Blocks To Healing – Part I
by Matthew Cramer
“Son of man, these men have taken their idols into their hearts, and set the stumbling block of their iniquity before their faces” —Eze 14:3
Just as a loving father might do, who reaches out to significantly bless his wife or child for no apparent reason — so too, Almighty God sovereignly intervenes in our lives from time to time with blessings we do not anticipate or merit. We send many requests His way, and are often frustrated (read irritated) when His response does not meet our desires and demands.
Then, just when we begin to think we’re adrift, He reaches out and blesses us unexpectedly — in ways seemingly unconnected, as if to remind us of Who’s in charge. This curious aspect of spiritual life often reminds me of that old joke: “Where does an 800 pound gorilla sleep? Anywhere he wants!”
Of course I’m not equating Almighty God to a gorilla, except for the obvious analogy about power. Still, our spiritual walk regularly recalls this scripture:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isa 55:8,9 RSV)
Jesus delegates His authority to His disciples as He enjoins them to perform “signs and wonders” in His name; to demonstrate God’s love for each of us, and validate the gospel and its proclamation, i.e.: “the Kingdom of God is upon you” (see Where Are The Signs And Wonders and In The Name Of Jesus).
In His day, as now, many converts lacked theological training and skill in the sophisticated arts of reason and logic. Thus, one could hardly expect the ministry of signs and wonders to require considerable skill and training before their initiation. And, because each of us develops a unique relationship with Our Lord, it also seems likely the exercise of spiritual gifts and the ministry of signs and wonders might look and feel quite different from one disciple to another, and from one time to another.
It’s important to remember that Our Lord can and does heal people whenever and wherever He wants, regardless of the situation or individuals involved. He is not constrained in any way by procedure, or checklists — even those derived by observing repetitive ways He acted in the past. He has all the wisdom, intelligence, authority, power and perspective necessary — before, within, and beyond all time — to select just the right response to our prayers, irrespective of our assessments.
He can jump right over obstacles in a person’s life, and sovereignly heal him in an instant. We have seen that happen many times. I even think He surprises us from time to time just to remind us He’s in charge. I have no scripture to back that up of course, but I wouldn’t put it past Him.
In view of God’s love for us, and His desire to demonstrate His love through signs and wonders, we should lay hands on anyone who asks for prayer, beseeching The Lord with hopeful and expectant faith.
Qualified Healing Techniques
Following our own epiphany or born again experience, Ruth Ann and I observed signs and wonders administered successfully by believers from all walks of life. We read a lot, attended many workshops, and sought the advice of others more experienced than us. Still, all of us new recruits began ministering to others from the get-go, as The Lord led and taught us Himself. He has always impressed on us the limitations of the “cookie cutter” or “formula” approach in healing.
Formula prayers can be very effective and efficacious in specific situations, even necessary for example, as in the Rosary, the Stations of the Cross, the Consecration of bread and wine at Mass, or the prayer to Saint Michael we used to say at the conclusion of Mass. There is significant spiritual value in getting things exactly right in certain situations, and in the way repetition quiets and frees the mind so we can concentrate on spiritual truths.
However, the ministry of healing is a very unique process each time — unique to the minister, unique to the one receiving ministry, and unique in Our Lord’s response to the specific situation at hand. I am not suggesting here that healing ministry should be a free-for-all, fueled by the gut reactions and emotions of those involved. That would, of course, result in a cacophony of voices and procedures that are fueled by man, instead of the loving inspiration, authority and power of the Risen Lord.
Nevertheless, over many years and individual ministries, we have seen our own ministry change as we deepened our relationship with The Lord, and gained experience in the various ways individuals come to need healing. No two ministries were ever alike, and most diverged from the others in one or more notable ways.
Across that significant span of time, and numerous opportunities, we came to realize that a “cookie cutter”, “one-size-fits-all” approach is woefully lacking in its ability to get to the root of each individual’s need and discern an appropriate response. We hope what we learned is helpful to some, but we are the first to admit our experience is just that, our own experience. We make no claim to expound the “right” or “best” way to minister healing, because our experience is shaped by our own combination of talents, spiritual gifts, experience, relationship with The Lord, and the specific ministry needs of those He sends our way.
