November 19, 2019

The Best Doctor in the World

In a world where so many are seeking healings, Catholics have the greatest physician constantly available to them.  You don’t even need an appointment as He always reside in the tabernacle of your local Catholic Church.  Many parishes expose Him so as to better render Him homage, and every day you have an opportunity to receive Him Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.  This Physician is so talented that a single look, a single Word can heal the most devastating illnesses and injuries.  He raises the dead, gives sight to the blind, heals those with cancer, and there is no end to His miracles.

The power of this Divine Physician, Jesus Christ, can be seen if we examine a healing He did over 2,000 years ago.  This miraculous healing is recounted in the Gospel of St. Mark 5:22-34.  Jesus is on His way to heal Jairus’ daughter.  On the way, a woman with a bleeding issue for twelve years approaches Him having heard of Him.  She had been to doctor after doctor after doctor, spent nearly all she had, but only grew worse.  She touches only the cloak of Jesus, not even Jesus Himself, and is instantly healed of her affliction.  Jesus then asks who touched his cloak and the woman confesses the whole truth.  Now what is remarkable about this healing is how vastly it contrasts with our access to the Divine Physician.  The woman could not touch Jesus, but only His cloak as He was passing.  Jesus was not intending to heal her and only became aware that she was healed after she touched His cloak.  Her faith is openly professed only after she is healed.  So in essence, a woman with implicit faith with only marginal access to Jesus busy with another healing is healed from a bleeding disorder that no other doctor could cure.  By contrast, we can visit Jesus anytime we want, we can receive Him Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, and Jesus is literally waiting on the altar to heal us soul, mind, and body.  If then this woman was healed by the Divine Physician, how much more can we be healed given our greater access to this Greatest Doctor?

Yet how many think to come to Jesus when they are sick or injured?  Our first thought is often to run to a doctor who, God bless medical doctors, has only a limited, delegated power to heal.  In contrast, the Divine Physician has unlimited and sovereign power to heal.  No one loves us more than Him.  This is not to say that we should not use medical doctors, but we should go to the Divine Physician first and let him decide our course of treatment.  He can direct us to numerous doctors, heal us Himself, or give us strength to suffer any affliction.  He is our healer, so run to Him and be healed.

This approach to illnesses and injuries harmonizes our Catholic faith with medicine in a truly admirable way.  I want to be clear that those who go to the doctor and pursue ordinary treatment are not sinning.  But assuming they are not in a life- threatening emergency where they should pursue ordinary treatment, they do better to approach the Divine Physician Himself and let Him direct their care.  Many times, Jesus has told my wife and I not to seek healing and has healed us Himself.  Other times, Jesus directed us to a physician.  The point is that Jesus yearns for us to come to Him, and the fact that most Catholics never even think to come to Jesus for healing before going to the doctor shows how disconnected our faith is from our healthcare.

So the next time you are sick, come to Jesus and expect to be healed.  You can search through all of Jesus’s healings and all of them required faith from someone, even if it was not the person being healed.  So we should confidently expect Jesus to direct our healing.  How wonderful it would be if medical doctors were extraordinary and Jesus the Divine Physician was our ordinary healer.  How wonderful if the extraordinary—spiritual healing–becomes the ordinary and the ordinary—consulting medical professionals–becomes the extraordinary.   Then, only the few not healed directly by Jesus would consult medical professionals to be healed in a mediated way by Jesus.

One may object that we cannot hear Christ so clearly.  To this I respond very simply, yes we can.  When Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice” in the Gospel of St. John Chapter 10, Verse 27, He did not mean this as a general abstraction.  He literally meant that we can ask Him anything and expect an answer so long as we are seeking the Truth and agree to follow His will even if it differs from our own.  My wife and I experience this reality daily.  Jesus tells us how to respond to different situations, whether it is safe to eat a certain food, where to seek healing, when to seek healing, how to talk with loved ones, and a host of other ordinary things that most people never even think to ask Jesus about.  You see, Jesus yearns to be part of your daily life, to be your primary Doctor, your primary Counselor, your primary Advocate, your primary Coach, in short, your primary relationship.  In this context, healing is another way for the Lordship of Jesus to permeate our lives.  Let us not waste this opportunity to seek healing from the Greatest Healer.  If you are afraid you may hear wrongly, then keep practicing and before long the Lord will teach you how to recognize His voice.  And if we are in need of inner healing and forgiveness, His beautiful Sacrament of Reconciliation will restore our peace.

Finally, I want to encourage you to ask Mary to help you hear her Son.  Mary fulfills this office perfectly for no one knows Jesus like Mary.  She is the chosen vessel of grace that makes Jesus more present in our lives.

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Written by
Michael Vacca

MICHAEL VACCA is a devotee of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. Therese of Lisieux. He graduated from Hillsdale College with a B.A. in English and Political Science, holds a J.D. from Ave Maria School of Law, and is a licensed attorney in Michigan. He currently serves as Director of Ministry, Bioethics, and Member Experience for Christ Medicus Foundation CURO. He worked for the Pontifical Council of the Family in Rome, where he advised the Church on pro-life and pro-family issues and advanced Catholic social teaching throughout the world. Michael is the Managing Editor of the International Center on Law, Life, Faith, and Family, which produces and provides resources on these issues, www.icolf.org. He is a founding board member of Sidewalk Advocates for Life, and currently serves on the board of the Casa Vitae Foundation. He is author and coauthor of various articles on bioethics and law, including: Michael Vacca, A Reexamination of Conscience Protections in Healthcare, 62 MEDICINA E MORALE 78 (2013) ; Jane Adolphe & Michael Vacca, Best Practices: Laws Protecting Human Life and the Family Around the Globe, 2 AVE MARIE INT’L L. J. 1 (2012); Michael Vacca, Talk About a Human Rights Violation: How Heterologous Assisted Reproduction Harms Children and Violates International Human Rights Law, 7 AVE MARIE INT’L L. J. 53 (2018); Michael Vacca, Natural Law as Guardian of the Human Person, 4 BAKU ST. UNIV. L. REV. 149 (2018); and Michael Vacca, Education and Religious Freedom in the Toledo Guiding Principles: A Comparative Analysis Between the Holy See and the United States 36 ARIZONA JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE LAW 2 (2019). He is also a co-editor of two published books, ST. PAUL, THE NATURAL LAW, AND CONTEMPORARY LEGAL THEORY (2012) and EQUALITY AND NON-DISCRIMINATION CATHOLIC ROOTS, CURRENT CHALLENGES (2019). More than anything, Michael is grateful to know the love of Jesus Christ and for his beautiful and holy wife Sarah.

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Written by Michael Vacca
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