When I was a little boy my mum used to talk about not telling lies and looking after my soul!
If I’m honest she used to annoy me because I could not grasp the notion of my soul.
Sure if it was my leg or my foot I could see it and if it was a kidney or my liver a scan or a blood test could surely show it up but my soul?!!
Mam would say that lying put a black spot on ones’s soul. She tried to explain the notion to me but all I could think of was the sole of my foot!
The other day here an evening preacher paralleled the care we take of our bodies against the care we take of our souls.
Very wisely he described how we will go to a doctor and even go through very painful surgery to get healthy and how at yet at times how we terribly neglect our souls.
I guess it’s because we can’t see our souls like we can see our bodies and so we might think we’re fairly ok when in God’s eyes we are almost dead!
So what to do?
Well unless you get blessed by an extraordinary grace you will not be able to see your soul. However, there is a solution!
Just as a toothache points to a cavity and a stomach pain points to a bug of some kind, so too can we become aware of the state of our souls.
In Australia in the inner healing ministries they’d speak of ‘fruit and root’. So putting it very simply if you see a fruit there must be a root!
So for example if you struggle terribly to be nice to your boss or if you snap at your kids, this bad behaviour points to some area of your soul where there is pain. Maybe at a subconscious level your boss reminds you of your mum or dad who were over-authoritative when you were a child and that part of your memory bank is still hurting.
Some people find it hard to pray to Our Lady. Ask them about their relationship with their mums as a child and usually you find why!
For others it’s God the father. Hear all they will about the loving father welcoming back the prodigal son but all their heart thinks about is that cross or angry dad that never really loved them the way they needed!
The list goes on! Others hate the church or priests from a bad experience.
And so you see once you become aware of this fruit and root concept you will begin to realise how sick your poor soul really is!!
My mum used to ask me
‘How do you go to confession every week, what have you to say?’
I’d smile inside and think ‘plenty’. I could go every hour of every day if I let scruples get in!
And so you see, confession is a healing balm for the soul and is not just about the bad things you did but also about healing the wounded areas of your heart where bad things were perhaps done to you and where God desires to free you.
Satan doesn’t want you to go fishing around in your past in case you’ll get healed! He’ll tell you to repress it and move on because nothing can be done about it but this is a lie!
And so today I’ll leave you with a poem I found written on the door of the healing ministry in Sydney and encourage you all to bring your inner pains to Jesus and to the sacrament of confession regularly and to walk into the life of grace and freedom that Jesus desires for each one of us all.
The pain or the wound
One day my heart was wounded
And the pain was deep and strong.
It’s ache was like a bag of bricks
I couldn’t carry long.
I had two paths to treat the wound.
Two sources of advice.
The first one’s name was Lucifer.
The other’s name was Christ.
The first one gave me bandages
To bind the wound up tight
He told me, “Don’t expose the wound
To water, air or light.”
“Put all your focus on the pain
That’s what we need to heal.
You’ll soon forget your wounded heart
If there’s no pain to feel.”
So he subscribed me pain-killers
And drugs of every kind
Some to escape, some to excite,
And some to dull my mind.
He promised he would kill the pain.
He promised sweet relief.
His promises so promising
They almost begged belief.
But one thing he neglected
In his attractive invitation
Was to tell me of the side-effects
Of all his medication.
See, I have taken his advice
Many times in the past.
I’ve found his pain-killers to work.
They’re cheap and very fast.
But they’re also quite temporary
And with returning pain
Comes deeper wounds, and stronger aches
And isolating shame.
And so this time I think I’ll pass.
I’ll try different advice.
And so I took my wounded heart
And offered it to Christ.
He said although he knew the pain
Was deep and strong and real,
It would not go away until
The wound itself was healed.
And so he started to unwrap
The wound that was bound tight.
He said, “We must expose the wound
To water, air and light.”
He said, “This will be painful
But it is the only way.
I’ll be as gentle as I can.
We’ll take it day by day.”
“I’ll comfort you through every step
I’ll never leave your side
And very slowly I’ll unwrap
Your fear and shame and pride.
Until we reach your wounded heart
Until it is laid bare
The pain will still be present
But the healing will start there.
And in the wound I’ll shine my light
To show what was unseen
And there I’ll pour living water
So pure and fresh and clean.
And with my love and grace and truth
Your heart I will restore
And you will find more freedom
Than you ever had before.
And so Christ is the one I choose
His path is hard but real
Into his hands I place my heart
For only he can heal.
by Simon Camilleri 16/9/07