This year’s theme “Healing Faith” highlights the use of prayer and spiritual practices to improve health…..an approach to healing that dates back to ancient times.
Each day pastoral care givers are invited into the life experiences of women, men, children, and organizations. Faith can be tested and questions arise about the meaning of suffering and pain. Where can strength be found? Can hope be restored? How can one draw on his or her faith as an anchor in the midst of the storms of life? These are serious matters attended to by the host of caregivers in specialized settings of care.
Pastoral caregivers bring many gifts to the process of healing and wholeness. They are trained to help individuals draw on their own faith traditions and teachings for comfort and guidance as they walk through dark valleys. Using faith as a starting point, they help restore a sense of balance and peace to those going through difficult situations. "Just as the body cannot exist without blood, so the soul needs the matchless and pure strength of faith” -Mahatma Gandhi
The weeklong observance promotes spiritual values as a part of the healing process and invites us to celebrate the work of caregivers in such settings as hospitals, prisons, mental health facilities, nursing homes, counseling centers, etc.
Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher Maimonides wrote, "May I never see in the patient anything but a fellow creature in pain." The sentiment of this statement points to the need for humility in all forms of health care and the willingness for doctors/nurses/caregivers to be equal to those they are treating or serving. The acknowledgment of the influence of spirituality on healing and on the healer helps to restore a balance and sense of humanity where it may be lacking in the modern practice of care.
Further information about the week can be found at: