By Allison Gingras
One of the most powerful lines in Mark’s Gospel to me is, “She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction” (Mark 5:29). Who doesn’t have an affliction they pray for the Lord to heal? I believe we all live with some condition that longs to be healed by the touch of the Lord.
Seeking Healing for Our Afflictions
For me, that condition is dyshidrotic eczema, an incurable skin disease that plagues my hands and feet. A constant challenge for me as a writer and public speaker. The swelling and itch can make typing nearly impossible and the red and cracked appearance of my skin can be incredibly embarrassing.
The biggest concern for this condition is an infection and I am a germaphobe (another affliction I should probably seek Jesus’ healing from), so I have stopped shaking people’s hands. Nothing like making friends and influencing people when you recoil at the extension of a friendly handshake.
I know I am blessed, some people struggle with eczema their entire lives. I’ve only been afflicted for two years. I have also been blessed with the healing of a head-to-toe outbreak that occurred at the onset of this new disease within me.
Yet, there is a part of me, that wants to find Jesus in the crowd, push through throngs of people trying to get his attention, and just touch the hem of his garment — and be healed.
Confession Can Heal Our Broken Places
Though I may never be healed of my physical affliction, I know within the Catholic faith exists the most beautiful and magnificent way to be spiritually healed. A place to come close to Jesus, touch his heart with my desire to be whole, and through grace, be healed.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation, or Confession, is that place. It is, in fact, one of the two sacraments of healing.
The Catholic Church teaches the most amazing encounter happens during this powerful sacrament. In his role as confessor, the priest presents to us, In persona Christi, a Latin phrase meaning “in the person of Christ.” It is a mystery to me as to how this is, but in my heart, I have absolutely no doubt of its validity that sitting across from me in the confessional is Christ. As the priest hears my confession, Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross covers and erases all my sins. Generous, loving Jesus never leaves me empty. As I lay these burdens down, I am filled with his grace and mercy. The miraculous healing power of grace, that undeserved yet fully given gift of His Holy Spirit within us. It is this grace that heals us.
While I may spend the rest of my life, with hands that make me often want to be as of the lepers in the Old Testament and cry out, “Unclean, unclean,” I know my soul, through the grace of Confession will not. In that blessed moment of absolution, I hear along with the Hemorrhaging Woman, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”
About the Author:
Allison Gingras is the founder of ReconciledToYou.com – where she shares her Catholic Faith and Relationship with Jesus with laughter and honesty in the everyday, ordinary of life! Allison hosts A Seeking Heart with Allison Gingras recorded on FB Live Mondays 12:30 pm et; and distributed through Breadbox Media. Her newest project is the Stay Connected Journals for Catholic Women and will be published with Gracewatch.Media in Fall, 2018. Allison is a WINE Specialist overseeing and facilitating the online aspect of the Between the WINES Book Clubs. SUMMER 2018 Between the WINES BOOK CLUB: The Friendship Project — launching July 9th — purchase your Friendship Project Book / Journal Bundle now!