|St. Anthony of Padua Healing a Youth|
Sebastiano Ricci [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Through the warmth of our touch, grant comfort in suffering to us. When troubles and afflictions threaten us, grant courage to us to reach out to each other. When we are alone, grant us the community of your body, the Church. Make us whole with the gift of each other. Amen
In Christian practice, the ministry of healing usually involves the laying on of hands, the act of one person physically touching another. As you can see in this picture, St. Anthony is touching this youth's foot while he prays over it.
Touch, the laying on of hands is a part of the healing process because it goes against our natural instinct to suspect, fear, and recoil at injury and sickness. In a broken world, those who are afflicted in heart, mind, and soul are often left alone by co-workers, friends, and even family. And so, ailments that affect one part of the body, affect the whole person, and can have a devastating effect on that person.
Conversely, when we provide comfort, care, and just a patient, assurance with others that we are with them, that we care for them, pray for them, and love them, the power of ailments do not overtake the whole person. These things that cause suffering may not go away, they may not be cured, they can even lead to death, but they cannot take us away from the love of each other, and especially the love of God.
About Lenten Prayer as CtK:
During Lent, I am inviting all of you at Christ the King, and anyone who would be willing to join us, to engage in praying together, seeking to hear God and be guided by Christ's life in our life together. To guide these prayers, I will be posting pictures centered around a word for the day. This comes from the facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/LENTPHOTOADAY. Please feel free to join me in posting pictures and thoughts to your social media accounts or to the comments of this blog.