Still, on balance, we have learned a number of principles that we use more often than not; principles that have made ministry run more smoothly and produce more lasting and efficacious results. Some of these are discussed in Weapons For Warfare and Discarding Evil Spirits. We discuss other principles here, and more in the remaining postings about healing. They are presented for the edification of those seeking to learn, who will adapt them to their own ministry as Our Lord leads. The watchwords we recommend are: Focus on principles, not procedures.
Free Will Is Always A Factor
This section offers comments on the meaning of sickness, suffering and the influence of evil at large. It is not a comprehensive presentation but intended to enlarge your perspective. However, make no mistake — if you are in the throes of excruciating stress and suffering, these comments offer little help. When the fires of trials overwhelm, they are intensely personal and your moorings are shaken loose. At that point intellectual knowledge looses its relevancy. Instead, you must run to Our Lord with your entreaties and pain — seek Faith, and His guidance and graces through your relationship with Him, Scripture, and the Church. (See also Embracing Conflict With Hope.)
From time to time, most of us have worked through issues like: “If God is really infinite goodness and love, why doesn’t He take care of sickness and war, so we can lead peaceful, happy lives?” Or maybe it’s this version: “I’ve been good, and faithful to God; why doesn’t He do what I ask and give me what I want?”
Sooner or later the answers fall into two categories: “It’s a mystery, we can’t fully understand”, and “He is faithful to mankind’s free will”. The “mystery” answer is correct. We may gain insights from time to time, but we can never fully understand His ways and the depths of His wisdom. His perspective over time, place and the cornucopia of creation is beyond our comprehension.
We must continue to affirm that sickness, suffering and dysfunctions in nature are all the result of sin — mine, yours, and our compatriots and predecessors all the way back through time to the Garden of Eden. There is no such thing as a victimless sin. Sickness, suffering and dysfunction are never God’s intention. He sacrificed His own Son to put things right (see The Train Wreck Of Humanity and What Jesus Did).
The “free will” answer is also correct, but it’s one we frequently forget. Both answers require an exercise of faith in God’s infinite Love for us all. The Scriptures tell us God created mankind in His own image and likeness. The state of our existence allows us to know and love, just like God, though in a limited way (see A God Who Loves Us.)
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; … So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Ge 1:26,27 RSV)
The ability to love includes the capacity to know the beloved in considerable depth. Made in His image, we can know and enjoy God in His glory and wonder, far beyond the rest of creation; second only perhaps, to the angels in Heaven. We can experience great wonder, happiness, peace, and His love for us in breadth and intensities that animals, birds, rocks, and trees cannot. This stark difference is difficult to fathom; it’s way beyond the difference between a black and white tintype picture from the late 1800’s, and the full color, 3D, surround-sound movies we see today.
In the scriptures, Agápe love (God’s love) far surpasses emotional attachment (Eros) or deep friendship (Filios). While Agápe includes the capacities for Eros and Filios, it’s far more robust — a self-sacrificing love that puts the needs of the beloved first, before self. Agápe is more than inner knowledge, feeling, or emotion. It demands expression, it must act, and act in favor of the beloved.
Free will is one of our most significant blessings, right up there with life itself and Redemption (see What Jesus Did):
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, July 4, 1776)
The actions we take are governed by our will. Aware or not, we make two fundamental decisions whenever we take or withhold action. First, we choose amongst alternatives; and Second, we decide to act or not. If the will is not free, the actions it directs will be those of a mindless puppet or an animal programmed by nature, instead of deeply personal decisions rooted in Agápe. Thus, our created capability to know and love is embedded with free will. It’s all part of the package.
But there’s a catch. If freedom to choose and act is real, we must be able to experience the fruit or consequences of our actions. Without consequences, the various alternatives from which we select have no meaning. Decisions to act become random, omni-directional, and lack personal investment.
Should free will be reduced, the degree with which we are created in His image and likeness would also be reduced. The following analogy is a bit extreme but it illustrates the point: At our current state of existence we are able to know God in His infinite wonder to a far greater extent than a rock. Any reduction in our state of existence would move us in the direction of the rock’s existence. If God took over our lives to remove the effect of consequences, the quality of our existence would be severely diminished. We would become puppets, stripped of our ability to know and love in the breadth and depth for which we are created.
