JESUS wants to heal us, He wants us to “have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). We may seemingly do everything right: go to Mass, Confession, pray every day, say the Rosary, have devotions, etc. And yet, if we have not dealt with our wounds, they can get in the way. They can, in fact, stop that “life” from flowing in us…
Wounds Get in the Way
Despite the wounds that I shared with you in A Lesson On the Power of the Cross, Jesus still showed up in my daily prayer. In fact, I would often emerge with a deep-seated peace and burning love at times that I would carry into my writings here, and into my family life. But by nightfall, often my woundedness and the lies that were able to take their stronghold in them, would drain away that peace; I would be struggling with hurt, confusion, and even anger, even if just subtly. It doesn’t take much mud on a wheel to throw it out of balance. And so I began to feel strain in my relationships and to be robbed of the joy and harmony that Jesus wanted me to know.
Wounds, whether self-afflicted or from others — our parents, relatives, friends, our parish priest, our bishops, spouses, our children, etc. — can become a place where the “father of lies” can sow his falsehoods. If our parents were not loving, we can believe the lie that we are not lovable. If we were sexually abused, we can believe the lie that we are ugly. If we are neglected and our love language left unspoken, then we can believe the lies that we are unwanted. If we compare ourselves to others, then we can believe the lie that we have nothing to offer. If we are abandoned, we can believe the lie that God has abandoned us too. If we are addicted, we can believe the lie that we can never be free… and so forth.
And so it is crucial that we enter into silence so that we can hear the voice of the Good Shepherd, so that we can hear He who is Truth speaking to our hearts. One of the great tactics of Satan, especially in our times, is to drown out the voice of Jesus through a myriad of distractions — noise, constant noise and input from the stereo, TV, computer, and devices.
And, yet every one of us can hear His voice if we but listen. As Jesus said,
…the sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice. (John 10:3-4)
I watched on my retreat as people who did not have much of a prayer life entered into the silence. And over the course of the week, they truly began to hear Jesus speaking to them. But one person asked, “How do I know it’s Jesus speaking and not my head?” The answer is this: you will recognize the voice of Jesus because, even if it is a gentle rebuke, it will always carry the kernel of supernatural peace:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. (John 14:27)
When the Holy Spirit reveals our wounds, and the subsequent sins they have produced in our lives, He comes as a Light that convicts, that brings as it were a joyful sorrow. Because that truth, when we see it, already begins to liberate us, even if it is painful.
On the other hand, the “father of lies” comes as an accuser;cf. Rev 12:10 he is a legalist who mercilessly condemns; he is a thief who tries to rob us of hope and push us into despair.cf. John 10:10 He speaks a certain truth about our sins, yes — but neglects to speak of the price that was paid for them…
He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross, so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you had gone astray like sheep, but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls. (1 Peter 2:24-25)
…and the devil wants you to forget that:
…neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8:38-39)
And what is death but sin?cf. 1 Cor 15:56; Rom 6:23 So even your sin does not separate you from the Father’s love. Sin, mortal sin, can separate us from saving grace, yes — but not His love. If you can accept this truth, then I am convinced that you will find the courage today to face your past, your wounds, and the sins they have produced.“God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) Because Jesus only wants to set you free; He only wants you to present your wounds, not to accuse and beat you, but to heal you. “Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid,” He said!
O soul steeped in darkness, do not despair. All is not yet lost. Come and confide in your God, who is love and mercy… Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet… I cannot punish even the greatest sinner if he makes an appeal to My compassion, but on the contrary, I justify him in My unfathomable and inscrutable mercy. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 1486, 699, 1146 (read The Great Refuge and Safe Harbour)
Jesus Wants to Heal You
And so, today on this Good Friday, Jesus is walking through the streets of this world, carrying His cross, our cross, and looking for those whom He can heal. He is looking for you...
Whether it is those of us whose ears are cut off from His loving truth…
Jesus said in reply, “Stop, no more of this!” Then he touched the servant’s ear and healed him. (Luke 22:51)
…or those who are denying His presence:
…and the Lord turned and looked at Peter; and Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.” He went out and began to weep bitterly. (Luke 22:61-62)
…or those who are afraid to trust Him:
Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” (John 18:38)
…or those who long for Him but do not understand what He wants to do for them:
Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children… (Luke 23:28)
…or those who are crucified by their sins and can no longer move:
He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
…or those who feel abandoned, orphaned and isolated:
Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. (John 19:27)
…or those who outright persecute what they know is good and right in their rebellion:
Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
…so that we might finally say: “Truly this man was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:39)
This day, then, enter the silence of Golgotha and unite your wounds to Jesus’s. Tomorrow, enter the silence of the tomb so that the balm of frankincense and myrrh can be applied to them — and the burial cloths of The Old Man left behind — so that you can rise again with Jesus as a new creation.
After Easter, by His grace, I hope to lead you deeper in some way into the healing power of the Resurrection. You are loved. You are not abandoned. Now is the time of letting go, of standing beneath the Cross, and saying,
Jesus, by your wounds, heal me.
I am broken.
I surrender everything to You,
You take care of everything.
Some of you may be dealing with issues needing deliverance from evil spirits that have “latched” on to your wounds. Here I am speaking of oppression, not possession (which requires the intervention of the Church). This is a guide to help you pray, as the Holy Spirit leads you, to renounce your sins and their effects, and to allow Jesus to heal and set you free: Your Questions on Deliverance
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