Healing Through the Mass By Father Robert DeGrandis, S.S.J.
To review books by Fr. DeGrandis available at our bookstore, click on the blue: The Gift of Miracles : Experiencing God's Extraordinary Power in Your Life(1991--$7.99), Changed Forever : Five Stories of God's Transforming Grace, or Healing Through the Mass (1994--$6.36).
Anthropologists tell us that people of all faiths, all religions, have always had a sacred place. The earliest holy places were piles of stones erected as memorials in places where God met us. The later sacrificial altars were built of earth or stone. In the Greek, the word "altar" means "a place of sacrifice." In the Old Testament we see God calling His people to a sacred place. "When all the work undertaken by Solomon for the temple of the Lord had been completed, he brought in the dedicated offerings of his father David, putting the silver, the gold and all the other articles in the treasuries of the house of God" (2 Chr 5: 1). The priests consecrated themselves and stood near the altar with cymbals, harps, trumpets and other instruments. Singers praised the Lord, singing: "Give thanks to the lord for he is good, for his mercy endures forever." The priests were not able to continue, because "...the Lord's glory filled the house of God" (v. 14). They were overwhelmed by the power of the Lord. The Lord is present with His people today in sacred places, too. Our Catholic churches are sacred because of the healing presence of Jesus.
In ancient days the glory descended on the temple that contained only symbols of the Lord's presence. How much more should we experience the healing presence of the Lord with the Eucharistic presence of God in our own churches.
From time to time many of us experience anxiety and agitation before walking into a church. However, when we sense the presence of the Lord, all the tension and anxiety disappear. I have had that same experience many times, especially in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, the Jesuit church on Baronne Street in New Orleans, Louisiana. Sometimes I visit that church on a hot summer day. The coolness and quietness of the church speak powerfully of the Lord's waiting presence. His presence is felt in that church because it is a long-time gathering place for people of prayer.
As you enter a Catholic church, consider the healing elements in the environment. The crucifix on the wall brings to mind the sacrificial love of Jesus, made powerfully evident in the Mass. The Reconciliation Room is a reminder of the healing power of forgiveness. The themes of the stained glass windows and the Stations of the Cross are reminders of the unconditional love of Christ. We need signs and symbols to help us focus upon deep truths of our faith and fathom something of their mystery.
Throughout the centuries the healings and miracles of Christ have remained a part of the collective faith of the Christian community. In the timelessness of God, experiences of faith and healing and acts of love still linger like fragrant incense in our churches and contribute to the sense of God's presence.
A woman told me that when she visited a Catholic church after many years of absence, she felt like she had truly "come home." As she sat in the back of the church in quiet prayer, just soaking up the atmosphere, she realized that the deep loneliness that had plagued her life for years, was actually homesickness for God and the faith of her childhood. When she entered the church the prayerful environment had a drawing power that captured her heart again. We are "at home" in our churches because of the presence of Jesus. Our Catholic churches are healing places because of the presence of Jesus in the assembly, in the proclaiming of His word, and in the Eucharist.
During this Year of God the Father, the Lord is inviting you to come to Him During this Year of God the Father, the Lord is inviting you to come to Him through his Son. He invites you to be open to His healing love, to come and worship with Him. You may find that the Lord will speak to you in His sacred place and draw you into a powerful experience of healing through the holy sacrifice of the Mass.
Fr. Robert DeGrandis, S.S.J. is a member of the Society of St. Joseph. This article is condensed from Healing Through the Mass by Robert DeGrandis with Linda Schubert. Fr. DeGrandis will be at St. Cecilias Church, San Francisco, with his healing ministry Masses on May 7, 8, & 9, 1999. A copy of the healing "Forgiveness Prayer" by Fr. Robert DeGrandis will be given to everyone who donates to the Friends of the Good News during February, March and April of 1999. Send a tax deductible donation to Friends of the Good News, Attn: Fr. Joe Landi, 2555 17th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94116. Please mention this offer. Father DeGrandis, the author of 33 books on the power of healing, is a member of the Society of St. Joseph, serving the world wide charismatic Catholic community.
Read other articles of spiritual enlightenment in the February 1999 edition of The San Francisco Charismatics or return to the Main Menu by clicking on the blue.