Sunday, July 29, 2012

Dorothy Kerin - Centenary year of her healing



My Christian formation as a teenager was very much influenced by the Church's healing ministry. It  was in this context that a priest told me about the remarkable healing of Dorothy Kerin in 1912, and made sure that I read her first two books, The Living Touch, and Fulfilling

Dorothy Kerin was born in London in 1889. She was a fragile, Anglo-Catholic girl, who at the age of 22, following years of illness principally from tubercular peritonitis, diabetes and its complications, and after two weeks in a state of near coma, and after eight minutes of clinical death, was apparently miraculously and instantaneously raised to life. She had just received Holy Communion in her sick room, when the Lord Jesus appeared to her in a vision. She wrote: 

". . . as I looked I saw One coming towards me; I thought he was coming for me, and I held out my hands towards him, but he smiled and said: ‘No, Dorothy, you are not coming yet.’ Again I passed on, and this time I seemed to go a much greater distance, until I could go no further, when I heard a voice say, ‘Dorothy’ three times. I answered ‘Yes, I am listening, who is it?’ Then a great light came all around me, and an angel took my hand and said, ‘Dorothy, your sufferings are over, get up and walk.’"

The Evening News published an account of the healing on 20th February 1912 and The Daily Chronicle published a further article on 21st February 1912, and journalists arrived in numbers. 

A further vision was given to Dorothy a few weeks later in which she was commissioned to spend her life bring others to know the healing Saviour. 

Dorothy was supported in her work by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Orthodox Archbishop of Corinth, the Bishop of London, the Bishop of Coventry and many others. By 1957 her ministry became internationally known – she travelled to Sweden, Switzerland, France, USA and Ireland, sharing simply with congregations of all kinds, and encouraging the restoration of the healing ministry as a normal part of Church life. She also established Burrswood, a healing home in Kent, where the Church's ministry and medical science support one another. 

On 18th February 1962 a service of Thanksgiving was held at St Martin-in-the-Fields to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Dorothy's recovery, and in October of that year a larger Thanksgiving service was held in St Paul’s Cathedral. She died in 1963. 

During the Thanksgiving service in St Martin-in-the-Fields Dorothy said: 

"Unworthy and sinful as I am, today I stand here and dare to say to you, in the presence of God and of all the company of heaven, that I have seen Jesus, I have heard his voice, I have felt his touch, and I know that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Thanks be to God whose arm is not shortened, whose power is no less." (Quoted by Johanna Ernest, in Dorothy Kerin 1889-1963: Her Ministry of Healing, 1987) 

Dorothy's special gifts included her compassion for those who suffer, as well as her gritty common sense. Johanna Ernst quotes these words of Dorothy before the beginning of a healing service:  

"To those who are coming seeking the Living Touch of our Lord, through his ministry of healing, I humbly address these few words, 'Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will illumine the dark recesses of our lives, so that we can see where we have failed to respond to God's love. When, through his grace we can see where and how we have failed him, let us ask for his forgiveness, and pray that our hearts may be made ready to receive his blessing. We know not what blessing he may will to give us, but we can be abundantly sure that if we come in humility seeking only his will, we shall be given what God in his love and wisdom knows to be best for us. We are coming in faith to touch the hem of his garment - that same Jesus who wrought mighty works along the shores of Galilee two thousand years ago, the very same Jesus whose power is no less today, who always gives more than we can ask or think. Lose sight of the channels, who are nothing, and keep your eyes and mind fixed upon Him, the only Healer and Wholemake." 

"I believe that some of you are coming to receive the laying-on of hands. Before you come I would ask you to remember three things; first, there is no magic about the healing of our Lord Jesus Christ. It does not come immediately, sometimes it does not come at all in the way we hope. Therefore we must come with one prayer in our hearts and minds, and that is that God's Will may be done in us and for us. Secondly the one thing our Lord asks of us is that we should come in faith. So unless, through the grace of God, you can come, believing you are coming to touch the hem of his garment and hear him say, 'Go thy way, thy faith has made thee whole', remain in your seats and pray for those who do come in faith. Thirdly, and perhaps most important of all, that you lose sight of the priests who pray for you, who are nothing, have nothing and can do nothing except to offer themselves as an empty reed for the use of the Lord. 

"There is only one healer, our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his love uses his human instruments, unworthy though they are. It is HIS power, and HIS power only." 

This year - 2012 - is the centenary of Dorothy's healing, and a number of commemorative events are being held in the UK. Go HERE to read the Bishop of London's sermon at St Martin-in-the-Fields (a pdf document). Go HERE to the Burrswood Hospital website for details of other activities. Finally, HERE is a very good and detailed essay on Dorothy Kerin's ministry (also a pdf document).

2 comments:

Jackie Parkes said...

Just found your lovely blog!

+David said...

Welcome aboard, Jackie! I hope you find it helpful. God bless.

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