I am often asked if there is any conflict between being a Catholic and a physician teaching holistic health. That always seems to me a slightly odd question: for me they fit together seamlessly.
Some time ago I was asked to see the son of two pastors from an evangelical church. They, their family, and congregation had been praying for him for three years, and they felt guilty about coming to see me. They only came because of the insistence of one of the congregation who had seen an article about my work, and thought that I looked as if I had a nice face. You, gentle reader can be the judge of that.
It was soon clear what was wrong with the son, but the family told me that they did not really believe in medication and felt that their prayers should have been enough.
My response was to ask them if they thought it possible that the Lord had led their parishioner to read the article? Is it not said that, “God works in mysterious ways?” “Is it possible that my team, and the pharmaceutical companies that make the medicines that I am recommending, could all be the answer to your prayers?” I do not know the answer, but they decided that was the case, agreed to the treatment, and the young man was back on track in a few weeks.
It is inevitably controversial whenever I talk about this kind of issue, but I think that it is important.
I would also like to share something that I had not read since I was a teenager. It came along yesterday, seemingly by chance. Except that I don’t really believe in change or coincidence.
“Honor the doctor with the honor that is his due in return for his services; for he too has been created by the Lord.”
“Healing itself comes from the Most High, like a gift from a king.”
“The doctor’s learning keeps his head high, he is regarded with awe by potentates.”
“The Lord has brought medicines into existence from the earth, and the sensible man will not despise them.”
“Did not a piece of wood once sweeten the water, thus giving proof of its virtue?”
“He has also given men learning so that they may glory in his mighty works.”
“He uses them to heal and to relieve pain, the chemist makes up a mixture from them.”
“Thus there is no end to his activities and through him health extends across the world.”
“My son, when you are ill, do not be depressed, but pray to the Lord and he will heal you.”
“Renounce your faults, keep you hands unsoiled ad cleanse your heart from all sin.”
“Offer incense and a memorial of fine flour and make as rich an offering as you can afford.”
“Then let the doctor take over – the Lord created him too – and do not let him leave you for your need him.”
“Sometimes success is in their hands, since they in turn will beseech the Lord to grant them the grace to relieve and to heal, that life may be saved.”
“If a man sins in the eyes of his Maker, may he fall under the care of the doctor.”
The Jerusalem Bible, Ecclesiasticus 38:1-15