The Healing of Naaman

Father Girardey cites the story of the healing of Naaman (2 Kgs 5) to reinforce one of the lessons learned in The Healing of the Ruler’s Son, namely, that God is the best judge of how to cure our ills.

Father Girardey summarizes the events in these words: “Naaman, the prime minister of the king of Syria, was struck with leprosy, and as he could find no physician or remedy to cure him, the king informed him that in the kingdom of Israel there was a prophet of God who wrought wonderful cures and other miracles, and therefore advised Naaman to go to that prophet. So Naaman, attended, in accordance with his rank, by a large and splendid retinue of soldiers and officials, went from Damascus to Samaria to request the prophet Eliseus to cure him of his leprosy. ‘So Naaman,’ we read, ‘came with his horses and chariots, and stood at the door of the house of Eliseus; and Eliseus sent a messenger to him, saying: Go and wash seven times in the Jordan, and thy flesh shall recover health, and thou shalt be clean. Naaman was angry, and went away saying: I thought the prophet would come out to me, and standing, would have invoked the name of the Lord his God, and touched with his hand the place of the leprosy, and healed me. Are not the Abana and the Pharphar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel, that I may wash in them, and be made clean? So, as he turned and was going away with indignation, his servants came to him, and said to him: Father, if the prophet had bid thee to do some great (difficult) thing, surely thou wouldst have done it; how much rather (shouldst thou do) what he hath said to thee: Wash, and thou shalt be clean.’ Naaman followed this very sensible advice of seeking a cure in the prophet’s way, and was at once perfectly cured.”

Father Girardey adds: “As for us, let us be satisfied with God’s way in preference to our own.”

Quotations from Ferreol Girardey, Prayer: Its Necessity, Its Power, Its Conditions (St. Louis: B. Herder, 1916).

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