Monday, December 15, 2008

The Charism of Healing

On September 14, 2000, the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, then headed by the current Pope, released the Instruction on Prayers for Healing. It is most interesting that the the document encourages the sick to really pray for healing by noting that Our Lord Jesus Christ never "hinted any reproach" to anyone who prays for healing. Instead, he only complains of the lack of faith of the droves of people who go to him. I am urged by this observation to pray my brains out for my intentions. Perhaps, I need to pray like the widow in the parable of the unjust judge. 

Second, the Vatican also recognizes that the Holy Spirit confers the  gift or the charism of healing to any person he chooses. Such a gift is freely given and does not depend on the person's class, category, or group. The document identifies the existence of a charism of healing when healing transpires due to the intercession of a particular person who is given the gift to heal. Otherwise, if the healing is attributed to certain sanctuaries or places of healing, then, technically there is no charism of healing to speak of. 

The document is most helpful especially in the discernment of spirits to acertain the  source of healing (or vision or revelation for that matter), as there are three current sources: (1) good spirit; (2) evil spirit; and (3) auto suggestion. The article of Fr. William Most discusses discernment of spirits here

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