We are at risk today because the concept of personal responsibility has been weakened so. There is a tendency to blame others for the dysfunctional things we do — obscuring the reality that my sins are rooted in choices I make. My sins affect you, yours affect me, ours affect future generations, and those of our forbearers affect us all. All dysfunction, pain and difficulties we encounter in life can ultimately be traced to the effect of sin — Adam and Eve’s, ours and the sins of others, past and present (see The Train Wreck Of Humanity). In the deepest sense, there is no such thing as a victimless crime.
You complain, “But it isn’t fair I should suffer from the sins of others”. Maybe, in a very narrow sense it might not seem fair, but that is a senseless argument because it’s a fact. Suppose I walk down the street, and shake hands with someone suffering from a cold virus. The odds are very high that, unless I wash my hands thoroughly before touching my eyes, mouth or food, the virus will infect me as well, transmitted through the handshake.
It might not seem fair, but it’s the way of the nature we inhabit. Whether we like it or not, we are all bound together as members of our damaged humanity — past, present, and future. The good news is the Lord protects our free will and state of existence in creation so our opportunity to receive His inheritance remains. And, one way or another, He uses the consequences of our sinful choices, those that introduce pains and problems into the world, for the greater good of all.
“…where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Ro 5:20,21 RSV)
Work The Blocks First
Sometimes through the action of our will and of others’, we can be so overpowered with spiritual blindness, deafness, and confusion, that God intervenes in our life to help us see Him and His great love for us. He wants us to be free, but He wants our life’s choices to be a fair fight — so He intervenes on occasion. Jesus left us The Church with the Sacraments and the Magisterium to help us in our struggle to die to self and choose God (see Embracing Conflict With Hope). And there are miraculous inter-ventions, apparitions, visitations, and outpourings of the Holy Spirit, such as: Cursillio, Marriage Encounter, Fatima, Lourdes, Charismatic Re-newal, unique religious orders, and others.
It’s our experience that the Lord can and does intervene in our lives with a free gift of healing or deliverance through reception of the Sacraments, and in answer to prayer and spiritual exercises like a Novena or the Rosary. Nevertheless, it’s also our experience we can bury or hang on to parts of our lives that become major stumbling blocks in our relationship with the Lord.
These blocks are the result of contradictions in our approach to Jesus. He wants to be the Lord of our life, and that means all of it. We want Him to be the Lord of our life too — but sometimes we are only willing to submit certain parts and withhold others. Whether intentional or not, this approach reveals hypocrisy in our professed intentions. “Lord, I want you to heal my anxiety, but I won’t let go of Sam’s hurtful offenses against me.” Or maybe it’s: “Lord I want to be freed from my fears and nightmares, but I’m not ready to stop looking at pornography.” And then there’s: “Jesus I want your power and healing, but I don’t want to let go of my New Age practices”.
The hypocrisy in these examples is easy to see and understand. Actual blocks are seldom clearly known to the individual. They can be buried deeply in the past through some significant trauma; they can seem harmless or even beneficial because of familiar or repetitive practice; and they can provide enticing experiences as in the case of addiction, serious sin or occult rituals.
In these instances, the Lord might, but not always, temporarily withhold healing until the block is removed. The symptoms of pain or dysfunction are left on the surface as an incentive to look deeper, so that instead of just removing a discomforting symptom, the source of pain or worse can also be removed and we get a double blessing.
This is not a theological or spiritual principle. If healing doesn’t happen, it’s not always due to a block. Still, we have found over years of ministry that certain issues in people’s lives frequently impede the action of the Lord. At the beginning of ministry, we first attempt to discover and deal with any of these blocks, before we proceed further.
This approach tends to yield a more peaceful and less frustrating ministry as long as we stay flexible and in tune to the promptings of the Spirit. It also requires careful, loving probing of the subject’s life, both past and present, which in turn extends the time of ministry substantially.
If all of this sounds a little uncertain and difficult to nail down, it is. Our Lord cares most about our relationship with Him, and if being unpredictable draws us closer to Him to detect the finer points of His movement, all the better. Besides, only He can devise the best ministry for an individual.
