Giving this book to others is a way of saying “I Care” in very difficult situations where words are often difficult to find.
In the Pink Maureen Bennett, Helen Long and Pat Mollan
Archbishop Alan Harper wrote; When Pat Mollan asked me to write a Foreword for their book the sections she showed me were, at most, one half of what you hold in your hands today. When she asked me to launch the book she explained that the project had grown somewhat and I now realize that it has grown not merely in size but also in stature.
This is, first and foremost, a book by women and for women. So, initially, I wrestled with the almost absurd notion of a mere male launching a book about breast cancer entitled, “In the Pink”. Wrestled, that is, until I tumbled to the fact that Breast Cancer is not just a women’s issue, it is an issue for everyone, and that much between these covers is stuff that men also need to reflect upon.
There is an important premise to the book that Maureen, Helen and Pat – I shall refer to them as the Three Graces – have compiled. It is this: there is more to sickness than merely physical and symptomatic manifestations. Sickness affects not only the way we see, experience and make sense of the world and our relationships, it is a threat to the sense of our place in the world, our inner security, our key relationships, and our capacity to hold fast or adapt to the concepts and apprehensions we may have of the benevolence of the divine.
Recipients have commented;
Last night your wonderful book came to my rescue – I inexplicably felt down and a bit in panic mode about my cancer and the future – I know what God has said to me but sometimes “reality” kicks in and it seems all doom and gloom – but I got out your book when I went to bed and read about four or five pages and was totally uplifted with the mixture of narrative, poem, prayer and Bible verses – it is such a “rescue” book for me and I am so, so glad you sent it to me!
Bless you. I am appreciating the book especially when I am a bit down, lonely or afraid! which is not very often but when it happens I grab the book and read and read and pray. . .
Cost £7.99 available at the office collected. Mail order £10.00 Royal Mail UK.
The Lumps have gone
Carryduff Parish Magazine April 2011
The lumps have gone, but healing is a continuing process involving the whole person. That very significant statement summarises a key element in the four-session Prayer Ministry Course held in our parish during Lent and led by Rev Dr Pat Mollan.
It would be unrealistic to attempt to capture the breadth and depth of the course in a single note for the parish magazine, but one of its crucial characteristics was an appreciation of the difference between physical cure and inner healing. It is the inner healing – the process of letting go of each and every hurt and replacing it with an inner acceptance – that really caught my attention.
We should all be grateful if “the lumps have gone”. In many cases they may not go. Thus a physical condition may persist indefinitely and we have to learn to live with it, even accept it, however distressing it might be. The challenge of acceptance may seem impossibly daunting but, as Dr. Mollan suggests, our response to that challenge represents a deep seated process of spiritual growth.
We are asked to have faith, and to have it without hesitation. Difficult? Of course it is, but God accepts us as we are with all our pains and aches, our faults, our short comings and our tawdry complaints. Faith will grow through the experience of testing and adversity. It seems to me, therefore, that there is o close inter-connection between healing and faith. Healing (i.e. not physical cure) is o process of bringing us closer to God. It could be o slow and lengthy process s, even a lifelong journey; but it can also be a journey in which the destination is “the peace of God which transcends all understanding “. (Philippians 4 v7)
In making that journey several significant signposts present themselves, whether or not the lumps have gone or even if we never had any lumps in the first place. Those signposts include the various hurts, real or imagined, physical or emotional, that others may have inflicted on us in our experience of life. We must put them behind us and, more pointedly, we must forgive them. Nothing is more damaging to our inner wellbeing and our sense of wholeness than the harbouring of resentment.
However, we can and should dispose of all this heavy baggage. There can be no doubt, as Dr Mollan assures us, that the power of confession is huge. Not only is this good practice, it is also the teaching of Jesus. In a most significant directive about prayer He said “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins”. (Matthew 6 v 14,15)
The same message con be found in Paul’s letter to the Colossians, where he says “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you “. (Colossians 3 v 13)
Maybe it seems difficult to square up to advice like that. Yet it is incontestable. If we accept the premise, implicit in these texts, that our redemption incorporates wholeness of body, mind and spirit, then we will grow in grace and in personal healing by taking a conscious decision to forgive everyone in our lives who has ever hurt us – and that must include the crunch issue of forgiving ourselves.
In the final session of the Prayer Ministry Course, Dr Mollan urged that we should take every opportunity to pursue this. The clear message is that if we are able to respond to this challenge not only might the lumps disappear, but we will also be set free from any sense of resentment. Amen to that.
with kind permission.