U.S. Catholic speaker Mary Healy led the crowd at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday in a series of prayers for forgiveness and healing at the end of a talk on miracle healings.
“I have seen the Lord do so many amazing healings, including last night on the streets of Budapest,” Healy said in her live-streamed speech on Sept. 9, referring to an event at a healing service in the Hungarian capital.
The biblical scholar, who teaches at a Catholic seminary in Detroit, said she had observed that forgiveness can open the door to spiritual and physical healing in people’s lives.
“One of the things that I have seen clearly is the very close link between healing and forgiveness. I’ve come to see that one of the biggest obstacles to healing in our lives is unforgiveness, holding on to a resentment, some offense that was committed against us, can be an obstacle to the action of God in our life,” she said.
“Conversely, to forgive, to freely choose to forgive, opens the door to the Lord acting powerfully in our life and healing.”
Healy, a graduate of Notre Dame, the Franciscan University of Steubenville, the Catholic University of America, and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, shared that she first became interested in the topic of healing seven years ago during her sabbatical from teaching.
“As I prayed about my sabbatical, I felt the Lord telling me … ‘I want you to study not only what people write about healing, what books say about it, but I want you to see, to watch, what I am doing,’” she said.
Healy spent her sabbatical researching what Scripture, the Church Fathers, Catholic teaching, and the saints have said about healing, but also spent time with Catholic healing ministries.
“And what I discovered changed my life because I began to see that the Lord Jesus -- from ... the time of the apostles until now -- loves to heal and wants to heal, even miraculously, far more often than we think,” she said.
“And in fact, that the supernatural … is the normal Christian life. That’s what our Catholic tradition gives us.”
In her talk, Healy shared a few examples of miraculous healings in Catholic ministry. One involved a woman with a hemorrhage, “like the woman in the Gospel,” she said.
“There were several people,.” she recalled. “We began to pray, and as we prayed, I thought the Holy Spirit told me to ask her: ‘Did anything painful happen in your life when this condition began two years ago?’ She said: ‘Well, yes, that was the time when my husband stopped practicing his faith. He stopped going to church, and so I had to be the one doing the spiritual leadership in the family.’”
Healy asked the woman if she had forgiven her husband, and the woman said that she had tried.
“And I explained to her: to forgive does not mean you say: ‘Oh, it’s OK. No problem. No big deal.’ Because maybe it is a big deal. But to forgive means you say: ‘I let go. I let God be the judge of that person, but I will not hold on to this offense.’”
After leading her in a prayer to forgive her husband and asking God for healing, Healy left the woman alone in the chapel.
She said that she received an email 11 days later in which the woman described her experience.
“After you prayed,” she wrote, “I felt that I had been healed. … I looked up at the cross in the chapel and … said: ‘I’m a scientist and I'm skeptical.’ But I looked at Jesus on the cross and I said: ‘Jesus, did you heal me?’ And he nodded.”
The woman said that from that day on she was completely healed from the hemorrhage.
“So, brothers and sisters, I would like to invite the Holy Spirit now to show each of us if there is anyone we need to forgive. It might be someone from many years ago, a mother or father. It might be a spouse. It might be someone else. We are not putting blame on the person. We are just saying what they did had a negative effect on me, and I put it in God’s hands. I let go,” Healy said.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
At the end of her talk, she led the hundreds of priests, religious sisters, and Catholic families in the conference hall in Budapest in a series of prayers in which she asked people to forgive someone who had hurt them by name, to reject fear, and to renounce occultism and idols.
“So I invite you to repeat this prayer,” she said. “Heavenly Father, I choose today to completely forgive -- and now name this person in your heart and, remember, call to mind what they did -- Father, I completely forgive, as you have forgiven me. I let that debt go to the foot of the Cross. And I ask you God to bless that person who hurt me, and to bring them to eternal life.”
“And Father, if I have judged that person, in anger and bitterness, I acknowledge that as my sin, and I ask your forgiveness. And I place the Cross of Jesus Christ between me and any lingering effects of that sin. It stops today, in the Holy Name of Jesus and by his Precious Blood. Thank you, Lord. Amen.”
Healy later asked the crowd to stand up and lift their hands toward heaven as she prayed: “Holy Spirit, come and fill this place. Holy Spirit, come and fill the hearts even of those who are watching online right now. Heal them in their hearts and bodies.”
“Lord Jesus,” she prayed. “I invite you to come and reign on the throne of my heart. Be the Lord of my life. I give you everything I am. I give you my past, my present, and my future. I give you all my relationships and all my possessions. Jesus, I give you full permission to do whatever you want to do in my life.”
“Thank you, Jesus, for being my Lord and Savior and for making me a living tabernacle of your Holy Spirit. Let your peace and your joy rest upon me.”
Courtney Mares is a Rome Correspondent for Catholic News Agency. A graduate of Harvard University, she has reported from news bureaus on three continents and was awarded the Gardner Fellowship for her work with North Korean refugees.
Our mission is the truth. Join us!
Your monthly donation will help our team continue reporting the truth, with fairness, integrity, and fidelity to Jesus Christ and his Church.
The COVID-19 pandemic has helped drive home the importance of the Eucharist, Gerald Cardinal Lacroix of Quebec said in a catechesis delivered Tuesday at the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress in Budapest.