Eucharistic Mercy for Inner Healing
A Catholic who seeks inner healing is similar to the traveler on a journey.The Holy Spirit helps him to become aware of his heart wound and mercifully sets him on the road of encounter with Jesus. The healing journey is comparable to the situation of the disciples on the road to Emmaus.
On the day of Christ’s Resurrection, two men were walking to the village of Emmaus. They were discussing all the recent events. They must have been perplexed, their hopes dashed. What were they to make of everything now that Jesus had been crucified? Failure? Then Jesus drew close to them and began to walk and talk with them.
But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What is this conversation which you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He appeared to be going further, but they constrained him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished out of their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and . . . told what had happened on the road and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread. (Luke 24:13–17, 28–35)
The journey to Eucharistic healing includes many of the emotions experienced by the disciples on the road to Emmaus. One might be perplexed by a circumstance or become profoundly disappointed that what once looked so promising now is ending in failure. There is a breach that wounds the heart. Jesus draws near, but our eyes are kept from recognizing Him. We are in a state of spiritual blindness and deafness. Our understanding is darkened for a time.
Providence will arrange a surprising encounter in which we can see again. Our eyes will be opened in the breaking of the bread. Our heart will begin to burn with love again. The Eucharist rekindles the fire of love to cauterize the bleeding wound. Jesus turns even painful experiences into something beautiful—in His perfect time. Bitterness fades. Trust is possible again. Christ absorbs the pain. A new journey begins. “[I]f any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Cor. 5:17).
In ways seen and unseen the worthy reception of the Eucharist heals sin sickness. I am one who received inner healing through the sacraments of the Church, especially through my daily Eucharistic life. The need began when the pain of two traumas in my family deeply wounded my heart. By the grace of God I came to understand that because of these two traumas, I lost clarity about my true identity. Once secure as a child of God and experiencing only the love of family and friends into my mid-thirties, two traumas, two years apart, caused me to doubt others and myself. Because of cruel words and deeds, a great spiritual battle ensued between the true and false self. In prayer, an inspiration came, “Take care to heal so that you do not project your wounds upon my Body, the Church.” Jesus in the Eucharist became my Divine Physician. At daily Mass and Adoration, divine mercy penetrated my heart wounds, curing the lies of rejection and healing the traumatic memories. Several priests also helped; one personally guided me through the life-changing Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola weekly for a year. I learned to listen, to recognize the still small voice of the Lord, and to know the movements of my own heart—desolation, consolation, discernment, etc.
Prudence requires that we not over spiritualize inner healing, since Christ also heals communally with health professionals. The Catholic Medical Association is a grounded apostolate that supports the healing ministry of the Church. The Church’s healing, deliverance, and exorcism ministry is another way in which Christ heals, and we most often consult with medical professionals. It is not surprising that divine mercy works beautifully through a variety of ways for the care of the beloved. God desires us to be whole and holy.