Mind healing, how we can heal our minds and hearts of the hurts we have suffered, was the topic of a recent desk column commentary by the editor-in-chief of the Catholic Times. Many in today's society are hurting: wars, family and individual conflicts, cultural prejudice, workplace and educational injustices, and a host of other situations that inflict much pain. We all have to live with these painful situations every day; the only difference among them is their size. But to say that my pain is greater than yours, he says, is an attitude that makes no sense. The way we face the pain is what is important.
people, in the face of the pain, close their
hearts and become angry and hateful, while others, precisely because of
their pain, open their hearts with a better understanding of the
suffering of others. To live with others
is difficult; we are likely to discover aspects of ourselves we would
prefer not to see. An example
would be when we see another person, completely unrelated to us, who is
happy, which tends to make us acutely aware of our own unhappiness.
can define life, he says, as a time of waiting. The psychologist and
philosopher Erich Fromm tells us that humans can be described as
creatures that look upward and forward to a future time, waiting for a
better person to emerge and for better opportunities, waiting for their
dreams to be realized, waiting for the end of their suffering.
we wait mindlessly, he says, is the problem. What are we waiting for
how is it important to us? are questions we need to ask ourselves.He
suggests that what is important to all Christians is the consolation of
family and friends. More so would be the consolation that comes from
God. Also helpful is to realize that we tend to imitate those we admire
and think about, and to realize that faith is also a kind of waiting,
which we can see illustrated by the Scriptures.
that have received consolation in their suffering are the ones who can
share it with others who are suffering. He mentions the tragic incident
of a mother who had lost a child in an accident. Though many tried to
console the mother, they were unable to do so, the tears kept coming. It was only when a friend, a mother who lost her own daughter in such an accident, approached the grieving mother with a hug that the tears stopped.
is a direct ratio of pain to consolation. The greater the pain, the
greater is God's consolation. We have the example of our martyrs, whose
faith and trust grew because of God's promises; suffering sublimates
into great hope.
All those who are suffering are walking in the
way of Jesus. Let us experience his outstretched hand. Like the sun that
is always there in the sky even when hidden by clouds, God is always
with us, offering us the consolation we are seeking.