A dynamic personal spirituality embraces those sacred moments when God enters into our lives to bring care and healing. Becoming aware of these occasions enables us to enrich and bring greater meaning to the pilgrimage that we call our faith life.
Spirituality can be described as how we humans put into practice what we value and believe, in our hearts and minds, into our everyday lives. It is how we attempt to live out what is most important to us through our words and actions, within ourselves and in our relationships, in work and play.
Christian spirituality is focused on the beliefs and values first taught by Jesus Christ through his proclamation of Good News (Gospel) and that has been handed down through the centuries in the Christian community (the Church) in the form of our living tradition of faith.
The sacraments have been part of that tradition from the beginning in Jesus’ own ministry and have developed from his own words and actions into the special celebrations that we as Christians participate in communally as signs of our faith. It is particularly in the sacramental moment that we are empowered by the Holy Spirit, nourished by God’s love, to more fully live our Christian vocations.
Healing plays a significant role in these sacramental celebrations and especially brings the grace of God into those areas of our lives that need to be healed and made whole again.
The goal of healing is to help a person to be restored to wholeness. This is accomplished by guiding the person to move beyond his or her previous limiting condition to a new sense of self. The wholeness which pastoral sacramental healing seeks to bring about is not the simple restoration to one’s former state, but rather a healing and mending which hopefully enables the suffering person to integrate the realities of their condition into a new wholeness of self living in the world.
Both in the experience of being healed and participating in the healing of others our own faith is deepened, our belief in the care and power of God who is with us every moment of our lives strengthens our commitment to follow the way of Jesus. With our personal Christian spirituality enriched, we can strive ever more faithfully to live what we have experienced for ourselves and so now believe.
Harry M. Byrne, O.P.