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Naturally Supernatural Healing | Physically Spiritual 23

Updated: Oct 19, 2021

Do we have a natural desire for God, or is our desire for God a supernatural gift? This was one of the most debated theological questions of the 20th century. This episode of physically spiritual explores how this theological debate can inform our approach to healing.

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2:30 - Modern Views of Nature

6:00 - Nature

8:30 - Pure Nature v. Naturally Supernatural

13:00 - Naturally Supernatural Healing

17:00 - Miraculous Healing

18:30 - The First Healing I Witnessed

21:30 - How to Pray for Healing

28:00 - Why Doesn’t Everyone Get a Miracle?

32:00 - “Natural” Healing

36:00 - Holiness and Heart Surgery


What is nature?

Modern Reductionism = If it can’t be measured it's not natural

Nature (my definition) = What God gives from creation

Supernatural (my definition) = What God gives beyond creation

State of Pure Nature v. Naturally Supernatural - Limited Bibliography

Books - Dr. Jacob Wood, To Stir a Restless Heart: Thomas Aquinas and Henri de Lubac on Nature, Grace, and the Desire for God (Thomistic Ressourcement Series), CUA Press: 2019 -

Dr. Randall Rosenberg, The Givenness of Desire: Human Subjectivity and the Natural Desire to See God, University of Toronto Press: 2017 -

Dr. Lawrence Feingold, The Natural Desire to See God According to St. Thomas and His Interpreters, 2nd Edition, Sapientia Press: 2010 -

Miraculous Healing = Gratuitously Given Graces = actual grace given through us for others -

Physically Spiritual 4 - (Go to minute 11 for the section on grace)

How to Pray for Miracles

My thinking on this topic has been formed by Bart Schuchts -

"Healing is not a superpower; it is a charism - Where the Spirit is, healing can happen."

"It is evident from its celebration that the effect of the sacrament of Confirmation is the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost."Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1302 -

Practice: 1. Don’t be weird, 2. Ask them if they want prayer, 3. Ask before you lay hands on them, 5. Pray a SIMPLE prayer (see below), 6. Check in with the person, 7. Have them test what needs healed, 8. Repeat 5 - 7

Elements of Prayer: call on the grace won on the cross, pray in Christ’s name, and pray for specifically for what needs healed

Mark 8: 22 - 26 - “When they arrived at Bethsaida, they brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. Putting spittle on his eyes he laid his hands on him and asked, “Do you see anything?” Looking up he replied, “I see people looking like trees and walking.” Then he laid hands on his eyes a second time and he saw clearly; his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly. Then he sent him home and said, “Do not even go into the village.” -

“The risen Lord renews this mission ("In my name . . . they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”[Mk 16:17-18]) and confirms it through the signs that the Church performs by invoking his name. These signs demonstrate in a special way that Jesus is truly "God who saves.” Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1507. -

“The Holy Spirit gives to some a special charism of healing so as to make manifest the power of the grace of the risen Lord. But even the most intense prayers do not always obtain the healing of all illnesses. Thus St. Paul must learn from the Lord that "my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness," and that the sufferings to be endured can mean that "in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his Body, that is, the Church." Ibid. 1508 -

Colossians 1: 24 “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church” -

“Natural” Healing - Elevating Grace and Healing Grace

Theological Virtues = Faith, Hope, and Love (Elevating us beyond our nature)

Cardinal Virtues (Characteristics of healed human nature):

Prudence = Perfection for the Reason [wound of Ignorance]

Justice = Perfection for the Will (Rational Appetite) [wound of malice]

Temperance = Perfection for the Concupiscible Passion (Sense Appetite to the Attractive) [wound of concupiscence]

Fortitude = Perfection for the Irascible Passions (Sense Appetite to the Difficult) [wound of weakness]

Human Nature Wounded in Sin

"Therefore in so far as the reason is deprived of its order to the true, there is the wound of ignorance; in so far as the will is deprived of its order of good, there is the wound of malice; in so far as the irascible is deprived of its order to the arduous, there is the wound of weakness; and in so far as the concupiscible is deprived of its order to the delectable, moderated by reason, there is the wound of concupiscence. Accordingly, these are the four wounds inflicted on the whole of human nature as a result of our first parent's sin. But since the inclination to the good of virtue is diminished in each individual on account of actual sin, as was explained above, these four wounds are also the result of other sins, in so far as, through sin, the reason is obscured, especially in practical matters, the will hardened to evil, good actions become more difficult and concupiscence more impetuous." St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, IaIIae.85.3 -

Human Nature Perfected in Cardinal Virtues

“In like manner, we find the same number if we consider the subjects of virtue. For there are four subjects of the virtue we speak of now: viz. the power which is rational in its essence, and this is perfected by "Prudence"; and that which is rational by participation, and is threefold, the will, subject of "Justice," the concupiscible faculty, subject of "Temperance," and the irascible faculty, subject of "Fortitude." St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, IaIIae, 61.2 -\

Human Nature Elevated in Theological Virtues

“man needed to receive in addition something supernatural to direct him to a supernatural end. First, as regards the intellect, man receives certain supernatural principles, which are held by means of a Divine light: these are the articles of faith, about which is faith. Secondly, the will is directed to this end, both as to that end as something attainable—and this pertains to hope—and as to a certain spiritual union, whereby the will is, so to speak, transformed into that end—and this belongs to charity. For the appetite of a thing is moved and tends towards its connatural end naturally; and this movement is due to a certain conformity of the thing with its end.” St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, IaIIae, 62.3 -\

“In spiritual medical school, we are our own cadaver. [...] ”

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