Monday, July 07, 2008

Poll-Release Monday #56

We are finished with the section on Anointing of the Sick. The next sacrament is Holy Orders. Here is this week's poll question:

True or False?: The ministerial priesthood differs in essence from the common priesthood of the faithful.
What do you think? Is there an essential difference between the ministerial priesthood and the common priesthood? Vote in the poll in my sidebar.

Here are the results from last week's poll:
  • True or False? The effect of physical healing depends on the intensity of the prayers for the sick person.
    • True: 3 (17%)
    • False: 15 (83%)
The correct answer is:
  • False, cf. CCC no. 1508: The Holy Spirit gives to some a special charism of healing (Cf. 1 Cor 12:9, 28, 30) so as to make manifest the power of the grace of the risen Lord. But even the most intense prayers do not always obtain the healing of all illnesses. Thus St. Paul must learn from the Lord that "my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness," and that the sufferings to be endured can mean that "in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his Body, that is, the Church" (2 Cor 12:9; Col 1:24).
Does this mean prayer doesn't work? No, it just means that we don't always pray as we ought. In an earlier post, I outlined the conditions that Scripture provides as necessary for a prayer to be answered:
  • We must ask in faith, without doubting.
  • We must not make a request that is rooted in the desires of sinful passions.
  • We must ask out of a pure heart.
  • We must be striving to keep His commandments and to do what pleases Him.
  • Our request must be in accordance with His will.
I think if the last condition is met then the other ones will fall into place as well. Of course, it's not always easy to discern God's will in a particular situation. That is why we have to approach God in prayer with humility, and a readiness to accept the outcome --even if it is not the outcome we wanted.

For more on prayer, see the Prayer, Devotion, and Spirituality topical index page.

Pax Christi,

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