Is it possible to heal from cancer? In a scientific and earthly sense, the answer is yes and no. Certainly, many have overcome cancer, and many have died. But what about real healing in a holistic sense? Is it possible to be healed before, during, and after cancer whether you are the patient, caretaker, family member, friend, or other close person? The world will tell us “No,” but there is much more to think about and ponder over in terms of the real meaning of healing.
What is healing?
We are human beings, and none of us will live forever on earth. However, as people of faith and believers in the resurrection of Christ, we believe in the resurrection of the body. As Catholic Christians we know and believe that our true home is heaven. Therefore, healing is and does exist when we focus on eternity! Part of healing is the realization of sin in this world, but despite sin, disease, and anything else that separates the body of Christ, our healing is our hope in our heavenly reward. To be healed is an acceptance that despite whatever has happened to us in this life, we can trust our Lord to bring us to our heavenly home if we but love, serve, and follow him all the days of our life. Here are seven ways to be healed of, yes, cancer. It is possible with God’s help.
Tip One: Understand that healing is much more than physical
Healing is indeed much more than physical healing. This may be difficult to hear for those suffering with cancer or with any other ailment. In the book of James Chapter 5, it states, “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord” (James 5:14 NAB). As Catholics, we are blessed with the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick which enables the sick person to have the spiritual strength to go on during the challenges of illness. In some cases, people are healed of the sickness and go on to live the rest of their lives. No matter what, the healing we are starving for is spiritual, and it makes all the difference even in one’s physical health to have the strength of the Lord inside your heart and spirit.
Tip Two: Good self-care for both you and others
What is self-care? It is taking the time to be response to yourself, both physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It is taking the time to breathe and not being too hard on oneself. It is allowing others to help and be there for you. Self-care is, of course, eating right, getting enough sleep, exercise when possible, and slowing down enough to “smell the roses” each day. Be sure to take diligent care of yourself and of those you love. When you love yourself, it is a gift to those who are concerned for your life and health.
Tip Three: Live “Your Dash” well
There is a poem by Linda Ellis called The Dash all about learning to appreciate the present moment. The dash represents the horizontal line between the birth date and date of death on a gravestone. The dash is what is most important in our lives in terms of how well a life is lived and according to virtue. Part of the poem states, “For it matters not how much we own, the cars, the house, the cash. What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.” The poem resonates well with cancer patients and their loved ones to see the value of the sacred present moment which is a gift from God.
Tip Four: Make peace with God, others, and yourself.
Nothing is more important in understanding your own healing that peace and forgiveness with both God and others. The Lord desires your peace, and he desires your happiness. When you take the time to love and serve God, peace is found. When we make peace with those people in our lives where there may have been some unforgiveness and great challenges, we are also gifted with peace. Sometimes it is not possible to make peace in a physical way with another person, but peace can still be offered and given away through prayer, care, and most of all through God’s love. Lastly, peace with oneself is simply accepting both the good and the bad of life. Life is never perfect, but God is, and this is where peace happens in the greatest of ways. Peace is also found in a profound sense in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, so consider doing so when you are able.
Tip Five: Develop a deep life of prayer, and enjoy that time
Take the time to pray, to contemplate, and to recognize God’s presence not only daily, but at each moment. If you are not a person who is used to praying often, practice little by little. Start with prayer at meals or during quiet times of the day. Progress to recognizing he is with you during both the happy and sad times of life. Enjoy your quiet time with the Lord as you begin the day, in the middle, and at the end of the day. Perhaps develop a devotion to the Rosary, Eucharistic adoration when able, and other prayers and meditations directed to our Lord. Get to know the saints, our Blessed Mother, and the teaching of the Catholic faith as means of growing closer to Jesus, and in loving him more.
Tip Six: Be a Missionary disciple no matter your circumstance
Becoming a follower of Jesus by imitating his life. Those who suffer with physical disease understand pain, loneliness, unsurety, and even depression and anxiety. There are many people in the world who suffer in other ways such as lack of friends and support, relationship issues, divorce/separation, job loss, and a host of other challenges. God has a job for every person! Those who are affected by cancer when able, can be a support for those who feel sad, marginalized, and unsupported. In this way, you can be a missionary disciple for Christ by loving and caring for those who need to know and feel God’s love in a tangible way.
Tip Seven: Give your life, your heart, and your time to Jesus through love of the sacraments
Our Catholic faith is a precious gift given to us by God. When you give your life and heart to the Lord, you have met your absolute best friend who will be with you for eternity. This is your healing. He is the healer of your soul and of your life and legacy. Tip seven is the most important tip as without Christ to guide us through the hardships of this world, we would find it impossible to make it through. Continue your daily prayer, sacrificial life, and offering of your whole self to Jesus. Your healing is now complete, but we are all a work in progress until we meet him face to face. Although you and your loved one may still suffer the affects of cancer, it IS truly possible to be healed of it. “Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:38 NAB).
When we find Christ and when we walk with him, we can be healed. Can you really be healed of cancer? Yes! With Jesus by your side, through prayer, acceptance of his holy will, and considering all of eternity, you as his beloved child can and will be healed since nothing can separate any of us from his love. When we commit and stay close to him both in life and in death, he is our forever friend who will never leave our sides. May God bless you always.