Jun 21, 2023 1436 Fiona McKenna, Australia

The Key to Healing

When your soul is exhausted and you don’t know how to calm your mind…

You might be familiar with how Saint Francis of Assisi once asked: “Who are You, Lord my God, and who am I?” He raised his hands in the offering, and from them rose a golden ball as he said: “Lord God, I am nothing, but all of it is Yours.”

I first heard this story on a silent retreat where we were tasked to contemplate the same question: Who are You, Lord my God, and who am I? In the chapel, before the Blessed Sacrament, I fell to my knees and prayed that prayer.

God revealed my heart to me, covered in layers of old blood-soaked bandages, wounded and hardened. Over the years, I had built barriers around my heart to protect it. In that chapel, I realized I couldn’t heal myself; I needed God to rescue me. I cried to Him: “I don’t have a golden ball to give; all I have is my wounded heart!” I felt God reply: “My beloved daughter, that IS the golden ball. I will take it.”

In tears, I mimed, pulling my heart from my chest, and raised my hands in offering, saying: “Lord God, I am nothing, but all of it is Yours.” I was overcome with His presence, and I knew I was completely healed of an affliction that had held me in bondage for most of my life. On the wall beside me, I noticed a copy of Rembrandt’s Return of the Prodigal Son, and immediately I felt that my Father had welcomed me home. I was the prodigal daughter returned in poverty and distress, feeling unworthy and repentant, whom He received tenderly as His daughter.

Often, our worldly understanding of love limits our understanding of what God can do for us. Human love, no matter how well-intentioned, is conditional. But God’s love is unfailing and extravagant! God is never outdone in generosity; He will not hold back His affection.

Pride or fear makes us offer God only the best of ourselves, which prevents Him from transforming the parts we devalue. To receive His healing, we must surrender everything to Him and let Him decide how He will transform us. God’s healing is often unexpected. It requires our full trust. Therefore, we should listen to God, who wants the absolute best for us. Hearing God starts when we surrender everything to Him. By placing God first in our lives, we begin to cooperate with Him. God wants our whole selves—the good, the bad, and the ugly because He wants to transform these dark places with His healing light. God waits patiently for us to find Him in our littleness and brokenness.

Let us run to God and embrace Him like lost children returning home to their Father, knowing He will receive us with open arms. We can pray like Francis: “Lord God, I am nothing, but all of it is Yours,” trusting that He will consume us with transforming fire and say: “I will take all of it and make you brand new.”


Fiona McKenna

Fiona McKenna is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Theological Studies. She lives in Canberra, Australia.

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