Illness is time of grace, but at the same time suffering should be "evangelized." This is the specific contribution brought by the religious present at the international conference on the theme "Prayer for Healing and the Charismatic Renewal in the Catholic Church" organized by the Pontifical Council for Laymen together with Rinnovamento Carismatico (Charismatic Renewal), which concluded yesterday at the Santuario del Divino Amore (Sanctuary of Divine Love), near Rome.
Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, SDB, the Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, asserted that "society has made people more fragile, and they feel the need to be comforted and healed. The image of Christ the miracle worker is rooted in the primitive Christian tradition and still today in African Christology today." Nevertheless, at times "an excessive trust is cultivated in also the rite of laying hands, the sacrament of penitence, which instead always retains its transforming force is deemed more profitable." Therefore yes to trust and hope, but always under the guidance of a priest and within a holy place. The Biblical scholar Albert Vanhoye, SJ, a professor at the Gregorian University also has the same line of reasoning, according to whom we should not forget that "Christ heals and saves as sign of a more profound cure: the true illness of man is in sin."
Father Raniero Cantalamessa, OFMcap, Preacher of the Pontifical House, stressed that "spiritual healing is not tied up only to the conversion from the sin but also from traumas, lack of affective, including the non-acceptance of oneself" and we therefore need "to entrust ourselves to the Word, to the incomparable therapeutic value of the love of God." In the experience of the religious, "the profound change happens" during the prayer of praise: "we are freed because we become detached from ourselves in order to concentrate ourselves in God."
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