Here is a reflection from Fr. Nicolas Schwizer, a Schoenstatt Father from Switzerland, on healing those wounds that lie so deeply in our souls. It’s a great bit of wisdom; feel free to pass it on to others!
Healing the Inner Wounds
Inner healing is asking Jesus to go back to the time when we were wounded(hurt) so that now we can become free. This implies two steps:
To bring to light those things which have wounded us. It is convenient to ask oneself certain questions which generally will reveal the basic wounds (hurts) for which we must pray.
(1) When did all this begin? Or, also: Was it a happy childhood? Many of the more profound wounds (hurts) go back to the first 2 or 3 years of one’s life, or better said, to the time in which we were more vulnerable and less capable of defending ourselves. But it is also true that some have received their wounds (hurts) later on in school through unfortunate sexual experiences, etc.
(2) What caused the wound (hurt)? Often, the answer to the first question already reveals the reasons for the old wounds (hurts). Many of them stem from a rejection or a broken relationship. Particularly important are our relationships with our parents. If the mother did not caress the child sufficiently, if the father would return home from work tired and would hardly speak to the child or punished him/her severely, if there were too many children for a sickly mother and she did not have time to show them affection, or if one of the parents died when the child was very young. All of these painful experiences leave wounds (hurts) which deeply affect the basic emotions of the person.
That is better overcome when dialoguing with another person, inclusively, speaking about the problem becomes a healing process.
Pray to the Lord that He heal us of these wounds (hurts). If we are able to remember how and why everything began, then we ask Jesus to accompany us into the past. He, as Lord of the times, is capable of doing what we cannot do. He can heal these wounds (hurts) from the past which still cause us suffering, sometimes immediately.
After having prayed for the healing of the wound (hurt) – negative aspect of the healing – we can ask the Lord to fill – in a positive way – our life with all that which we were missing.
Given that we have a very profound need for love, the conclusion of the prayer for inner healing is, generally, to fill all the empty confines of our heart with the love of God.
Inner healing renders a great deal of peace and joy to the person. It is a shame that so few understand and practice this type of prayer.
Thus, speaking simply, we can say that we place the purification of the subconscience into the hands of the Lord, asking Him to cure the wounds (hurts).
A few words on the imposition of hands. It is not necessary for healing. Nevertheless, this practice which we already find in the New Testament, has its advantages. It seems that something – like a healing current of energy – flows from the minister to the sick person, a transference of vivifying power. Furthermore, concern and love are much better communicated through touch than through words: in the imposition of hands, a profound sensation of communion and love exists.
Prayer for inner healing. Now I want to make a suggestion. I want to give you a prayer for inner healing which fell into my hands sometime ago. The idea is to pray personally – in meditation and with simple faith – in a very peaceful and serene moment, in the presence of the Lord, perhaps in a Shrine.
It seems that this type of prayer generally has a perceptible response. Although, perhaps, the healing might be progressive and need various attempts, that means, to pray this prayer of inner healing several times. But before praying it, you have to have reflected and seriously worked through your inner wounds (hurts) or undigested impressions of the subconscience.
PRAYER FOR INNER HEALING
(Look for a place where you can have silence, where nobody will interrupt you. Get comfortable. Approach the Lord with humility and confidence).
(Enter into prayer in the form in which you feel moved to do so. Since healing is a progressive process, that prayer will not solve all your problems. We will never be able to say that all problems have ended, that all memories have been healed, but we can remove all obstacles along the way which impede our being healed and healthy. Inner healing will have taken place when an event from the past no longer has power to hurt us – when we can recall it without sadness, shame or a feeling of guilt. Enter into God’s presence).
Go back into time with me and walk with me throughout my life from the moment I was conceived.
Help me, Lord, from the beginning: clean me and free me from all which could have caused me difficulties at the moment I was conceived. You were present at the moment in which I was formed in the womb of my mother. Free me and heal me of any hindrances in my spirit which I might have received from my mother or from circumstances in the lives of my parents while I was being formed. I thank you for this.
I also praise you, Jesus, because You are also healing me of the trauma at by birth. (Many of our mothers had long and painful deliveries when we were born, and this has an effect on the child.) Lord, I ask that You heal me of the pain at my birth and of all that I suffered when I was born. Thank you, Lord, because You were there to receive me in your arms when I was born. At that moment, consecrate me to the service of God. Thank You, Jesus, because this has been done.
Lord Jesus, I praise You because in those first months of my infancy, You were with me when I needed You. (There are many persons who needed more love than that which they received from their mother because they were separated by unavoidable circumstances. They did not receive the love which would have helped them to feel strength and stability).
There were times in which I needed my mother to cradle me at her breast, to rock me and to tell me children’s stories as only a mother knows how to do. Lord, do it in the most profound depth of my being. Send me to your Mother, Mary, so that She may hold me on her lap….. give me warmth and do for me all that which a mother does to offer tenderness and security to her child. Help me to feel her moving maternal love….. comforting and profound….. and may nothing be able to separate me from that love again. I thank You and I praise You, Lord, because I now know that I am sheltered in the arms of your mother and in your arms.