In this first part about Blocks I will discuss three major ones we encounter. Ruth Ann will discuss several more in the second part.
Idolatry is rooted in pride; we want special information, powers, and control — a special edge over others. Cleverly packaged to conceal the truth, idolatry simply prefers a relationship with the forces and spirits of the demonic world instead of God. We are tempted to go outside the Bible, the Church and our relationship with God to explore mysteries, secrets, powers and pleasures that are advertised as special, ancient and somehow overlooked by others — hidden treasure so to speak. The promise of such special endowment is an enormous temptation to those who feel abandoned or weak, and those whose pride seeks to attain privileged status.
Lost in the temptation’s deception is the reality that there are only two sources of knowledge and spiritual powers: God who is over all and who is the fullness of goodness and love — and Satan with his fallen angels who have been cast from Heaven and are still subject to God (see Satan And His Minions).
No matter how seemingly innocent or attractive, whenever we seek out or flirt with special knowledge, powers, and relationships not rooted in Almighty God, we are rejecting God, and moving towards Evil in order to make ourselves something better than others. Once, a nun involved in New Age said: “I tried the church, I tried the sacraments, and I tried Jesus; it wasn’t enough.” Imagine — “Jesus wasn’t enough.”
The core necessity of a relationship with God, and the devastating effect of idolatry, is so important it’s first of the Ten Commandments:
“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” (Ex 20:2-6 RSV)
Note that idolatry inflicts such serious harm to our spiritual life and our relationship with God that the damage can extend to the third and fourth generation.
All sins are, at their root, idolatrous to some extent. We prefer some experience, some unique knowledge, or pleasure in nature that is contrary to God’s injunctions. But the clearest manifestation of idolatry is occult practice (see also Whose Big Toe Is God).
“When you come into the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, any one who practices divination, a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD; and because of these abominable practices the LORD your God is driving them out before you.” (Dt 18:9-12 RSV)
We get involved with occult because of a basic weakness; I call it the P.T. Barnum syndrome: “There’s a sucker born every minute”. We might have a serious need, or a curiosity, or become titillated by a seemingly harmless flirtation — but we are leaning, and the temptations just push us over.
“But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’” (Ge 3:4-5 RSV)
And, we don’t want to work hard at our relationship with God; we want a quick fix, a short cut. Our damaged nature wants to be special, to have a unique edge, to be more powerful than others; better somehow — all of which dates back to the Garden of Eden (see The Train Wreck Of Humanity).
“Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, ‘… appoint for us a king to govern us like all the nations’…And the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Hearken to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them …forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you.’” (1Sa 8:4,5,7,8 RSV)
Here are five ways people are seduced into occult practices:
• Environmental exposure — A repetitive exposure to occult practices by parents, relatives or friends, dunks us in a pool of evil. Examples are: parlor games such as table tipping, Ouija board, fortune telling, and so on — a gradual involvement over time where the increasing degree of involvement is not obvious.
• False advertising — Evil is seldom obvious. Clever packaging deceives and intrigues us with fancy labels offering a mysterious science or knowledge, long lost but recently discovered. It plays into the desire of our damaged nature to “be like God”. These claims entice with a hint of excitement about discovering something special, but they are false; all we get is contact with evil.
• Innocence – Most of us accept innocence as justification to avoid or mitigate the consequences of mistakes. In spiritual matters, innocence means I can’t have offended God if I didn’t know what I was doing. Still, a child innocently playing with matches may not be committing a serious sin, but a house on fire is a disastrous event nonetheless. Significant or repetitious contacts with evil, innocent or not, expose us to serious attacks by evil.
• The exception — This is a regular trap for intellectuals, especially clergy and religious. “I’m more mature than others, better trained. I can handle the dangers of exposure to the occult because I’m smart enough to tell what’s going on and not let it affect me.” The issue is hardly one of training or intellectual prowess. It’s about with whom you are becoming involved.
• The sanitized version — Fundamentally pagan or occult practices wrapped up in the trappings of Christianity, claimed to ostensibly be purified of the occult core. This sells on the basis of being the best of both worlds. You get Christianity and the “wisdom” of the ages past, purified of any occult attachments. It’s okay to just do the physical exercises in yoga. But it never stops there. “You must quiet the mind.” “Really, how do I do that?” “Well, we have mental exercises that help you.” And so it goes, there’s always a trap.
