INSTRUCTION ON PRAYERS FOR HEALING
In sanctuaries, other celebrations are held frequently which may not be aimed per se at specifically asking God for graces of healing, but in which, in the intentions of the organizers and participants, the obtaining of healing has an important part. With this purpose in mind, both liturgical and non-liturgical services are held: liturgical celebrations (such as exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with Benediction) and non-liturgical expressions of popular piety encouraged by the Church (such as the solemn recitation of the Rosary). These celebrations are legitimate, as long as their authentic sense is not altered. For example, one could not place on the primary level the desire to obtain the healing of the sick, in a way which might cause Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament to lose its specific finality, which is to «bring the faithful to recognize in the Eucharist the wonderful presence of Christ and to invite them to a spiritual union with him, a union which finds its culmination in sacramental Communion.»(26)
The «charism of healing» is not attributable to a specific class of faithful. It is quite clear that St. Paul, when referring to various charisms in 1 Corinthians 12, does not attribute the gift of «charisms of healing» to a particular group, whether apostles, prophets, teachers, those who govern, or any other. The logic which governs the distribution of such gifts is quite different: «All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who distributes to each one individually just as the Spirit choses» (1 Cor 12:11). Consequently, in prayer meetings organized for asking for healing, it would be completely arbitrary to attribute a «charism of healing» to any category of participants, for example, to the directors of the group; the only thing to do is to entrust oneself to the free decision of the Holy Spirit, who grants to some a special charism of healing in order to show the power of the grace of the Risen Christ. Yet not even the most intense prayer obtains the healing of all sicknesses. So it is that St. Paul had to learn from the Lord that «my grace is enough for you; my power is made perfect in weakness» (2 Cor 12:9), and that the meaning of the experience of suffering can be that «in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the Church» (Col 1:24).
The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, approved the present Instruction, adopted in Ordinary Session of this Congregation, and ordered its publication.
+ Joseph Card. RATZINGER