A Balm for Gilead
Meditations on Spirituality and the Healing Arts
Sulmasy moves between the poetic and the speculative, addressing his subject in the tradition of great spiritual writers like Augustine and Bonaventure. He draws from philosophical and theological sources—specifically, Hebrew and Christian scripture—to illuminate how the art of healing is integrally tied to a sense of the divine and our ultimate interconnectedness. Health care professionals—and anyone else involved with the care of the sick and dying—will find this series of meditations both inspiring and instructive.
Sulmasy addresses the spiritual malaise that physicians, nurses, and other health care workers experience in their professional lives, and explores how these Christian healers can be inspired to persevere in the care of the sick. Drawing on the parable of the prodigal son, for instance, Sulmasy illustrates how some physicians have put financial gain ahead of their patients, and how genuine spirituality might change their hearts. He examines both enigmatic topics such as the relationship between sinfulness, sickness, and suffering and the spirituality of more routine topics such as preventive medicine. In one especially stirring and poignant meditation, he reflects on the spirituality of dying in the light of Christian hope.
A Balm for Gilead interweaves prayer and reflection, pointing the way to a twenty-first-century spirituality for health care professionals and their patients.
About the Author
"To read A Balm for Gilead is to want author/friar/physician Daniel Sulmasy and his disciples to be your doctor. . . . inspires and reaffirms that faith can properly be incorporated into medical and health care practice."—America Magazine
"An accessible introduction to the implications of Franciscan compassion not only for the care of the sick but also for commitment to social justice and changing a health care system that dehumanizes people."—Gerontologist
"A Balm for Gilead offers readers a scholarly yet personal insight into the important role of spirituality in the care of patients as well as recognizing the importance of spirit in the call to service that all health care professionals share. Dr. Sulmasy challenges us to think of spirituality as an ethical mandate, not an option."—Christina Puchalski, MD, director, The George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health
"Any health professional within a Christian tradition who wants to reaffirm how his or her faith can bring meaning and inspiration to their work as a healer will find this book a welcome addition. Daniel Sulmasy is superb at addressing real situations in health care with a Christian spirit."—Daniel E. Ford, MD, David M. Levine Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry, vice dean for Clinical Investigation, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
"This is the enduring and real meaning of 'faith healing'—in categories and vocabulary that are life giving for all people of good will. We thank Daniel Sulmasy for putting back together what Jesus never separated."—Richard Rohr, OFM, Center for Action and Contemplation, Albuquerque, NM
Other Titles by Daniel P. Sulmasy, MD, PhD
Other Titles in MEDICAL / Ethics
Other Titles in Medical ethics & professional conduct