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A Tsunami of the Spirit: Are Miracles, Signs and Wonders Occurring in the Catholic Church Today?
By Deacon Keith Fournier
October 27th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
The Catholic Church has always proclaimed her belief in the existence of many different kinds of miracles. Our tradition and history are replete with examples of miracles. All miracles are due to the Risen Lord's continued ministry of Mercy in our midst. His redemptive work continues through the ministry of the Church which is His Body. All miracles are still signs of the Kingdom of God. Do such signs of the Kingdom continue to be manifested in our own day? I believe the answer is YES!
CHESAPEAKE,VA (Catholic Online) - I have written in the past concerning the claim that miracles are occurring right now. For example, I called our readers attention to India where a Catholic Bishop attested to miracles which are occurring there. Here is another story. These accounts of miracles in India did not surprise me, they gave me great hope. The Christians of India have suffered greatly for their faith. The Bishop was correct in his reference to what occurred in the early Church as an example of what can occur even now. We are living in a new missionary age in the Third Millennium with many parallels to the First Millennium.
Following the Risen Jesus in His Catholic Church places people at great risk in certain sections of India. The response of these men and women to the Lord shows courage and demonstrates the presence of a living and dynamic Catholic faith in their lives. This is the kind of living faith which comes from an encounter with the Risen Lord. This is the kind of faith we all need, no matter where we live. This is the kind of faith which still calls forth miracles.
As the hostility toward Jesus Christ and His Church continues to grow in the West, we need to ask the Holy Spirit to fall afresh upon the Church. We are increasingly being placed at risk for living our faith - at least when we do so in fidelity to the Gospel and the teaching office of the Church. The same Holy Spirit which has protected and led the Church throughout the ages is at work in the Church today.Do we believe this?
I believe that miracles are constantly occurring. The real question is do we see them? Do we have the eyes of living faith which recognize the hand of the Lord at work? Do we ask for them? If we do see and experience miracles, are we responding to these great acts of Love and signs of the kingdom? Are we living life differently as a result? Are we finding the true joy and freedom which comes from repentance and conversion?
Are we sharing our living faith in Jesus Christ with those around us who hunger for meaning in their lives? Do we believe that the same Spirit which raised Jesus from the dead is at work in the Church which is His Body? Do we pray for miracles? Is it even a "Catholic" thing to do so?
Citing the biblical references to the multiple miraculous healings in the earthly ministry of Jesus - as well as the healings which continued through the ministry of the Apostles in the early Church - the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that miracles are a sign of the Kingdom of God:
Jesus accompanies his words with many "mighty works and wonders and signs", which manifest that the kingdom is present in him and attest that he was the promised Messiah. The signs worked by Jesus attest that the Father has sent him. They invite belief in him. To those who turn to him in faith, he grants what they ask. So miracles strengthen faith in the One who does his Father's works; they bear witness that he is the Son of God.
But his miracles can also be occasions for "offense"; they are not intended to satisfy people's curiosity or desire for magic. Despite his evident miracles some people reject Jesus; he is even accused of acting by the power of demons. By freeing some individuals from the earthly evils of hunger, injustice, illness and death, Jesus performed messianic signs. Nevertheless he did not come to abolish all evils here below, but to free men from the gravest slavery, sin, which thwarts them in their vocation as God's sons and causes all forms of human bondage.
The coming of God's kingdom means the defeat of Satan's: "If it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you." Jesus' exorcisms free some individuals from the domination of demons. They anticipate Jesus' great victory over "the ruler of this world". The kingdom of God will be definitively established through Christ's cross: "God reigned from the wood. (CCC # 547-550)
The Catholic Church has always proclaimed her belief in the existence of many different kinds of miracles. Our tradition and history are replete with examples of miracles. All miracles are due to the Risen Lord's continued ministry of Mercy in our midst. His redemptive work continues through the ministry of the Church which is His Body. All miracles are still signs of the Kingdom of God.
Do such signs of the Kingdom continue to be manifested in our own day? I believe the answer is YES! Sometimes miracles are accomplished through the intercession of the Saints. They are an integral part of the process which leads to their canonization. The prayer and intercession of Mary, the Mother of the Lord, has brought some of the most extraordinary miracles. Miracles can and do accompany the administration of Sacraments. The history of Eucharistic miracles is particularly profound and inspirational.
Great men and women throughout Church history have demonstrated that when the Gospel in its fullness is proclaimed signs and wonders still accompany the Church's apostolic and missionary work. The ministry of the founders of many religious communities was accompanied by miracles. Many who are reading this article can attest to miracles in their own lives - and in the lives of others. Those involved in, or touched by, the ecclesial movements, spreading rapidly in the Church, often give testimony to the reality of miracles.
