Thursday, September 12, 2013

What about those miracles?

I don't doubt that there are miracles. Not only are they part of church teachings, but history is full of them. Take something like the Stigmata. That people have manifested the wounds of Christ is documents. There are multiple witnesses. There are pictures. There have been many stories of healings that defy normal explanation.

But what about those other miracles - the ones that seem almost legendary?

I think some of them are legendary, part of the treasury of hagiography attached to certain saints.

For example, there is a story of St. Nicholas who somehow grabbed an enslaved child by the hair and flew/teleported him to outside the church to be reunited with his parents. Much as I admire St. Nicholas, that one seems a bit far-fetched!

My questions isn't about the miracles per se. It's about who believed the more legendary-sounding ones.

How did the great Doctors of the Church regard some of the legend-like stories? Did they believe them? Did they suspect they were not true but kept quiet so as not to harm the faith of those who do believe them?

I suspect some of them did discredit such tales, but I don't have a document from one of them in front of me.

There are certain things I'm not big on. Devotions, novenas, the old Latin Mass. I don't mock them or in any way try to belittle those for whom such things are important.  If such things help them to grow spiritually, to worship God, to find peace, then God bless them!

Perhaps that's the stance that those wiser and holier than I have taken.

Pax et bonum

1 comment:

Do Not Be Anxious said...

Speaking as someone who has had many miracles in his life, yes even the rosary links changing to gold, I can say with confidence that I know there are many things I do not know. A miracle is a miracle only because I don't understand --- and I am sooo stupid.

Myself, I wonder about "miracles" as being "of God" or "of man." Scientists point out that there are large areas of the human brain little used --- what are they there for? Might some people perhaps be using them?

What of people who demonstrate some level of ESP? Is that a miracle that they can do, but I can't, or is it a better use of their brains, that I can't? Read the book titled "There Is A River," about the clairvoyant Edgar Cayce. He was able to "look into the soul" of people, even people far away, and see the physical condition of their bodies, and so he proscribed cures. He ran a hospital and surgeons operated based on tumors he saw, not in x-rays, but that he saw while in trances. And while hundreds of cures were attributed to him (there are huge piles of documentation over many years), not one fatality was even alluded to him. (The AMA eventually stopped him for "practicing medicine without a license.") Did God assist him in miracles, or did he just use his human brain better? Were some of Jesus' miracles "of God," or of the perfect man?

I don't know these things, but I am most reluctant to deny the possibility of something I don't understand but others swear to have SEEN to be true --- like the Resurrection.