So many of us are paralyzed by memories in our past. Many times it is in our childhood or perhaps hurt from the loss of a relationship or death of someone we love.
How do we respond to hurt in our past? If you are similar to me, you might just “stuff it.” We don’t want to deal with the painful memory so we try to bury it and not think about it. Is that you? If you can relate to this message, Jesus, with His love and mercy, wants to heal you! He wants you to have an abundant life!
John 10:10 “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
Jesus wants us healed spiritually, most of all, but also mentally/emotionally, and in many cases physically. The enemy wants us to be numb and paralyzed. One of the biggest battle grounds is our memories. If the enemy can use it against us he will. We have weapons to fight the enemy’s tactics but we need to call upon them.
2 Corinthians 10: 4-6 “For the weapons of our warfare are not worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”
The battlefield is the mind. The enemy wants to control our mind by having us focus on things that will tear us down and get us discouraged. In Ignatian Spirituality this is called desolation. The converse is thoughts that encourage and build us up, called consolation. Paul is clear in Philippians 4: 6-8,
“Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Memories that we bury emotionally include spoken words, actions against us, nonverbal communication that cuts us to the bone, what we believe is abandonment, lack of love toward us, especially our parents, spouse and those closest to us, and unfulfilled expectations. Let Jesus be at the center of it! Receive His mercy when you reflect upon the memory.
In the Diary of Saint Faustina we learn to draw upon the love and mercy of Jesus. “I am love and mercy itself. My heart overflows with great mercy for souls, and especially for poor sinners … it is for them that the Blood and Water flowed from my Heart as a fountain overflowing with mercy.” We need to trust in His mercy and how Jesus wants to fill us with grace or “unmerited favor.” Jesus tells us through St. Faustina, “Souls that make an appeal to My mercy delight me. To such souls I grant even more graces than they ask. I cannot punish even the greatest sinner if he makes an appeal to My compassion.”
We should reflect again on the ABC’s of mercy and how it impacts the healing of memories:
A. Ask for His mercy. Often our memories include something we did in response to an attack on us. We need to repent of our sins and ask for His mercy on our memories.
B. Be Merciful. Often we have memories of times when we weren’t merciful. We need, as led by God, to reach out to people we have hurt and ask for their forgiveness. If they have died, pray for them!
C. Completely trust in Jesus. Many times we believe that we can never get past the painful memories. God is the God of the possible!
Jesus, I trust in you! Jesus wants to heal you. Trust in Him!
Do you believe Jesus can heal you of your painful memories? One of our most important challenges is believing God wants to heal us. This relates to the story of the two blind men.
Matthew 9:27-30 “And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, ‘Have mercy on us, Son of David.’ When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ They said to him, ‘Yes, Lord.’ Then he touched their eyes, saying, ‘According to your faith be it done to you.’ And their eyes were opened.”
I actually like another translation better that says, “to the extent that you believe is the extent you are healed.”
I have spent the last 40 plus years praying for and over people. Most do not think they will be healed. It is similar to the man at the pool of Bethesda.
John 5: 5-9 “One man was there, who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew that he had been lying there a long time, he said to him, ‘Do you want to be healed?’ The sick man answered him, ‘Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is troubled, and while I am going another steps down before me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Rise, take up your pallet, and walk.’ And at once the man was healed, and he took up his pallet and walked.”
I love this story because God’s mercy is greater than our apathy and lack of faith!
There are some core principles of healing of memories or “inner healing.”
1. Trust in the love of the Father and the reality that He wants to heal your painful memories.
2. Surrender your conscious-and-unconscious memories to Jesus. Make Him Lord of your past memories.
3. Repent of lack of forgiveness in your past, including your memories.
4. Go to Reconciliation and Mass often. Also, examination of conscious during Adoration is very healing!
5. Turn to the rosary and the Blessed Mother, the Mother of Mercy.
6. Read the healing lessons and stories in Scripture.
7. Rebuke the devil and he will flee from you.
Let’s look at a painful memory, and the process of inner healing, and let Jesus heal it.
1. Ask God to reveal the memory to you. My memory is my father embarrassing me at 5 years old because I couldn’t pronounce words. My relatives laughed and made fun of me.
2. Put Jesus into the memory. I see Jesus as they are laughing at me. I lock eyes with Him and He looks at me with penetrating eyes and tremendous love. I no longer hear the laughter but just see His love.
3. Receive the healing of Jesus. I am no longer afraid to speak (which I didn’t do for quite some time). I no longer feel shame and embarrassment.
4. Praise God and receive the healing of the memory!
God’s love and mercy is so beyond anything we can imagine. Let Him heal your painful memories!