Sunday, 14 November 2010

Miracles.

Father Ignatius approached the pulpit and said, “Hands up all those who have been to Lourdes!”

Quite a few hands went up.

“Keep your hands up,” he said, “now hands up those who went to Fatima, Knock or any other Holy Shrine!”

A few more hands went up.

“OK …” continued the priest, “hands down. Now hands up again anyone who has had a miracle happen to them at any of these places!”

No hands went up.

The priest waited a few seconds and then continued.

“Just as I thought! No one considers that a miracle has happened to them. Which of course begs the question; Do miracles happen these days?

“The truth is that miracles do happen these days; but people are not willing to believe in them.

“Perhaps they expect spectacular miracles to happen … Raising of the dead. Walking on water, changing water into wine … now that was a good one!

“Anything less than that and our Faith has not been stimulated enough to even consider it as a miracle, let alone believe it has happened.”

He stopped once again, as he usually did in his sermons, to allow the challenge to sink into the parishioners’ minds.

“I’d like us to consider for a while what is a miracle and who actually performs it when it happens.

“Spectacular miracles, as you would wish them to be, like healings from incurable illnesses and diseases do happen at Lourdes and elsewhere even today. There is plenty of documented evidence if you wish to research it.

“Many people have been healed suddenly with no explanation from medical or scientific sources. They remain unexplained and are accepted as miracles performed at the many Shrines visited by the sick person.

“Miracles happen elsewhere too … not just at these Shrines. Miracles can happen in churches, hospitals or even at your homes … if it is the will of God that they should happen.

“This then leads to the second question. Who performs these miracles?

“Is it Our Lady, the Mother of God at Lourdes or her other Shrines? Is it the particular Saint you happen to be praying to for help? Or is it God?

“And when we pray to individuals before they become Saints for a particular favor, or miracle even … like Padre Pio, Pere Charbel, and so on before they were made Saints by the Vatican … who performed the miracles do you think? Was it the particular person prayed to or was it God?

“Isn’t it after all the performance of miracles, or the answers to prayers, one of the tests which our Church considers as a requirement to Sainthood?”

He paused yet again.

“There are those who say that only God or Jesus can perform miracles; and to pray to Saints, or even people who have not even yet been considered as Saints, is wrong.

“Let me read you something from Acts of the Apostles … you can look it up yourselves at Acts 3.

“You’ll remember that as Peter and John went into the Temple to pray they met a man at The Beautiful Gate, as it was called, who had been lame all his life.

“The beggar expected money from the two apostles. Peter turned to him and said, ‘I don’t have silver or gold. But what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth get up and walk!’ And of course the man was healed.

“Later on in Acts 5 Verse 12 we read that many miracles were performed by the apostles. Sick people lay in the streets so that Peter’s shadow would fall upon them and heal them. And indeed many were healed.

“The important thing to note here is that Peter said ‘in the name of Jesus Christ get up and walk.’

“So yes … the apostles whilst they walked this earth, and now they are in Heaven, can and do perform miracles; they have not lost their ability to perform miracles, in the name of Jesus, just because they’re in Heaven.

“And so does Our Lady perform miracles in the name of her Son Jesus. As do Padre Pio, Pere Charbel and many other Saints. But they do so in the name of Jesus. It is very important to remember that.”

Father Ignatius stopped once again having pressed his point home.

“And now we move on to our last question,” he said, “for today at least!

“What role does our Faith has to play in the performance of miracles?

“Jesus said time and again to the sick, ‘Your Faith has healed you. Your Faith has saved you.’

“He did not say, ‘Wait … let me click my fingers and hey presto you’ll be healed … Because I’m great at miracles!’ ”

The congregation laughed. The priest continued.

“He made a point of saying that the people’s Faith played a great part in their healing and in their salvation.

“The sick did not stay at home and think ‘Oh well … if Jesus wants to heal me, He’ll do so in good time … I don’t need to go and see Him!’

“They went out to seek Him. They believed in this man who was different. A holy man, a teacher, a healer, the Son of God.

“They had heard about Him, and now He’s in their town or village they went out to find Him … in hope, in desperation perhaps, and even in Faith … as small as a mustard seed! But that little Faith, however tiny it was, is what saved and healed them.

“The blind man shouted at the top of his voice to attract Christ’s attention and to be healed.

“The old lady pushed her way through the crowds in order to get close enough to just touch His cloak and be healed.

“The Roman soldier believed in Jesus so much that he thought just one word from Him would bring healing.

“That’s what I mean by true Faith … it plays a great part in the performance of miracles.

“It need not be our Faith that saves us … the Faith of others, on our behalf can and does bring miracles and healing to us.

“The Roman soldier was asking for healing for his servant, not for himself. His Faith helped heal his servant.

“The men who broke the roof off a house and lowered the man in his sick bed down to Jesus showed Faith on behalf of their friend … and their Faith was rewarded.

“All the people who lay in the streets hoping that Peter’s shadow may fall upon them showed great Faith too.

