The Healing Power of Love (It Goes Beyond Emotional)
by Rissa Singson Kawpeng
I heard this from a priest during a weekday Mass. He spoke about a married couple who invited him to celebrate their 18th anniversary. He found it unusual because normally couples would throw a bash for their silver anniversary. So the wife told him their story.
Just one month after their wedding, the husband met a terrible car accident. He spent the next few months recovering in the hospital. When he was finally discharged, he was paralytic. He lay in bed and couldn’t do anything — not even eat by himself. The wife dutifully cared for him even as her friends convinced her to leave him. It wasn’t easy caring for an invalid, not to mention dealing with all the dashed dreams they shared when they got married. So the wife admitted it would often cross her mind to jump ship.
But on their 15th year of marriage, this woman attended a Marian retreat. There she learned about the love of Mama Mary that is life-giving and sacred. Because of that, this woman resolved to love her husband with a love like Mary’s.
That’s when the miracle began. On their 16th year of marriage, the husband began to sit up. On their 17th year, he began to stand up. And now on their 18th year, the husband could already walk with the use of a cane.
The divine love his wife showed him brought about this man’s healing!
Why does love heal? Because when you’re wanted and accepted, you feel good.
Stress flees when you’re the object of someone’s affection.
Pain lessens when your mom hugs you and tells you she loves you.
Read aloud 1 Corinthians 13 and feel the immediate relief that floods your being. “Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is never jealous….” Can you feel your body relaxing?
There’s a scientific side to all this. Feelings of love release a hormone called oxytocin. Aside from being known as the “commitment hormone” — because research has shown that romantic couples who have high levels of this at the beginning of a relationship were more likely to still be together six months later — oxytocin has been found to improve your capacity to heal wounds. Think Wolverine in slow motion. Scientists discovered that this hormone’s anti-inflammatory power is responsible in hastening the healing of wounds. I also read that oxytocin lessens stress and protects you from anxiety.
So go ahead and love.
Give it freely and generously.
Give it to the one who loves you back as well as those who have no love to give but need it desperately. (I’m talking about the poor orphans and abandoned elderlies, not that jerk of a boyfriend you need to break up with.)
Give it to the One who loved you first and loves you always.
Because when you love, it’ll come back to you — good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over.
Then watch those hormones kick into action.
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 4:18)
Email Rissa Singson Kawpeng at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Facebook.
*This article originally appeared in Kerygma magazine Auguts 2016 issue.
Kerygma. A Greek word meaning “Proclamation of the Gospel.” It is a Catholic inspirational magazine known for having changed thousands of lives, and has been hailed as the “Publishing Miracle of Asia”. It chronicles real miracles experienced by real people. It features testimonies of God’s unfailing love. Kerygma magazine has been in circulation for more than 25 years, and it will continue to do so for the next 25 more… and beyond.
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