Healing Touch by Frank P. Ordaz
BEHIND this writing apostolate is a whole other level of ministry that happens through my personal correspondence with souls from around the world. And lately, there is a consistent thread of fear, even though that fear is for different reasons.
The most common fear among my readership at this time is of Pope Francis, a fear that he will water down the truth or change “pastoral practice”, which would effectively change doctrine. These readers tend to scrutinize every rumor, every move, every appointment, every comment, every gesture of the Holy Father, interpreting them often in a Spirit of Suspicion.
And then there are those who are fearful of what they can clearly see unfolding all around them: the collapse of Western civilization, the shrinking tolerance of true Catholicism, the increasing spectre of war and violence throughout the world as they watch in real-time the opening of the Seven Seals of Revolution.
Then there are those who are fearful of reality; of looking at the signs of the times and acknowledging that we are approaching The End of This Age with all the drama that the Scriptures, Our Lady, and the Popes have foretold. They are often those who want nothing to do with all “that gloom and doom” and who simply pretend that everything will just work itself out again. Why Aren’t the Popes Shouting?
And then there are those who simply live in day to day fears dealing with depression, addiction, family discord, marital sorrow, and financial hardship.
And so, many of you are lonely and sad; you are disoriented, lost, and confused. You worry about your security, about whether you will have enough food, water, and toilet paper; whether the power or natural gas will stay on; whether interest rates will climb; whether you will lose your savings; whether your children will be saved… and in this sense of despair, some are reaching for comfort in food, alcohol, tobacco, pornography, endless surfing on Facebook, television, or gaming. And this leads to the worst fear: that God has now abandoned you; that He has had enough of you; that He sees you as wretched, disgusting, compromising, useless, and evil.
And so, I want to give you hope today. Not a false hope. Not a hope that pretends that this “time of mercy” that St. Faustina and Pope Francis say we are living in is somehow one big love-in as opposed to what it really is: the moment of return for the prodigal sons before God purifies the earth through chastisement (and even saying that puts some into a terrible tizzy. But you may die in your sleep tonight, so don’t worry.)
And no, the hope I want to give today is not a quick-fix sentence; a simple wave of the hand to make all your troubles disappear. No, the hope I want to give you is that Jesus Christ is here, despite your feelings to the contrary. If you feel that He has hidden Himself from you, it is only because He wants you to keep looking for Him. For it is in this sense of absence and abandonment that all of your fears, compulsions, and weaknesses come to the surface; that your self-love, attachments, and idols are revealed. Why? So that you may see them and, hopefully, in humility, turn them over to Jesus. What does that mean? It means to live in this spirit of poverty in complete surrender to God. To say, “Lord, I don’t know what the Pope is doing. I don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. I don’t know how I’ll provide for myself or my family. I don’t know whether I’ll make my mortgage payments. Furthermore, Lord, I am not the man (or woman) I should be. I am compulsive; I am weak; I want to do good, but I do evil. I want to be right with you, but I do wrong. I want to change, but I am helpless… Still, Jesus, I trust in you. Still, Jesus, I trust in you. Still, I will begin again this moment and, in this moment, love you as best I can.”
And if you fail in that next moment to do that, as we are prone to do, then you must begin again in the next moment after that. You see, God even wants to reveal to you that the best resolutions, without Him, without recourse to His grace—are doomed to failure. Because He said, “without Me, you can do nothing.” John 15:5
RECOURSE TO GRACE
And so, I want to repeat to you again today the words of Our Lord: unless you become like a little child, you can not enter the Kingdom. Here then is what you must do to enter the Kingdom.
First Love First
The first thing is to repent of that which has taken you from your “first love”, which is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength.Matt 22:36-37 Many of you begin the day without prayer. You begin without God. You seek first your own kingdom, rather than His, and from the get-go, you have a divided heart:
No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. (Matt 6:24)
From the very first moment of the day, you begin to sow in your kingdom, “in the flesh”, and then you wonder why the rest of the day you are reaping a harvest of the flesh—a lack of patience, irritability, cravings, self-centeredness, or what have you.
…because the one who sows for his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows for the spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up. (Gal 6:8-9)
Begin everything with the view to God’s will, not your own… and watch your life begin to bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer is essential—essential to hope. Dear soul, you will perish if you do not pray. The Catechism teaches that “prayer is the life of the new heart.”CCC, 2697 Because many of you are not praying, that is, conversing with, crying with, listening to, and learning from the Lord, you are dying inside. Any graces that could transform you are left un-watered, like seeds on a rocky path, and you are left in the same or worse state than before.
But God doesn’t want a symphony of words, but a symphony of love. So pray to Him from the heart. Speak candidly, openly, as to a Friend…
Pour out your heart like water before the Lord. (Lam 2:19)
…and then listen to Him speak to you through Scripture, sac
red reading of the Saints, or the “gospel of nature”, the beauty of creation. Love He who is Love, and Love will love you into wholeness.
Begin every day in prayer. End every day in prayer. If it is impossible to take 15-30 minutes in the morning, at least invite God into your day, consecrating it to Him with a prayer like this:
through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer You my prayers, works,
joys and sufferings
of this day for all the intentions
of Your Sacred Heart,
in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
throughout the world,
in reparation for my sins,
for the intentions of all my relatives and friends,
and in particular
for the intentions of the Holy Father.
