As we read the Scriptures, we learn that it is God’s wish for us that we live a life of grace, a life of healing and a life of abundance. Jesus wants to heal us emotionally and heal our deepest wounds and memories.
But an obstacle to this grace-filled life can be the need many of us have for a healing of our memories. It prevents us from receiving the grace that God wants to give us. It often leads to an attitude of not wanting to forgive because of our deep wounds and pain.
Recall a memory that is particularly difficult to forget and has caused pain and challenges for you emotionally. If nothing comes to mind, ask God to reveal it to you. For me it was my inability to express myself as a small child and having my father and a room full of adults laughing at me.
When you recall your painful memory, put Jesus at the center of it. Picture His face smiling at you. Look at the entire room and what is happening. When the pain gets too severe, continue to focus on Jesus. Receive the comfort of His love. Walk over to Him and have Him embrace you and reassure you of His love for you. Then ask God to heal you of that memory.
In order to be healed, we need to get whatever help we need to get beyond the pain. Often that can mean professional help. It is critical that we understand that God’s miracles flow through psychologists and psychiatrists. Burying our memories is never the right solution. We can’t continue to do the same thing and expect to get a different result.
My family and I spent a lot of time in therapy. I am not ashamed of it. In fact, I highly recommend therapy for many if not most people. If you find yourself engaging in addictive behaviors and don’t know why and feel you are stuck, seek professional help. Look at it this way: if you had a medical issue, wouldn’t you go to a medical doctor? If you have an issue of dealing with painful memories, you also need professional help.
Healing of memories is a process. It is not going to happen without prayer. Ask the Lord in contemplative prayer to show you what memories are causing negative behaviors in your life. For most of us, these memories are in our unconscious. They are too painful to deal with emotionally so we bury them. The problem? They come up in our behavior without us realizing it. They cause anger and we don’t know why we have addictive behaviors that we can’t seem to control.
Once we have identified the painful memory and the emotions connected to it, it is critical that we go to Mass on a regular basis to get the grace needed to get past the wound. The Eucharist is the single best solution for healing of any kind, especially healing of memories. Why do we not realize that? Most of us wouldn’t want to miss eating and drinking, but we think we don’t have to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus on a routine basis. Wrong! Without it we are too weak to overcome emotional trauma in our lives.
Mass is not the only critical sacrament. Frequent reconciliation is necessary for God’s miracles to flow through us and heal our memories and addictions. We need to look with spiritual eyes on the importance of reconciliation. To make a good reconciliation, it takes a lot of upfront prayer asking God to reveal to you what is blocking you from achieving the healing required. We prepare for reconciliation by opening ourselves up by reflecting on sin and darkness in our lives and asking for the light of Christ. One simple question is: what does God want to give me in respect to forgiveness and healing? Often our answer is “I don’t have a clue.” That only means we haven’t spent enough time in prayer. Some priests recommend an extensive reconciliation that encompasses our entire life. While this might not be the right solution for you, it is helpful in looking at patterns in our lives that are blocking memories that need to be healed by Jesus.
Many of us have deep trauma in our lives from childhood. Often this leads to shame and not feeling good about ourselves. Most of us want to bury these memories and emotions and never deal with them again. Many people feel that if there is anything which makes us feel bad about ourselves it should be avoided at all costs. Our prayer to God should be to overcome our shame and even guilt for our part in whatever happened and ask for it to come to the surface.
It is common that we have deep guilt for what we have done but have not forgiven ourselves. Perhaps we have been unfaithful to a spouse or in a relationship, lied in order to achieve personal gain or cheated in some endeavor. Whatever we did, we feel bad about ourselves and just want to forget it. Now is the time to get past the guilt and pain. Yes, only God, through His intervention, can cause that to happen. In other words, through His miracles.
In being healed of our painful memories, we must trust in His love. God’s love is unconditional and eternal. I am precious in His eyes because He made us in His image and has given us every spiritual blessing. His desire is for us to be holy, in order for us to achieve the purpose of our lives. God wants to break our bondage to our painful memories. He desires us to have complete freedom. He knows what needs to be healed in our lives. Just let God in and see the miracles flow!
In today’s world, many of the painful memories involve sexual issues. Pornography use is a rampant sin and a crisis today. Many people don’t want to deal with the reasons why they let pornography, sexual immorality or masturbation into their lives. It is a huge problem that has invaded the Church and other denominations as well.
Do you live a double life? On the surface you look like a strong Catholic Christian but in reality you are leading a secret life? This secret behavior has led to sinful habitual behavior that you can’t control. You tell yourself that this is the last time, but it is not. You fall back into the sinful behavior time and time again. What must change? You must let God heal you of the root cause of the sinful behavior. It is something that happened to us, often from our childhood, that has to be healed.
In order to be healed we need to understand how much God wants to forgive us and heal us. The moment that we feel sorrow for our part of our sinful behavior and desire forgiveness and healing we begin the process of reconciliation with God. We begin to experience the tremendous compassion, love, forgiveness and mercy of God. We are in the process of being transformed into the son or daughter of God healed of emotional wounds.