Is the blessing of throats just a pious devotion that has no real and lasting effect?
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Many Catholics attend Mass on February 3 to receive a special blessing of throats in honor of St. Blase, bishop and martyr.
The priest or deacon recites the following prayer while holding a pair of candles next to a person’s throat:
Through the intercession of Saint Blase, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from every disease of the throat and from every other illness: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
The blessing calls upon God’s power to deliver the individual from “every disease of the throat and from every other illness.”
However, why do so many people receive the blessing, but are never healed?
Is the blessing of throats just a pious devotion that has no effect?
As with every type of miracle, one of the primary requirements is an honest and sincere faith in God. This type of faith in God trusts in him entirely and in his power to heal us.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this requirement when discussing the many miracles of Jesus.
The signs worked by Jesus attest that the Father has sent him. They invite belief in him. To those who turn to him in faith, he grants what they ask.CCC 548
This means that we need to seriously examine our own faith in God.
Do we truly believe that God can heal us?
Often our own prayers for healing has a tinge of doubt along with it. We know intellectually that God can heal us, but we don’t think he will actually do it.
Our faith still hasn’t made the leap from head to heart.
In addition to a humble faith in God’s saving power, a miraculous healing needs to be within God’s will for us.
It’s possible that we would be drawn closer to God through suffering, then if we were healed.
Jesus healed a group of lepers in the Gospel, but only one came back to express his gratitude.
Healing does not guarantee a deeper relationship with God.
Whenever we approach God for healing, we must do so in faith, trusting that he knows us better than we know ourselves.