On Miracles

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De multe ori, căutăm miracole din sfera senzaţionalului, dar le uităm pe cele atât de evidente. Fiecare viaţă este o minune şi are taina ei.

There is a time when we start believing that we have seen them all, that we know them all, and therefore nothing could surprise us. But is it so?

God has come.When we hear about extraordinary things, we raise skeptics from our eyebrows, but when we come to a turning point, we are willing to believe that we may also be beneficiaries of such an extraordinary event. And, then, barely whispered, a thought takes form: “What if …?”

But what are we exactly waiting for?

What Is a Miracle?

The miracle can be defined as a supernatural phenomenon, beyond the laws of nature, unable to be explained by them, which does not abolish them, but strengthens them. Miracles are considered only those supernatural events that are the result of a divine intervention that acts to fulfill a religious purpose.

The purpose of a miracle is not to make someone look “cool” or for the performer to earn money. The gift of doing miracles is one that must be put to the service of others so that they turn to God or reward their faith.

So miracles have, first, a spiritual purpose and are part of divine pedagogy. That is why they are meant to provoke what we know about the world[1] and the natural laws and give us the chance to anticipate how it will be in the “other world.”

How Can We Recognize a Miracle?

Over time, there have been many controversies about the reality or even the possibility of a miracle. Whether we are faithful or not, whether we live in the nanotechnology era or existed 2000 years ago, when we are told that a man has risen, chances are we become at least skeptical. And, however, such an event is at the heart of the Christian faith.

Do all who believe in the Resurrection of Jesus can be regarded as case studies for psychiatrists or are they normal people who have accepted such an event based on rational elements?

In other words, what are the criteria by which we can accept an event as a miracle?

Miracle is a paranormal, unexplained phenomenon.

If a miracle can be explained by scientific discoveries, even though they occur centuries after the miraculous event, it loses its character as a paranormal phenomenon. The Resurrection of Christ or the miraculous healings are considered miracles, precisely because science remained mute when it had to give explanations.

Holiness or the special spiritual life of the miracle’s performer

The Savior tells us very clearly that among us there are people who have special gifts[2], but which they use outside of communion with God. That is why Christ does not accept such individuals! Their deeds can be named anyway, but the Church cannot consider them as miracles.

The mental health of witnesses and the objectivity of those who report the miracle

It seems to be a clear, a common sense thing, but, too often, events considered miracles were “paranormal” only to those who were present and only to those who told the story further.

Whether we are talking about people with mental illnesses or easily influenced people who tell us “from the heart” that they “were blessed” to learn about miracles even from those who performed them, the possibilities of confusing a normal phenomenon with an extraordinary one are infinite.

Even if an event seems to meet all the criteria of a miracle, but we cannot rely on the testimonies of the performer or witnesses, it cannot be considered a miracle. It’s better for everyone!

If God wants to send us a message through such a means, He will surely find a way for us to understand what He meant to tell us. Moreover, He does not mind if we are skeptical regarding the signs He communicates us. Gideon’s case[3] is a very suggestive one.

So, let us not feel any remorse, if we are skeptical about certain events or miracles’ reports!

Who Can Benefit from Miracles?

The miracles are accessible to all with one condition – they have to be prepared to receive them. I say this because Christ performed many miracles, but not all who witnessed them were impressed. The Pharisees and priests from the temple even became very obstinate!

Therefore, if someone says she/he needs a miracle to believe, she/he might be surprised. Because, in fact, that person does not want a miracle, but a proof that can be replicated in a research laboratory.

But the miracle is not an experiment. It cannot be reproduced or understood. It is unique!

Therefore, we do not have to be very upset if it seems that we have not experienced a miracle until now. We may have benefited even many of them and not realize it. But, that doesn’t matter!

What really matters is to keep our minds and hearts open to such an extraordinary event!

Who knows?

 

 

[1] Saint Augustin, De Civitate Dei, 21, 8, 2.

[2] “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Gospel according to Matthew, chapter 7, verses 22-23).

[3] The Book of Judges, chapter 6, verses 36-39.

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