A Prayerful Journey of Spiritual Growth and Healing
It is of immense help to explore the profound contemplative tradition within our Catholic faith and to understand that horizons within which spiritual development occurs. Ultimately, however, the Holy Spirit is the master of prayer and wants to be your guide.
The following eight exercises are offered as a means to place yourself in the school of the Spirit. They target particularly those challenging areas that thwart the progress of people who pray. They are labeled steps precisely because they build on one another. You may find them most helpful if you take each step in order, although you certainly may use them in any order you feel drawn. For some of the steps you will need a pen, paper and bible, as indicated. If you feel you would be nourished by more time on some point or another of the prayer exercise I invite you to pause the recording and give yourself and the Spirit all the time you desire. It would be preferable to not finish the prayer guide, than to rush through it. Without any pause the prayer guides are a total of 25 minutes. The essential text of the prayer guides are reproduced below for your convenience.
Topic 20: Step Four: A Prayer of Inner Healing
This prayer is rooted in the reality that everything is present to God, and therefore God is able to work powerfully even in past moments of our life, bringing light and healing to memories that have pained and darkened months and years of our life.
And so I invite you now to close your eyes. Imagine that you are walking along a winding path, over a grassy hill and down to the most beautiful spot in nature you have ever seen. As you walk into this special place, you sense immediately its sacredness. Take a moment to look around. What are the colors and textures around you? What sounds do you hear? Are there any smells? Take a moment to get grounded in your sacred space.
Very gently you hear someone approach. It is Jesus. He is so happy to see you. He holds your hand and looks into your eyes. There is such love in his gaze. He is happy to see you.
Then he begins to walk with you. ―Tell me how things are going. I‘ve been worried about you.‖ And then you start to speak. You and
Jesus sit down as he listens carefully to every detail of your story.
When you are finished, Jesus calls you by name. My dearest child, what a heavy burden you have been carrying and for how long a time. I see your pain and your worry, and I want to heal you.
Come close to me. Come here, my child. Take me back to where it all began. Show me. We can go together.
Jesus, do you see. There, you tell him, There is where it all began. You look together. You notice the details—where you were, what it looked like, how you felt, who was there, what was said.
I call on the Holy Spirit to surround you with light and to protect you.
Please, Jesus, I pray that you be freed of the burden of this event, once and for all.
May you be relieved of any apprehension and anxiety you may feel because of it.
Jesus, quiet the terror of guilt that resulted from this situation.
Holy Spirit, replace the darkness of this memory with light—a rainbow of beautiful colors.
Please, Jesus, heal all the scars left—years of wounds and pain. Take them all away.
Jesus, enable your child to receive your forgiveness and mercy.
And if the harm that has been done was inflicted by another, forgive them and have mercy on them. If it was an accident or unintentional, please remove any feelings of guilt or sense of failure or despair anyone may be feeling.
Jesus I believe you were present at this event and that you have the power and desire to heal us now.
Please set your loved one free from the ways in which this has marked the rest of life. Take away any fears of inferiority, desperation, guilt, depression, hopelessness or abandonment.
In those inner places where this child of yours needed more nurturing put her in to the arms of your own mother.
Bring the hugs and fatherly presence that mean so much as one grows up.
Put your arms around your little one‘s shoulder and take away the sting of betrayal and abandonment and loneliness.
I thank you for your gentleness in caring for this dear one of yours.
I give praise for your healing of this your child.
Now return to your sacred place. Jesus embraces you there and walks away. He will be back, but you are safe here, still feeling the warmth and security of his love. Safe in his care for you.
When you are ready, open your eyes.
Believe in this healing. When feelings or memories return connected with this event, remind Jesus of his power to heal and entrust yourself to him anew.