Part of the reason I’d been thinking about how to pray for healing (I talked about that here) is that Fr. Matt challenged me to discern doing so. I’d gotten perhaps too caught up in the good of suffering, as though that is all that God wants of me. Now that I see that in writing, I can see how absurd it is. Much irreplaceable growth can come from suffering, but there is so much more.
I did start praying against anxiety and depression, but there was also that key point of accepting healing where it is right now and not getting caught up in wondering what’s to come.
But then the Holy Spirit seemed to start shifting the focus a bit.
It started when I was at a Bible study and we were reading the end of Luke. We discussed many places, but I was deeply struck by Jesus saying, “I send the promise of my Father upon you, but stay in the city until you are clothed with the power from on high.” It fit right into everything God’s been teaching me about strength, but took it to a whole new level.
God has given me such incredible power over spirits, over mountains, over so much because what my power is is the Holy Spirit being my very strength. That empty place inside me is blessed beyond measure to be so big that the Holy Spirit can enter that completely. I can pray for such tremendous things, and God’s very power is in me. And what was most striking in that moment in which all this became so clear to me: I can pray for healing. In that moment for the first time, I knew it was time to do so now.
It didn’t hit me until a few days later that that day had been the anniversary of my Confirmation, the day the Holy Spirit filled me in that special way for the first time.
I didn’t have the best idea of how to go about praying for Silvio’s healing–or my own for that matter–and I must confess I didn’t do much about it. I continued to be struck and grateful to God for speaking to me but somehow I didn’t really respond by action right away. I don’t know if I was being lazy or if I was waiting for Him to show me how or what. I should have at least asked Him to show me how. But I didn’t.
The other night I was sitting in Mass thinking about how I had been expecting God to show me more, as He often does, and thinking that maybe He was done, maybe He just told me that one thing about now being the time to start praying for healing, that one thing which suddenly looked so little. Fortunately He silenced me right away. The priest got up there and read the Gospel which ended with “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name–he will teach you everything and remind you all that I told you.” Then his homily was a passionate insistence that we have the obligation to pray for healing and it’s up to God to grant it or not–and that we need to have a relationship with the Holy Spirit in order to do so.
What a beautiful answer to the prayer I didn’t even pray. I must grow in intimacy with the Holy Spirit and never give up on asking Him for healing.