The Medicine of Healing

by | Feb 14, 2024 | Church, Family Life, Liturgy, Prayer, Teachings, Uncategorized

One of our children’s favorite songs is  “Just a Spoonful of Sugar helps the medicine go down…”  from the hit musical Mary Poppins!  A little bit of kindness can go a long way when recovering from illness, Pope Francis once told a group of young patients. “Not only medicine but also ‘kindness therapy’ can make you live your time here with greater joy,” And then he evidenced that by embracing the youngsters and filling them with spiritual and emotional delight by chatting to each of them and making a gift of Rosary beads to them, asking their prayers.

Lent As Medicine:

Lent, as we know, is that season of penance; time to administer to ourselves some much needed spiritual medicine to help us overcome the sickness in our souls, our sinfulness, towards being better and healed inwardly.

As Catholics, we know that the best “medicine” for this sickness are the sacraments of the Holy Eucharist and of Reconciliation, and we also know that it often feels better and more fitting to make sure the latter precedes the former.

The Divine Physician:

Parents know how sometimes one has to sweeten the medicines we administer to young children, in order for them to find them palatable enough to take and swallow so that they can get better and recover. It’s the same with allowing the Lord, the Divine Physician, to administer his healing grace to us through the sacrament of penance (confession).

It can sometimes feel like a difficult “medicine” or “treatment” to take, especially if there is something heavy weighing on the conscience or it’s been a long time since we last availed ourselves of the sacrament. So what we have to do is view the confessional as less of a tribunal (though it is in a sense a very sacred tribunal) and more of what the pope calls “kindness therapy.”

The Lord Jesus’s dying words on the Cross were; “I thirst.”  That is to say his thirst for souls, for you and me and everyone without exception. He awaits us then in the confessional with arms outstretched, yearning for us to run to him. He only wants to enfold us in loving kindness.

So why delay? Take the medicine, it’s sweeter than we think and far more palatable than we imagine it to be. Be kind to yourself this Lent, so that you in your turn can bestow abundant kindness and mercy on those around you, especially in the same household.

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Edmund Adamus

Edmund and his wife Catherine have been married for almost 18 years and have been blessed with 3 children; Patrick (who awaits them in Heaven), Paul and Beatrice. After 13 years of ministry in the Salford diocese and gaining a Master's in moral theology, he served the Archdiocese of Westminster from 2003-16 as Director for Pastoral Affairs/Marriage & Family Life. He successfully established the Annual Mass of Thanksgiving for Matrimony in Westminster cathedral as well as the Annual Theology of the Body Lecture series hosting world renowned scholars such as Michael Waldstein, Janet Smith and Christopher West. Christian Meert was also among those speakers. All his work both past and present has been through the prism of the truths of Humanae vitae. Since 2019 he has been Education Consultant to the relationships and sexuality formation project 'A Fertile Heart: Receiving & Giving Creative Love'. As freelance consultant he works as Secretary to the Commission of Inquiry into Discrimination Against Christians in the UK and has just been appointed Executive Director for the UK branch of the International Voluntary Solidarity Fund

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