It’s important to note we don’t advocate seeing Satan behind every bush. We still have to deal with our damaged nature, with its appetites, emotions, desires and egos, as we daily grow in our relationship with Jesus. Nevertheless, during our years ministering healing we have encountered many people affected by occult blocks and didn’t know it.
More information about Idolatry, the Occult, and New Age is presented in The Sandbox postings: Whose Big Toe Is God? and The Blue-Eyed Satanist. These include considerably more detail, examples and references for further study.
The word sin means missing the mark, not sharing in the prize (Strong’s). We are created by God to live with Him in Heaven for eternity. That is our destiny — an inheritance he specifically creates for each of us. The inheritance is so important, so significant; such an incredibly wonderful destiny for us that God sacrificed His Son to restore our access (See the Special Series SR3: Salvation Trilogy in The Sandbox).
Anything that prevents us from receiving our inheritance is a serious issue, very serious — because we’re not talking about our short years of life on this earth, we’re talking about the state of our existence for the rest of eternity.
My favorite analogy for this comes from the Apollo program. A moon shot first sends the Command Module with the Astronauts, the Service Module and Lunar Excursion Module into orbit around the earth. Then a long burn of the Service Module’s engine sends the entire package out of earth orbit on its way to lunar orbit.
When the program began, mankind had never gone into deep space before. Celestial mechanics were new and relatively untried. There was nothing more horrifying to imagine than the Astronauts miss the moon and travel forever, alone and lost in deep space. To miss the moon (or earth on the way back) was simply unthinkable and that special concern dominated every aspect of the program from the get-go.
This focus on absolute safety of the Astronauts was not driven by mindless anxiety and fear. It proceeded from deliberate, carefully considered policies. Their requirements affected everything: redundancies in designs, stringent technical performance, the type of insulation on electric wires, the most sophisticated power sources, complex electronics, rocket engine hardware, and newly developed quality procedures. There was no detail, no matter how small or large that escaped the scrutiny of formal failure analysis and review — all because nobody wanted to “miss the moon”.
In a similar, but vastly more important way, the phrase “serious sin” connotes activity that unless corrected, will cause us to “miss God” in Eternity. Through Jesus, the Scriptures, Tradition and the Church, God has provided standards with which we can evaluate our potential and past activities to make sure we are still on course to arrive at our inheritance.
The trans-lunar voyage was very long and at a high rate of speed. The smallest deviation in speed or trajectory could have devastating consequences. Thus, several course corrections were included in the mission plan to make sure lunar orbit would be achieved.
Imagine Mission Control calling the Astronauts to tell them they are slightly off course and need to make a specific course correction. Further imagine the Astronauts respond with: “It’s not our fault, we didn’t intend this to happen”, or “It’s a very small error and we don’t want to correct it”, or maybe “Gee, missing the moon doesn’t seem so bad here in the beauty of space, we like the course we’re on”.
Sounds silly doesn’t it. In reality the Astronauts are most thankful for the information and proceed immediately to make whatever mid-course engine burns Houston recommends. But we play mind games all the time about sin in our lives. We act as though a damaged relationship with God is not that big a deal. It’s as though we believe a relationship with God is one of several alternatives in a successful life. If we miss the first bus, we’ll just take the next one. After all, we have plenty of time. But we forget that the measure of available time on this earth is long or short depending on the view from your last birthday.
As a block to healing, serious sin means a regular occurrence of sinful activity that does significant damage to our relationship with God.
“Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal 5:19-21 RSV)
Usually we know it’s wrong, but it’s something to which we are so attached, through fear or pleasure, that we have not decided to give it up. It holds significant priority in our lives because it is habitual or addictive; we accommodate it through rationale; or we just decide to do it because “I can”.
Serious sin establishes a contradiction or double mindedness in our relationship with God. In effect we say: “I love you God and I want to receive the blessings of my inheritance that flow from our relationship. But I want to continue this evil behavior that I know is not acceptable to you?”
