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It seems to us that we often ignore the spiritual component to health -- and disease.

Jesus often cast out darkness before a cure was effected.

Has that changed?

It has not. We simply ignore it. And many illnesses thus evade a remedy. If there is darkness in or around a person, it can eventually precipitate into a physical malady.

That's not to say this is the case for every illness! It is to indicate the non-physical aspect of many physiological challenges. If they do not cause them, spiritual forces can exacerbate bodily shortcomings. They can hook into injury, whether emotional or physical.

It makes sense, thusly, to pray for a shield of well-being and protection. "Have you heard of the cancer cure called 'Avemar'?" asked a reader named Mary Deliduka. "It was invented by a Catholic doctor in Hungary who prayed to the Blessed Virgin to help him find a cure for cancer. He named it after Mary: Ave Maria, Avemar."

We have not heard of that. Are there things in nature that can cure disease, sometimes when medical science cannot?

Wrote Edward Stoltz, "Thank you for all that you do, for the news and spiritual counsels. I will say this as briefly as possible.  I had a lesion  on the side of my stomach for a about seven years that had been a mole. It was discovered at work last March 3. A dermatologist removed it and found it to be melanoma. The amazing thing was that it didn't act like melanoma; the majority of it hadn't clustered and it didn't go anywhere. They removed all the tissue under the lesion on April 29, and it was clean. A woman thought that since I helped out at the Miraculous Medal Novena, that Mary had spared me.  I believe this, but there is also a physical reason. I have taken Alacer EmergenC since it came out in 1972. I have taken it all the time since 1978. It has two properties that have been proven to inhibit cancer:  a vitamin C which goes directly to the cells and is not digested, and potassium which flushes out sodium. I think that it made my immune system so strong that it protected me. 

"The miracle was that it was discovered before the cancer could not be held back. A 1963 study proved that intravenous vitamin C could prolong the lives of terminal cancer patients 4.5 years. I believe that this was more powerful because I used it before I got the cancer. I didn't dare mention this to the doctor. Anyway, I attribute all this to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. I had a Mass of thanksgiving said to her as soon as I could."

Never despair. There are physical and spiritual remedies.

"Wanted to pass some beautiful news to you," wrote Teresa Davis of Sarasota, Florida. "I have received a full healing from thirty years of deafness and blindness in one eye,  plus nerve damage to both hands (all caused by a serious auto accident in 1984). Visiting pastor from India. Prayed over me. Felt heat entering my head, ears, eyes, then sound and light came in. Just like that! Healed. My husband and two small kids were there and saw what was happening. And we were all crying out of joy like little babies! Then,  as we pulled in our driveway, we saw it: We have one of those white lamp posts in our front yard,  popular here in southern Florida. Well, at its base is a rose bush we had planted, and had died last year (a pile of brittle sticks; just hadn't had time to dig it up yet!) was in full bloom! Not only full bloom, but branches had grown up and entangled themselves all the way up and around the post,  over the cross beam, to the light on the top! It was beautiful!  This was St Patrick's Day... late that night, after the healing service... one week before Easter... and it looked like a Cross with the proverbial roses twined about it! I didn't think anything about it other than it was a miracle, on top of my healing. But it was more than that:

"These were not just roses. They were beautiful huge fragrant white roses

"It's a red rose bush,  one that's not capable of white blooms.

"My husband,  staring in shock at it, pointed this out. We even had a rose breeder come over to look at it.

"I don't know what was more amazing at that moment, that I could now hear him, or what we were seeing! So we all stood there that night, me completely healed, after thirty years of deafness and blindness, written off as hopeless by doctors with a medical file, and test results as thick as an encyclopedia; now a little family, two precious little children, a wonderfully faithful and loving husband, looking up to Heaven in front of the miracle bush awash in the sweetest of scents, in complete awe of a great  powerful, and loving God, unmatched, invisible, and so very present."

[resources: Spirit Daily's New Bookstore and New: What You Take To Heaven]

[See also: retreats, Louisiana and Kansas City]

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