(There are also persons who needed more paternal love in their lives). For whatever reason for which I may have felt neglected….. rejected….. Lord, fill that part of my being with profound paternal love which only comes from a father. Even though I may not be aware of having needed some strong arms and a “Daddy” who would love me and give me security and support, give it to me now. Lord, thank You because You are also doing this.
(As we grew up, some of us belonged to families where there was not much time for us as individuals). I have come to understand it and to accept it, but a part of my being really never felt complete, never felt truly loved. I ask You today for a healing of that feeling. Lord, help me to know that I am your child, an important person in your family, a unique being whom You love in a very special way.
Lord, heal the wounds caused by the relationships with my family, with the brother or sister who did not understand me completely or did not show me proper love and goodness. A part of me never felt love because of that. Let me now reach out, pardoning that brother or sister. Perhaps throughout the years, I have not been able to accept them because I never truly felt accepted by them. Give me a great love for them. Thus, the next time I see them, may there be so much love that all that happened in the past is gone. You will have renewed me. Lord, I thank You for that.
(As we grew up, the first real trauma in our life could have been when we went to school for the first time. That was the first time we were out of the home and all it represented. For some of us who were very sensitive….. timid…..insecure….. this was difficult – staying with that strange teacher, with strange companions, in a strange place).
Lord, I will truly never recover from that experience because there were things expected of me and things which wounded me very much. There were unfriendly teachers and children who did not show me love or understanding.
Lord, I ask that You heal me for all those years I spent in the classroom, take away all the pain and suffering I received during that time. Lord, I withdrew then and I began to experience fear when speaking in groups because they had ridiculed me, punished me, or criticisized me in school. I quit speaking because it was too painful. Lord, I ask You to open the door to my heart. Let me relate to groups in a more open and free way than how I had been able to until now. According to how this healing takes place, I will have the confidence and courage to do what You ask me in all situations. Thank You, Lord, because I believe You are now healing me.
Lord, when I entered adolescence, I began to experience things which frightened me, embarrassed me and caused me pain. I have never been able to overcome completely some of the experiences I had when I began to know myself, what it means to be a person. Lord, I ask You to heal all the experiences I had as an adolescent; the things I did and the things which were done to me and from which I have never been healed. Enter into my heart and take away all the experiences which caused me suffering or shame. Jesus, I do not ask You to erase this from my mind, but that You transform it in such a way that I can recall it without shame….. in thanksgiving.
Help me to understand what the youth are going through today because I myself have also gone through it: that time of search and conflict. As I am being healed, let me help others find healing.
Lord, upon leaving this period in my life and on beginning to grow into the vocation to which You were calling me, I had difficulties. (Some of us were called to be husbands and wives, some of us were called to celibacy, others chose the single life or are now widowed or divorced persons. There has been pain, there has been suffering; there is no career on earth which does not endure difficulties of adjustment, problems which need to be healed in private life). Jesus, I ask You to heal me in the state of being in which I find myself today and all it means in the world which surrounds me.
(Husbands and wives have things from the past which interfere in their relationships, wounds and sufferings which can only exist between those who try to live together and to know each other in a very intimate relationship). Lord, heal me of these things. Help that my marriage begins to be anew what God wants it to be. Take into your hands all the wounds and sufferings of the past so that from now on this marriage may be clean and again free and as healthy as possible.
Father, thank You that through this healing we may be the kind of husband and wife which You want us to be.
(Priests, Sisters and religious have had wounds which have separated them from Jesus instead of bringing them closer to Him). Lord, help me to feel within me the warmth and strength of love which will never make me doubt You if the way I am following is the one You have called me to. Give me courage and confidence in the work You have called me to do. Lead me with new purposes and goals. Father, thank You because I know You are doing it.
(Single persons who have felt called to that state of life follow the footsteps of Jesus with pain and suffering which only God knows). I have felt alone and on occasions, abandoned and totally rejected by the rest of humanity. Lord Jesus, fill me today with a new feeling of strength and purpose. Help me to understand what You have placed in my heart. Let me be a living testimony to Jesus Christ. Father, I give You thanks because I know that You are doing this.
As I feel the anointing of your love, I glorify You, Lord, because I know that it is done. Lord, there is no power in heaven and on earth which can impede it. Lord, I praise You because I know that while the more I give to You, give You thanks and praising You for it, the more You give me the power of your presence, the power of your Spirit, the love of your Divine Son. Jesus, I praise You for this healing and I glorify You. Thank You. Amen.
(Now remain in silence for about ten minutes. Let the Spirit of God complete the work of healing in you. Empty your heart of all which is not of God. Let God fill you anew with his love).