Starting something new is like a spark—it ignites inspiration, movement, and growth. As such, we’ve begun this New Year by returning to the essentials. Posts such as, “How to Start the New Year with a ‘Healthy’ Prayer Life,” setting out our 2022 theme, and a review of last year’s accomplishments for our 2-year anniversary were intentional to progress into 2022 with direction. Amidst this, the Holy Spirit redirected us to our core essential, restoration, which is what the mission of our ministry is built upon.
What is Restoration?
To deconstruct the literal meaning of the word restoration, re means “again,” and store means to put back into alignment with its original purpose.
In the case of our ministry work, to restore is to bring a soul back to wholeness in Christ, as originally intended. Our desire is to lead others back into right alignment with God, by allowing the Holy Spirit to work through us. We at Little With Great Love seek to initiate restoration by using media to share our stories to reveal how God is restoring us and others. It’s like one beggar leading another to the Heart of Jesus, saying, “He has been doing this work in me too. Here is where your heart will rightly be repaired, rebuilt, or renewed.” It is bringing others to the place where we all come to know the Lord and ourselves most fully, as His beloved.
While healing is closely related to restoration, and is a necessary part of the process, there is a difference between healing and restoration. An excerpt from ‘A Whisper in the Garden’ by author Sue O’Callaghan provides insight while distinguishing the difference:
“There’s a difference between being ‘healed’ and being ‘restored’. Being ‘healed’ is a process of being set free from trauma, grief, loss and pain and the detrimental impact of man’s words and actions over your life. It’s the action of being separated from all that negatively impacted your walk. It’s the breaking with all ties with that which violated who you were created to be; whether physical, emotional, verbal or psychological. It’s the journey of being released from the grip of infirmity, abuse, trauma, rejection, tragedy and hurt. This is first and foremost a necessary process to allow you to experience a life free from captivity; being released from bondage and into freedom from the power of lies and the influence of deception.
Being ‘restored’ is the process of being returned to the truth of your original identity and walking out your journey according to the blueprint that sits in your DNA. It is about bringing you back into purity and freedom. It is about rooting you back into love. It is the journey of a resurrected life out of the old and into that which was before the creation of time. It is about being realigned into your destiny where your identity is not formed by a title you hold or the possessions you have but is determined by the level of truth in which you operate.”
Breaking down what this means for believers: Healing provides freedom from the bondage of our pain, while restoration returns us to the truth of who God created each of us to be – rooted in His love. It reorients us to Christ and calls us into relationship with Him, which is why we were created – to know, love, and serve Him. How perfect that she also uses the word journey, like the “restoration journey” we promulgate, as it is a continual process of walking with the Lord deeper into restoration. As through Christ’s resurrection, the world was made new and will ultimately be restored to a greater glory than what we had before the Fall, He offers us a share in that resurrection, to make us new.
The thread of restoration runs all the way through Scripture. It commences, “In the beginning” with the creation and fall of man in Genesis, where pride, sin, and death usurped God’s original plan. And it culminates in the Book of Revelation, where Christ fully reveals Himself to His Bride the Church, according to Scripture scholar Scott Hahn.
Two of the restoration Scriptures that speak directly into our ministry are from St. Paul. He called us to this work “of restoring all things in Christ” (Ephesians 1:10) so that “Christ may be all and in all.” (Colossians 3:2) We are all called to restoration.
Why Do We Need Restoration?
As we seek to make Christ’s heart our home, we must first look within our own hearts. Traversing the delicate terrain of our wounded hearts is difficult because there are often wounds and longings that we cannot fix or do not want to acknowledge. Self-reflection will reveal what Sr. Miriam James Heidland calls the “ache” in our hearts for communion. Though we long for intimacy with God because our hearts were created for union with His, regrettably, we often try and fill that ache with anything else—leading to our detriment.
The Catholic Church has sought to bring restoration to others for centuries. One of the notable advocates was Pope St. Pius X, who came to be known as a great reformer, champion of Catholic social action, and a holy pope. The first encyclical of his papacy was “E Supremi” (On High), where he began to lay out his program of restoring all things in Christ. In fact, I first discovered the two restoration Scriptures by St. Paul (cited above) in this encyclical.
Pope Pius X penned this letter to the Church amidst the turmoil and chaos that eventually led up to World War I. Yet it still resonates against the tumultuous backdrop of our current day and age.
We were terrified beyond all else by the disastrous state of human society today. For who can fail to see that society is at the present time, more than in any past age, suffering from a terrible and deeprooted malady which, developing every day and eating into its inmost being, is dragging it to destruction?”Pope St. Pius X (E Supremi, 3)
Pius X witnessed the deep-rooted malady of society, “the substitution of man for God”, and called for the Church forth:
- That it should “devote Our care – to lead back mankind under the dominion of Christ; this done, We shall have brought it back to God.” (E Supremi, 8)
- How would this work be accomplished? “Now the way to reach Christ is not hard to find: it is the Church.” (E Supremi, 9)
- To restore what God intended, His people must “proclaim aloud the truths taught by the Church.” (E Supremi, 9)
Today, one of the most effective ways for us, the Church, to respond to this call is through online media—blogs, podcasts, videos, live platforms, and social media. When we engage with others, although people can choose to debate dogma with us, they cannot refute the truth of our story and the power of the One at work within it. So, we put forth into the deep, into our mission, asking Him to accept the loaves and fishes of our testimonies, according to His purpose. May He restore all this to Himself, in His way and time.