Here are four ways we are drawn into serious sin:
• A gradually escalating habit —A young boy is given to fits of rage that develop through teenage years into aggressive, physical abuse when he gets married. A young teenager will not admit responsibility when confronted with a mistake, and later develops a disruptive habit of lying and blaming others for her problems at work. A young boy’s curiosity leads him to explore x-rated magazines that lead to addiction with pornography that ruins his marriage.
• Lack of mental discipline — Our mind needs to be kept active with constructive, life giving thoughts — thoughts that challenge our creativity and ability to analyze and discern. If we empty our mind regularly and allow it to wander aimlessly without control, it becomes soft and more vulnerable to the probing of evil — less effective resisting temptations. Hence the saying: “An empty mind is the devil’s workshop”.
• Refusal to crucify an area in your life — Refusal to control food, alcohol, lust, power or other pleasures can lead to serious addiction and health problems over time. Our Adamic DNA makes us vulnerable to irrational influence from emotions, appetites, desires and egos. If we allow them free reign, they quickly develop a mind of their own and exert control. Over time they can morph into a demanding fiefdom in our lives that we must crucify (See Embracing Conflict With Hope) so Jesus can be Lord of that area as well.
• Friendly Accommodations — Most of us enter our adult lives with standards for morals, ethics and integrity that we intend to practice diligently through out life. But when we run into the vicissitudes of life, we discover things are seldom crystal clear, black or white. Gray areas, compromises, the greater good, and different perspectives rear their confusing heads.
We are pressured to move, adjust, make exceptions and otherwise modify our standards for some significant reason. Some of these adjustments are valid. Our approach may have been uninformed, our standards might be too tight, or we might be just flat wrong. Nevertheless these pressures can send us down a road where major compromises in values, morals and integrity can accumulate from many seemingly insignificant compromises (See Ethics In Business).
Cheating in school exams and on taxes; ”little white lies” in relationships, marketing and sales; spin, exaggerated claims or incomplete presentation of the truth; sacrifices in quality; and many other slippery slopes abound. All of these can cause us to wake up one day and realize we are deeply immersed in serious unethical and immoral behaviors, along with loss of integrity.
Forgiveness is one of the most misunderstood issues we face in life. Nobody escapes offenses. When they happen, whether real or false, we instinctively start collecting personal entitlements to the fruit of justice: punishment of the offender, apologies and contrition for the offense, appropriate compensation or restitution, and more. Assuming the offense is real, not just based on excessive sensitivity or a misunderstanding, these entitlements are real and righteous, not subject to arbitrary nullification or dismissal.
Yet, Our Lord commands us to forgive and forgive a lot. Thus, a thorough understanding of this issue is vital for healing and a healthy life. Forgiveness has already been explored in an earlier posting entitled Forgive ….. Or Not! Rather than repeat that presentation here, you are strongly encouraged to peruse that posting before moving on. A brief, but inadequate, summary is presented below for review purposes only:
• Almighty God, in His infinite Mercy and Love, forgives our sins and our damaged nature through the death of His Son, Jesus, and the Sacraments of Baptism and Penance (a.k.a. Confession) provided through the Church.
• Forgiving others for grievances and offenses is a sign to others the New Life is operating effectively within us.
• Harboring unforgiveness never hurts the offender.
• Unforgiveness cements our attachment to the offense and impedes our efforts to move on.
• Jesus has commanded us to forgive—that we might be free of bitterness and revenge—free to stay close to Him.
• Forgiveness never means denying the injustice of real wrongs, denying their seriousness, denying our hurts, or denying the consequences of sinful acts.
• When we forgive, we give up legitimate claims so we can be freed from attachments to hurts and wrongdoing, attachments that grip our lives and get in the way.
• Forgiveness transfers responsibility to sort out the issues of justice to the Lord, where it belongs.
Ministering to these blocks and those discussed in Blocks To Healing – Part II will be presented in more detail at the end of Part II — to be posted shortly. In the interim, the principles involved can be gleaned from Weapons For Warfare and Discarding Evil Spirits in The Sandbox. While specific blocks identified by an individual may or may not have evolved to Obsession with an evil spirit, evil is certainly directly involved in the temptations and spiritual Oppression that led to the blocks in the first place. Thus, it is no surprise there is substantial similarity between the principles used to deal with blocks, and spiritual warfare.