Preface: The Healing Process
Jesus was and is a healer. He came as a healer. The quantity of his healing is relatively insignificant, that is, whether he healed an individual or all of humanity, is secondary to the quality of his healing. He heals completely.
I have been pondering notions of healing lately. I can’t deny that the initial questions came about
because of my personal issues. Having survived cancer, I have a difficult time thinking of life without the blemishes. Having survived cancer, I have a difficult time thinking of life without also thinking of our ability to overcome the pain and marring effects of disease.
During the last several years I’ve had many profound moments of awakening and clarity. The theme of healing has been hovering around me, and in all I do. Healing has been mixed in with my calling as a priest, but recently I am understanding that it is at the core of the priesthood. Jesus healed the blind, the deaf and lame. He also healed the sinner. He gave all an opportunity to maximize their potential as living-breathing human beings. For the collective, for humanity, he provided complete healing – and therefore gave a formula for peace – through a vigilant and uncompromising message of love. As a disciple of Christ, the priest is called to do the same. Collectively, the Church, as the Body of Christ, can do nothing else, but to heal. Physical, emotional, spiritual, quantity and form do not matter, it is a matter of quality. Healing has to be complete and lasting.
Several weeks ago I had an enlightening conversation with a friend which awakened in me the idea of progress as a means to healing. That discussion offered clarity and at the same time wonder. Is progress a means or truly the only means of healing? That is, if you don’t progress – move forward, evolve – what are you doing but decaying? Living beings change because they evolve. Dead beings change because they decay.
This exercise we call Armodoxy is about that progress and therefore it is about healing. It’s about rejecting the decay. It’s about making Faith real in our life.
The Armenian Orthodox prayer for healing begins, Փարաեա զցաւս եւ բժշկեա զհիւանդութիւնս ի ժողովրդենէ քումմէ… Translated: Dispel the pain and heal the sickness of your people… Along with the verbs to dispel and heal, the prayer also pronounces that disease and illness are “rejected.” That opportunity to reject and rebel against evil is a a power that is given to each. We have to discover that power within..
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