By Kristen Bourgeois
I recently attended a conference with the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of New Orleans (CCRNO) at Divine Mercy Parish in Kenner. As part of the conference, there was a healing service with a Eucharistic procession.
I’ve attended healing services before that have always been profoundly impactful in my faith journey. I knew logically that the Eucharist consisted of the body, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. But, it was at some point, this realization became personal to me.
The priest was processing with the Eucharist. But it was really Jesus who was walking among his people, just like he did 2,000 years ago.
During the procession, I’ve seen people reach out their hands to Jesus, and I’ve seen people touch the humeral veil. (I’ve done both of these gestures myself.) When I see these things, I can’t help but think people did this in the time of Jesus, too. I think of Zacchaeus, the tax collector, who was so desperate to see Jesus, despite his physical stature, that he climbed a tree to get a glimpse. And, of course, you can’t forget about the woman who hemorrhaged for 12 years. She had so much faith that she believed that just touching the cloak of Jesus would heal her. Her faith was right.
If these people were so moved by faith, shouldn’t we be?
During this most recent healing service I attended, as Jesus walked among his people, my eye was drawn to an elderly lady who was sitting in a pew closest to the aisle. As the priest slowly processed with the Eucharist, it was apparent that he was going to continue slowly walking pass this particular lady.
But, that’s not what happened.
As the priest moved alongside this woman, she sat and, with a deliberate slow hand, she gently put her hand on the arm of the priest, who then stopped. The woman kept her hand on the priest so to keep the priest right in his place.
My eye was drawn to this, and I was amazed at this woman’s gesture. She quietly demonstrated her sincere, faithful trust in our Lord with an elegant yet commanding touch. It was like she was so intimate with Jesus that she could reach out and touch his arm in order to bend his ear to whatever was on her heart.
This interaction has given me lots to think about. How many times have I gone to our Lord afraid to ask for healing, thinking he was too busy? How many times have I come to the Lord discouraged asking for healing for the same thing? I think all the many different levels of healing have us coming to the Lord in different ways.
Healing is a process. So, is faith. I hope I can approach prayer with the reverence and confidence of this sweet old lady.
As the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians says: “Have no anxiety at all, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7).