Jesus came down from the mountain and a leper came to him saying, “Lord, if you want to, you can heal me,” And Jesus replied, “Of course I want to; be clean,” And the leprosy left him (Matt 8: 1-3)
It’s a two-edged sword, this healing lark. You see many of us beg and beg and we are not healed. And yet leprosy was always a sign of sin, more than a physical illness and so in healing the leper, Jesus is showing an outward sign of the forgiveness of sins.
Even so, many of us must battle on day after day with sickness that He has said He will leave us with. What’s that all about then?
Blessed Margaret of Costello is a little wonder of the Church. She was seriously disabled, and abused and unloved by her parents. They abandoned her in a church in the end. From there little crooked Margaret took on the life of Christ she was called to. He never healed her. But through her love and prayers many others were healed.
I remember the story of a blind woman who begged and begged Margaret to lay hands and pray over her for her sight to be restored. Margaret was very unwilling, telling the woman that she would be better off in soul if she remained blind; but at the woman’s insistence Margaret prayed and God restored the woman’s sight.
I remembered that story when God kept saying “No” when I asked for a cure. It seems that it is better for me to be this way.
But He does still heal people she asks him too. This wonderful story of a family whose child was born with serious disabilites, including no kneecaps, is rather typical of Blessed Margaret of Costello and her special care for disabled people.
Marilyn Pinkerton’s grandson Nicholas was born with nail-patella syndrome so that his nails and kneecaps didn’t grow. It was unlikely that he would ever walk without kneecaps and he had other problems to contend with.
The local Carmelites at a shrine for Bl. Margaret suggested praying to her for his healing and help. The Pinkertons were not Catholic but they did what was suggested. The grandmother in particular took on the prayer to Bl. Margaret. Even as she did so they saw some improvement in Nicholas and continued to pray.
A year later doctors were astonished to discover that Nicholas had kneecaps! He can no walk and run and is developing like any healthy child.
Knowing that physical healings still happen, means we can be sure spiritual ones happen too, even if through sickness and disability. Blessed Margaret of Costello, had prayed for healing and didn’t receive it, so she accepted the disabilities that were laid on her and did so with amazing grace.