Layperson's Manual for Healing,  by Fr. Robert DeGrandis, another popular book by this world-known charismatic priest. Fr. DeGrandis explores how attitudes and sinfulness affect our openness as instruments of God's healing love; the sacraments as a means of healing; forgiveness as an essential ingredient; and the healing bad memories! CLICK HERE



It's the time of year when gardens and landscaping are running back at full tilt and as we watch what God created sprout and grow, it is a good time to meditate upon how they grow, and the way it hurts plants when we force things.

Have you not noticed that? The more you try to pressure a plant into flourishing at the pace or size you want it to flourish, the worse it seems to do, even unto killing it with too much water or fertilizer. It is important to let things flow in a way that is natural.

Note your lawn. It takes just the right kind of nourishment to make it flourish. When you underfertilze, it may turn brown, as it may also turn yellow if you over-fertilize it (or even burn out). Just the right amount of sun turns a plant green; too much burns the leaves. A lack of water causes a plant to wilt, while too much will cause it to rot.

The same is true in our own lives: pushing beyond what is planned will cause us to be stunted. All must be done in the proportion of the Holy Spirit. We break things or cause them to prematurely mature when we force issues out of God's place (he has assigned a locale for you) and timing. This is written in the blueprint of your life.

We have our place of blessing just as a plant fares best in precisely the area of yard where it belongs -- where it gets just the right amount of sunlight and water. Don't press matters. Don't force things on your spouse or kids. Guide and suggest, yes; at times (with children) you must insist. But make sure you are in the flow of the Holy Spirit. Translation: pray before every single decision or action and make sure you have prayed enough.

That is one thing you can't overdo: pleading with the Lord from the heart.

The purpose of life is to awaken to God in all things in order to find true peace and love, which come from helping our fellow man achieve the same state of being, where power is unlimited and miracles happen.

Call it "miracle-gro" for the spirit. Really, isn't it miraculous how a plant unfolds? Often the best thing to do is to let go. Let it go and let Him flow. What happens when you try to jam the wrong key into a door: does the door open or the key break?

When we try to control too much the result is wasted time and frustration. We structure things too tightly. Take that afternoon off and work when you get back. Your spirit will be energized.

Be patient. You may note that watching a plant every second and trying to nurture it obsessively causes frustration. It is nearly as if the plant slows down in response to your imbalance. It is like waiting for water to boil.

Sometimes we have to stop watering and just let a plant work with nature on its own.

The same is true of humans. Don't force things to be "big" in the world, beyond how they were meant. Here we recall the way Jesus cursed a fig tree -- causing it to wilt because it was using resources but bearing no fruit. It was a full tree, but it was pretending to be something it was not.

Neither the tree nor the temple (with its money-changers) were as they appeared and thus met with the displeasure (and correction) of Christ. At least, this is another way of viewing it. By their fruits you will know them; by our fruits are we known. We can put on any kind of a front -- a facade -- we want, but in the end who we really are will be reflected in what we produce.

And the more we produce, and the better it is, the more we are blessed.

An excellent fig tree may look small but be filled with fruit under every leaf.

Forget appearances. When we use the gifts God gave us, His Spirit flows through and heals as it courses in our veins and blossoms into fruit or flowers or however we may want to picture it.

We are "grown" according to our fruits. The eyes of the world are meaningless; in fact, often a good barometer of what you should not be doing is what the world wants and entices you to do. How hard it is for even the most "religious" to sever admiration for materialism!

Don't force things. Be natural. Find balance. And let His Spirit work through you, according to His Will. In this way will you find peace or at least unusual serenity in the rush of the passing world.

[Resources: The God of Miracles]

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