However, what about the more dramatic miracles, such as physical healing? Do they still happen? Can they happen when regular folks in love with the Lord share His Word and believe in His promises? I am happy to share below an account of miracles which I received from a fellow Deacon in my own Diocese. It affirms that miracles do occur and may point to the beginning of a much needed outpouring of the Holy Spirit in this hour.
I requested and received permission to post the letter which my friend forwarded to me and which follows this article. The account of miracles was contained in a letter from Dr. Mary Healy, an associate professor of Sacred Scripture at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.
Dr. Healy has impeccable theological credentials. They include an STD in biblical theology, Pontifical Gregorian University (summa cum laude), an STL in theology, from the International Academy of Theology (summa cum laude),a Masters Degree in Philosophy from the Catholic University of America, a Masters Degree in theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame (magna cum laude).
In the early days of the miracle which became the renewed Franciscan University of Steubenville, I worked with her father, Nick Healy. We both served under the Presidential leadership of Fr. Michael Scanlan, TOR. Nick went on to become the first President of Ave Maria University. Mary came from a faith filled Catholic family. I have heard of her ministry work over the years.
I was encouraged when I read of the way in which miracles are occurring as the Gospel is proclaimed in missionary work of the Church in this hour. I am sure she would be the first to explain that it does not require a formal theological education for miracles to occur. I shared her credentials only to attempt to dispel any questions as to the validity of her witness from some who will read this article.
I present her letter in its entirety below for your consideration and prayer.
Here's an update on my sabbatical travels. The last trip, from which I just returned, was to Brazil and Qatar. It was really life-changing. The team I was with in Brazil are an amazing group of people. Except for me and three others, they're all doctoral students (mostly also experienced pastors) who along with Randy Clark have been getting their DMin at a seminary. They all have gifts of healing, words of knowledge and prophecy.
With them I witnessed countless miracles as we ministered in different churches night after night. Typically the meetings began at 7:00 or 8:00 and lasted until midnight or 1:00 in the morning. The very first person I prayed over had severe migraine in her head and eyes, and when I prayed, it left instantly! (God's sense of humor) My first people on the next two nights also had migraine pain which instantly left.
On this trip two people with uneven legs had one leg visibly lengthen to match the other. Three people got out of wheelchairs, including an 8-year-old boy and a 25-year-old woman who had never walked in their lives. Many tumors disappeared visibly. A withered, paralyzed arm was healed. A deaf man got up to testify, holding his hearing aids in his hands and just weeping.
A 12-year-old girl got up to testify who two years ago was hit by a motorcycle; her head was visibly cracked open and the EMTs pronounced her dead at the scene, but while they tried to bring her to the morgue her mother and another woman prayed over her and after 15 minutes she came back to life. Two months later she was healed of her head injury and other severe injuries at a Randy Clark meeting. Another little girl was healed of stage 4 leukemia.
Many people, who had been in severe pain for years due to implanted metal rods and screws, jumped up and down or bent to touch their toes with all pain totally gone. There were more deliverances, healings from pain and serious illnesses than can be counted. When you witness these things, you cannot remain the same.
I went straight from Brazil to Qatar, where I spoke at a national faith convention. I knew the Lord was calling me to put into practice what I learned in Brazil, and he was faithful! On the first day I tried to prepare the ground for healings by stirring up faith. On the second day I spoke about Jesus' commission to his disciples to proclaim the kingdom and demonstrate it with healings, then stepped out in faith.
There were some challenges: I had a time limit of 45 minutes, squeezed between two other talks. But on the positive side, the whole conference was very charismatic though it was for all Catholics. I led prayers for healing, and about 30 people waved their hands overhead to testify to physical healing.
The very next speaker came up to the podium in tears. He said that for several months he had had a significant loss of hearing in one ear after it was hit with a soccer ball. He was intending to see a doctor when he got home, but during the prayer, when I commanded ears to open in the name of Jesus, his ear popped open and he now hears fine!
Other people healed included a man had neck pain disappear, and another who said he had vision problems but could now read without any trouble. A woman was completely freed of pain in the knees from osteoporosis, and another from pain in the back caused by scoliosis. A woman who had had a frozen shoulder for a year was rotating her arm with no pain at all. Thank you, Jesus!
On the third day I spoke about the faith of the leper, the Canaanite woman, and Mary at Cana, and led prayers for healing again. About 50-60 people waved their hands to testify to healing, though I didn't have an opportunity to find out what the healings were.
Then, during Eucharistic adoration all the speakers led prayers for spiritual and emotional healing, and they asked me to lead prayers for physical healing again. We also had a time of praying over people for baptism in the Spirit, which was powerful. God is good.
I'm more convinced than ever that the Lord is doing something new and extraordinary in the Church, and that the superabundance of supernatural manifestations is part of his answer to the darkness of our times. The papacy of Francis is part of the plan. Please join me in praying for tsunami of the Spirit to come into the Catholic Church.
In Christ's love,
Dr. Mary Healy
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