I recall listening to Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, OP, during the Theological Symposium in Cebu in 2016. He said that there are two Arab words referring to hope. One is amal, which refers to the human kind of positivity. The other is raja, which means trust in God.
Our focus is on the second kind. We have faith in a merciful, healing and compassionate God. Painful conditions we might find ourselves in may not change overnight, but we believe in a God who helps us rediscover our worth in His love for us. We ask Him to mend the shattered pieces of our lives, and He will help us make sense of our wounds. We cling to God by whose power it is possible to forgive and be forgiven. His answer may not be a wave of a magic wand after which circumstances in our lives would immediately improve, but He holds our hand and accompanies us in our suffering, toward redemption. He is, after all, Emmanuel, God-with-us.
What is healing? In very simple terms, it is the process of being made whole. We all need it in one way or another. Most of us tend to focus on the physical aspect of it because it is more easily seen and measured. However, inner healing might actually be the necessary path to many of our ills – freedom in Christ from our rejection experiences, from our insecurities, our fears, anger, sins and unprocessed issues. Emotional baggage is not always conveniently detected, and oftentimes, we would rather escape from negative emotions than face them.
Just as the movie “Inside Out” invites us to embrace our sad moments and not only our happy ones in order to be really joyful, we must also accept our interior pains and allow God to heal them with His pure and unconditional love.
The Lord invites us to a beautiful life. We often associate this with the attainment of our dream house or vacation, but it really means experiencing wholeness and holiness, living according to His will, being in union with Him and carrying out the mission He has called us to. John 10:10 is a powerful expression of this: “I have come so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”
As we begin the year, why not ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten us regarding areas of our lives that need the healing love of God the most? Shall we allow His graces to penetrate those concerns? Instead of simply relying on our own strength to achieve our dreams, shall we let God direct us toward the revival of our broken selves?