There is no one more capable of helping you to pray, of bringing you the teaching of the Lord and helping you to grow in grace than the one who did the very same for Jesus for the first years of His life: Our Blessed Mother. Make the Rosary, that “school of Mary”, a part of your regular prayer life, if not every day. Fast. Fast and pray.
Gaze at Him
When I say that Jesus is here, I mean He is here! We are not orphaned! Drive to your parish today, go sit before the Blessed Sacrament either in the Tabernacle or Mass, and see with your eyes that you are not abandoned. He, in the disguise of Bread, is there, living, loving, and pulsating with mercy toward you. The Eucharist is not a lovely symbol, but Jesus-Christ-Present. I hear the words of the angels at Christ’s tomb when they came seeking to find the Lord:
Why do you seek the living one among the dead? He is not here, but he has been raised. (Luke 24:5-6)
Why are you looking for healing everywhere else but from the Healer? Yes, some of you are seeking him literally among the dead: the dead word of self-absorbed therapists, pop psychology, and new age practices. You seek comfort and consolation in bread and wine, but not in the Living Bread and Precious Blood. Go to him; seek Him in the Holy Mass; seek Him in Adoration… and you will find Him.
All of us, gazing with unveiled face on the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, as from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Cor 3:18)
Gaze at Him in others
To seek His Kingdom first, to seek Him where He is, must lead us to seeing Him in our neighbour. Otherwise, our spirituality is self-referential; it has our own skin covered, but our neighbour is left naked in the cold of hopelessness. We risk becoming miserable Pharisees who have the rules right, but the goal wrong. The goal is the salvation of the world. That is your goal and mine too.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations… (Matt 28:19)
If we fail to let the Love we find flow through us, then it risks becoming a stagnant pool, a pond of self-love that poisons us and others and only leads to reaping more of the same harvest of dysfunction.
Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades… Life grows by being given away, and it weakens in isolation and comfort. —POPE FRANCIS, Evangelii Gaudium, ”The Joy of the Gospel”, n. 2, 10
Perfect love drives out all fear, said St. John. “Perfect love” is when we love both God and neighbour.
Today, for faith to grow, we must lead ourselves and the persons we meet to encounter the saints and to enter into contact with the Beautiful… Nothing can bring us into close contact with the beauty of Christ himself other than the world of beauty created by faith and light that shines out from the faces of the saints, through whom his own light becomes visible. —Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (POPE BENEDICT XVI), Meeting with Communion and Liberation, Rimini, Italy, August 2002; crossroadsinitiative.com
You are going to fail, not because you set out to, but because that is the human condition. But even your and my numerous, repetitive, and pathetic failures are provided for by grace. If you want to grow in grace, if you want to grow in hope, happiness, and holiness, then it will never happen apart from frequent Confession. There, in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the Savior will not only absolve you of sin: He will strengthen you, confirm you, counsel you, and if necessary, exorcise any demonic entities that have attached themselves to you to the degree that your Confession is thorough and sincere (that is, you are naming your sins in raw honesty, even the number of times that you have committed them). Exorcists say that Confession is more powerful in most cases than the prayers of exorcism they say since, in Confession, the legal claims Satan has on you through sin are sundered.
It would be an illusion to seek after holiness, according to the vocation one has received from God, without partaking frequently of this sacrament of conversion and reconciliation. —Pope John Paul the Great; Vatican, Mar. 29 (CWNews.com)
Confession, which is the purification of the soul, should be made no later than every eight days; I cannot bear to keep souls away from confession for more than eight days. —St. Pio of Pietrelcina
The Sacrament of the Present Moment
Finally, St. Paul says:
Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect (Rom 12:2)
Many are distressed because they allow their minds to wander into thinking in a worldly way. They are no longer
living in the present moment—the only place where God is in “time”. For the past is gone; the future has not happened—and while they scurry about securing more possessions for their kingdom, they may not even live beyond this night. If we are to “seek first the kingdom” as Jesus taught, then start looking where He is: right here, right now.
Think of a merry-go-round, the kind that you see in playgrounds. Remember when they got spinning really fast? The kids at the one end were flying off into trees and metal strollers. The kids at the other end were passing out and throwing up. But then, the one who sat in the middle quietly chuckled with his arms folded as his companions spun in trauma.
The present moment is the center to which we must go. And the very Center of the center is God (otherwise the center becomes ourselves, and we will find ourselves flying off the handle in no time). So, be aware of the signs of the times, but not worried about tomorrow.
Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself…. But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. (Matt 6:34, 33)
Let the past keep you humble and small, but never, ever let it pull you into the forces of despair that will cast you into a darkness which Christ Himself died to deliver you from.
He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Col 1:13)
In a word, dear brothers and sisters, begin to live again in faith. He is our healing… and only through faith will you be delivered of fear, healed in love, and strengthened for the battle, which this life will be until the next.
It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God. (Acts 14:22)
You are loved.
A song that came to me “on the spot” while I was leading
Eucharistic Adoration at a parish mission…
Thanks for your love, prayers, and support!
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