What good is God if he makes little difference in me today? What’s the point of a relationship with God if my life right now is miserable? I put on a good front. But inside, I feel wretched. Let’s be honest. I don’t just need help. I need healing.[featured-image single_newwindow=”false”]
Our guide, Dr. Meletios Webber writes:
The purpose and aim of the spiritual life is to allow God to heal us.
But, how does this healing come? Real healing comes not from revisiting our past, but from living with God in the present. Real healing comes not from merely thinking positively but from going deep into the heart where God resides.
I began this series of posts with an invitation to enter the Mystery of God.
- This Mystery is entered from the heart not the mind.
- This Mystery can only be experienced in the present moment.
- This Mystery is the place of healing for the soul.
The greatest challenge to entering the Mystery is that you’ve been trained to think that the best way to engage God is with your mind.
Here’s the problem
- The mind creates an awareness of a shallow, or sometimes false, sense of self.
- The story this shallow self concerns itself with is the ego of a person.
- The ego invents and imitates reality but is not real at all.
- Most people live from their ego.
Here’s the solution
- A deeper self – a more real self – is found in the heart or soul. Here, you have the capacity for direct contact with God.
- Emotion and feeling belong to the mind, not the heart. “While providing a great deal of color to everyday life, emotions and feelings belong to that part of us that needs healing.” (Webber)
- The heart and mind need each other though they function differently and are fragmented.
- Only the life and grace of God can bring healing and reintegration as you participate in the Mystery of God.
Dr. Webber tells you how:
The rift between the heart and the mind is healed through “ascetic labor” – prayerful effort – which begins with making the mind quiet, and ends with wrapping the mind and emotions in prayer and placing them in the heart where they rightly belong and where their final integration takes place.
“Ascetic labor” is the spiritual work of prayer, fasting, almsgiving and other “prayerful efforts” that cause you to move from living in your thoughts to living in your heart. I’ve written about these efforts in previous posts and will do so in the future.
In what condition is your “prayer effort?” I invite you to establish a place of solitude, make the mind quiet, and do as Dr. Webber suggests above. Healing is found in your heart with God.
(My thoughts and the quotes for the past nine posts come from Bread & Water, Wine & Oil by Meletios Webber, Conciliar Press, 2007)