“As indeed do all those who visit Lourdes, Fatima, Knock and all the Holy Shrines.

“Let me conclude by saying that miracles do indeed happen today. Both great and small. They are performed by Saints and those yet to be Saints through the power of Our Lord Jesus Christ

“Faith plays a great part in the performance of miracles.

“And before you ask … we do not have to go to the Holy Shrines for our prayers to be heard, or for our miracles to happen. All we need is to trust in God and be willing to accept His will in His time and in His way.

“We need a little Faith … not much, just a mustard seed’s worth!”

16 comments:

  1. Yes Victor, you are so right. Faith plays such an important role in miracles. The gift of faith - quite a miracle itself, isn't it? I also thought, while reading your post, of the Wedding Feast at Cana - "Do whatever He tells you" - again, it all points to Jesus.
    Andie

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  2. Thank you Andie. I forgot to mention the Wedding at Cana. You're so right.

    What a coincidence ... I've just been visiting your Blog. Good point you make today; I encourage others to visit you.

    God bless.

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  3. I quite agree, Victor; sometimes, often times the miraculous is in the simple and ordinary things, and faith, ours or that of others on our behalf has everything to do with it. Jesus was unable to perform miracles in those places where he did not find faith.
    Thanks for this mini course in miracles.
    God bless.

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  4. I am going to print this out and use it the next time I am caught in a discussion like this. I usually fumble around and end up making a few points here or there that revolve around miracles do still happen but no one describes them as such. But you, as always, eloquently laid out the perfect talking points. And I love how you tied it together with our role in any miracle - faith.

    God Bless.

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  5. Great explanation of faith's role in miracles. You wrote abut faith and I wrote about hope. Anyone for Love?? :)
    God bless.

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  6. Hi Karinann,

    " ... or that of others ..." How right you are. Sometimes we're so tired and our Faith has got a battering and is so weak ... It's then that the Faith of others praying for us will help.

    Hello Michael,

    Thank you for your kind words. Yes Faith does play a part in the performance of miracles ... I hope I have enough!

    Greetings Colleen,

    I suspect the Love of God is in all our Blogs when we write about the Lord.

    God bless you Karinann, Michael and Colleen. Thank you for visiting me again.

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  7. Hi Victor, the magic words are through the power of Jesus Christ.....always believe in miracles. I have just returned from a few days in Jasper and Banff, soothed my spirt and soul....Hugs

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  8. Thank you for this story about miracles, Victor. Many people believe everything must have a scientific explanation these days. If something miraculous happens, they don't believe it. There is a strange sort of intellectual pride that is prevalent in our day that looks down it's nose at miracles and things of God. We have become too big for our britches :)
    I named my blog after the passage about the cripple at The Beautiful Gate. I named it that because before my conversion I was spiritually crippled and God healed me. Little did I know that I would later receive a physical healing, too. God is good.
    I believe miracles occur quite often. Faith is not just believing IN God, it is believing God. Thanks for the great story!

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  9. You're so right Bernie ... through the power and in the name of Jesus ... that's how miracles are performed.

    Yes Mary, there is a tendency these days not to believe in miracles, not to believe in God and not to believe in anything really ... except wealth and self-gratification. We're all in need of healing, spiritually and physically too, some of us. Believing can be difficult at times of hardship; God knows that. Yet He rewards us if we at least try ... through gritted teeth!!!

    I'm so pleased Mary that you received physical healing too ... I remember you telling us about it on your Blog. Your Faith is a shining example to us all.

    God bless you Bernie and Mary. Thanx for calling in on me.

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  10. Hi Victor, Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. You are welcome back anytime. I do believe in miracles, If you believe in Jesus..you must.♥ Dee

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  11. I think there are many miracles we don't recognize, especially when we pray for others. Unless they tell us, we don't always know our prayers are answered. For example, I once prayed for a friend who is very ill. I felt I needed to pray for joy and laughter, which I thought odd. But I prayed fervently, and then I sent her a card telling her what I had prayed. The next night, she found a comic book a friend had given her and read it cover to cover. She laughed until she cried and felt so much better. Then the next day she received my card and was amazed. I was just as amazed when she told me her experience. But I never would have known about her laughter if I hadn't sent the card, nor would she have received it as a gift from God.

    I think this was a real live miracle.

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  12. Welcome Dee,

    You're so right. If we believe in Jesus we believe in miracles.

    What a lovely story Sarah. It's so often the case that miracles happen and we don't know about them.

    God bless you Dee and Sarah.

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  13. Some people are healed at Mass in the presence of Jesus. This is a great sermon from Father Ignatius.

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  14. Hi Barb,

    It's so nice to see you visiting me again. Thank you for your kind comments.

    God bless.

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  15. Oh how wonderful this was!!! I have experienced miracles myself. Some were great and some not so great, but thanks be to God I recognized them. Than YOU for this post! Cathy

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  16. How wonderful Cathy that you've experienced miracles. Praise the Lord. God bless you always and your family too.

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