy, Marcelino, in the movie Miracle of Marcelino (Marcelino Pan y Vino), we should sit before Jesus nailed on the cross and contemplate His gaping wounds—His hands and feet and opened side—and unload.
Tell the Lord Jesus about your hurts, your wounds, your cuts and bruises from the past all the way up to the present, and even your fears about possible future wounds. Jesus is the best of listeners, and He has great love for you and compassion for your wounds. Simply by opening up to Jesus, “The wounded-healer”, your healing will take place.
7. Kissing the Wounds
After your open and loving conversation with Jesus on the cross, end by approaching the Crucifix, Jesus hanging on the cross for love of you, and thank the Lord. Tell the Lord how much you love Him. Then one by one, kiss each and every one of His five wounds. Saint Francis and the saints would do this, why can’t we? This expression of love brings great comfort to the Heart of Christ, as well as to the Heart of Mary, His Mother.
8. Pray the Anima Christi
One of the prayers that Saint Ignatius treasured most was the Anima Christi. This prayer can serve as an excellent prayer of thanksgiving after receiving Holy Communion. When you have the Real Presence of Jesus in the very depths of your soul, His Precious Blood flowing through your veins, His wounds ready to heal your wounds, then pray that prayer. In this prayer you actually pray for healing from the Body of Christ that you have just received in Holy Communion. By His wounds we are healed. (See below for the Anima Christi)
9. Learn To Love God and Learn To Love Others
The famous novelist, Taylor Caldwell, in her masterpiece about Saint Luke, Dear and Glorious Physician, presents a vivid scene illustrating the power of love as a healing force. There is a man who is very sick and has gone to many physicians seeking healing, but to no avail. Hearing of the healing power of Saint Luke, the Dear and Glorious Physician, he approaches Luke. The love, compassion, kindness, and gentleness that exude from this Dear and Glorious Physician heals the sick man there and then. The man really had no apparent sickness. Quite simply, he needed the human love and compassion that he had never received before. For this reason, the saintly Mother Teresa of Calcutta commented that New York City is the poorest city because of the coldness and lack of love in people’s hearts. Therefore, if you learn to love God and truly practice loving and serving others, healing will take place in your entire being!
10. Our Lady: Health of the Sick!
Among the many titles given to Our Lady is also that of Health of the Sick. It is recorded in the life of Saint Therese of Lisieux that she was suffering a serious malady. Lifting up her gaze, she saw a beautiful statue of Our Lady and she prayed to her. The future saint was healed instantly. Saint Frances de Sales received great emotional healing by lifting his gaze to Our Lady of Victory and praying the Memorare, attributed to Saint Bernard.
If you turn to Our Lady, Health of the Sick, and offer to her your wounds, she will heal those wounds by her most powerful intercession. “Never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided.” (Memorare Prayer)
In conclusion, friends in Jesus and Mary, we enter a wounded world with our own wound from Original Sin. Other wounds come, and continue to come through our personal sins. People wound us, often those with whom we share our lives, that is to say, our family members. We, too, wound others by our thoughts, words, and deeds. There are really two options: either we will become Wounded Wounders or we will become Wounded Healers. Let us choose the latter.
Let us turn to Jesus, the Wounded Healer and place our wounds in His wounds, and as a result we will be transformed into Wounded Healers in a broken and wounded world. Mary Our Lady, our life, our sweetness, and our hope, be there to touch and heal wounded humanity!
Appendix: Anima Christi
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within your wounds hide me.
Suffer me not to be separated from you.
From the malignant enemy, defend me.
At the hour of death, call me
and bid me come to you.
That with your saints I may praise you
Forever and ever.