Q. I am afraid of "failing" in my prayer for family healing, since I experience a kind of "spiritual emptiness." I envy those who seem to be bursting with spiritual life.

A. No one is on a constant spiritual "high." And many devout souls are seldom "high." God often serves the cake without the "frosting." But feeling isn't as important as filling–filling yourself with God's goodness, not yours.

At Communion time we are in the closest union with Jesus. "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him," the mutual union of "Communion" (John 6: 56). In this infilling with the presence of Christ, we have an occasion to fulfill the pleading of Paul in Ephesians 3:19, "that we may be filled to the measure of all fullness of God." It is only with this total infilling with Christ that we have security against contamination or recontamination with the forces of evil. Jesus tells us that after evicting the enemy, the house is "clean but empty" (Luke 11:25)–rather than "clean and full" with the fullness of Christ. This emptiness leaves it open to "seven devils worse than the first."

Pray to appreciate more fully the truth that "you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority" (Phil. 2:10), so as to experience "the fullness of him who fills everything in every way" (Eph. 1:23). This is the antidote to your "spiritual emptiness."

Healing Your Family Tree
Fr. John H. Hampsch, C.M.F.