Given from the Catholic Broadcasting Station 2SM Sydney Australia
Choose a topic from Vol 1:
Because such services are not in the spirit of Christianity, nor included in the commission given to the Church by Christ.
No one ever told me to take it up.
We do not. We need the religion of Christ. The poor, whether by lack of health or wealth, have always existed, and always will exist, according to Christ. He healed some people to prove His mission. But by no means did He heal all whom He knew to be sick. Had he done so, there would not have been a single sick person left in the whole of the world. The same Christ in heaven now knows all the sickness on earth, and by one act of His will He could heal all. He does not do so. No sickness could occur unless God were to permit it. Yet God does permit it. If Christ healed the sick, it was not merely to get rid of the sickness, but to prove His revelation; and that having been proved sufficiently, the real need for miracles ceases.
The spiritual powers given to the Apostles were to be permanent, and it is a greater miracle to restore the life of the soul by conferring grace than to heal the body from temporal illness. But the power of miraculous healing was given to various individuals in the early Church merely in order to secure the rapid growth of the Church, serving as a motive of credibility. Once the Church was solidly established the need of such extraordinary manifestations ceased. Men do not become Christians for temporal benefits, but for their eternal welfare. Those first miracles were merely signs, and if you want a sign to day, the universal Church still existing in our midst after twenty centuries against such opposition is sign enough.
No. The chief thing in Christianity is the forgiveness of sin to secure salvation, not the healing of the body to put off a little longer the death, which must come sooner or later. Christ gave the Apostles the power to forgive sin and to heal. The power to forgive sin was essential and necessary, and it has passed to all succeeding Priests of the New Law. The power of healing was not meant to be transmitted. God gave it to some in the early Church after the Apostles, but not to all. St. Paul says, "To one is given the word of knowledge; to another the grace of healing; to another, etc." 1 Cor. XII., 8-10. The Bible proves that the power of forgiving sin was to be handed on to the successors of the Apostles, and nowhere does it hint that this power was not to be given to all such successors. But St. Paul clearly shows that the gift of healing was not given to all. It is a secondary gift, not for the sake of restoring health, but to prove the mission of the Church. In I. Cor. XIV., 22, St. Paul says that the gift of tongues is "for a sign, not to believers, but to unbelievers."
It is just as easy to God to say, "Thy sins are forgiven thee," as to say, "Arise and walk." But it is not just as easy to a man unless God has given him the power. But I presume that you are a Christian, and believe in Baptism. What does Baptism do? It destroys sin. Prior to Baptism, the soul is without the life of grace and in a state of sin. But if, by the power of Christ a human being can destroy sin by the Sacrament of Baptism, there is no difficulty in admitting that he could do it by another Sacrament such as Confession. And since you do not demand miracles before you will accept the Sacrament of Baptism, it is inconsistent to demand them for that of Confession. The only thing to prove is that Confession is a Sacrament to destroy later sins, as Baptism destroyed previous sins. That I have done.
Christ did not teach His followers to heal. He bestowed upon some of them the divine gift of healing. And they in turn did not teach their followers. It is impossible to teach as an art that which is essentially a supernatural gift. Each one intended by God to have it had to receive it directly from God.
I deny that it was anything like a universal practice. Some early Christians were specially endowed by God with the power of healing, in order that the Church might appeal to onlookers in a special way. But the Church has been built, and there is no need to show a stone from the quarry whence it was hewn in order to prove its existence and mission from God.
That is really nonsense. Can you imagine the mental exertions of the dead body of Lazarus when invited by Christ to think itself alive again? Before raising Lazarus from the dead He lifted His eyes and said, "Father, I give thee thanks that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always; but because of the people who stand about have I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me." Jn. XL, 41-42. Those words prove His appeal to God's power, and not to natural created forces. And it proves His purpose in working miracles, not for the sake of the miracles, but that people might believe in Him. We do not need miracles before our eyes now to make us believe. Historical evidence is enough.
Christ ushered in a new dispensation, but not of medicine. He did not come to establish a medical clinic. He came to call sinners to repentance, that they might secure forgiveness for their past sins, overcome their moral faults, and serve Him in a life of virtue.
You have no evidence for that assertion. I know that God usually makes use of secondary causes which He Himself has established, and it is my faith that God will continue to grant them efficacy which takes me to a doctor who has studied their properties. But Christian Science is not faith in God at all. It is faith in self and self's own immense power of mental effort.
Jesus said, "They that are in health need not a physician, but they that are ill." Matt. IX., 12. And the same God whom we Christians worship gave most minute health laws to the Jews, laws which Jesus never declared to be false and useless.
You do not know what you are saying. If you believe that Christ is God, you dare not say that a Church declared by Him to be indefectible ever failed; if you do not believe that Christ is God; it is little use your quoting Him at all.
Nowhere did Jesus ever tell us to heal. As for your comparison of St. Paul with Jesus, remember that every word of the New Testament is the inspired word of God. We are to believe both St. Paul and Jesus, and their doctrines never conflict. If they did conflict the New Testament could not be God's word, and you could not use it at all to justify your notions. You must either accept the New Testament as a whole or reject it as a whole.
The signs predicted by Christ did follow. But He never said that they would always follow, and that every single believer in Him throughout the ages would be able to do them. As a matter of fact they have not followed at the discretion of every follower of Christ, and if He had intended them to do so, then He has failed, and you are foolish to continue to believe in Him. All Priests of the Catholic Church, meantime, do greater things in the spiritual order than Christ wrought in the temporal order; they forgive and destroy sin, raising the spiritually dead to life, a greater work than the raising of those who are bodily dead.