Thursday, May 17, 2007

Our Lady of Soufinieh

I have just become aware of a Church approved apparition that has taken place in the Middle East.

Eighteen year old Myrna Nazzour of Damascus, Syria was praying with an Orthodox and a Muslim woman for her sister in law, who was ill. The Muslim woman noticed that Myrna had a light that seemed to come from her hands. After that, her hands began to exude oil. When the women suggested that Myrna anoint her sister in law with the oil, she did, and the sister in law was cured.

A few days later, a 3 inch icon in Myrna's home began to exude the oil as well. Soon, Myrna experienced visions of Our Lady and Christ. The basic message seems to be one of unity between the Catholic and the Orthodox Church, beginning with unity in the celebration of Easter. (Normally, the Catholic and Orthodox Churches celebrate Easter on 2 different days. Occasionally, the feasts will coincide.) After visiting Damascus, Pope John Paul II gave special permission for the Catholics in Syria to celebrate Easter on the same day that the Orthodox do.

Besides being excited to learn of a new Church approved apparition, (as opposed to the many that are out there being promoted in spite of being disapproved by the Church) I was rather stunned to learn of its focus of unity between the Eastern and Western Churches, given my fairly recent blog list focusing on that very subject, not to mention the eerie similarity of the icon (above) to the one I had recently posted on my sidebar. Hmm....

In the quote below, the thing that stood out for me is the idea that the Church is the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. I always wondered what Christ meant about the Kingdom of Heaven being "at hand" and being here among us, when there is so much sin in the world. It makes perfect sense that the Kingdom Christ talked about is the Church that He established on earth until his coming again.
Your heart belongs to Me, unless that heart has possessed another god. The Church is the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. He who divides it has sinned. He who is happy in its divisions, has also sinned.

~Jesus to Myrna of Damascus
For more information on this apparition, see Fatima Family Apostolate and Unity Publishing. Hat tip to Innocent for pointing me to this relevant link as well.


Unknown said...

oh that's so wonderful!!!

Staying in Balance said...

It is! The Lord wants true unity!

Innocent said...

This is wonderful news.

If only the "two lungs" were really united soon!

{ It would be interesting to see how they surmount the issue of the Filouque clause, though! )

Yours in Christ,

Staying in Balance said...

Exactly! The Church really needs to breathe with its two lungs!

Innocent said...

And HERE is a link you might want to add to your post, Lady 4HisChurch.

Yours in Christ,

Staying in Balance said...

Thanks, Innocent. I actually had that link bookmarked. I don't know why I didn't add it.

Rachi said...

I think this is something that we should all pray for in our daily prayers- unity between the Catholic and Orthodox churches.

We are more similar than we are different, we should focus on the things we have in common.

I am a raised Catholic who attends an Orthodox church- unless I am chrismated I cant take communion, yet Orthodox can take communion in the Catholic church...

I pray these rifts will be healed soon. It's great to see progress like this!!

thanks for posting :)
God Bless
love Rachel

Staying in Balance said...

I agree, Rachel. We should all pray for Christian unity. In fact, that is the theme of today's readings.

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"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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