Friday, January 05, 2007

Miracles of healing

"Kelly" wrote, "I am reading a book about eucharistic miracles. It is so amazing! I love it! What about other kinds of miracles? Science/Medicine can not explain them. Yet they are given very little media attention. When a cancer is found and then during a second surgery it is no longer there - would one of faith call this a miracle?!!? How does the church address such miracles of healing?"

Thanks, Kelly. The Church has a very strict process when it comes to proclaiming modern-day miracles. This usually happens during the process of beatification and / or canonization of saints. Just like when the Church investigates other miracles (of the Eucharist, e.g.) or apparitions, the process involves witnesses, testimonies, and a Devil's Advocate who argues against the miracle or apparition. So, when we hear (mostly through ecclesial media, not secular) the Church proclaim that God has worked a miracle through the intercession of one of his saints, we can be assured that it truly was a miracle. The Church approaches the possibility of miracles in faith: Jesus can work miracles today just like he did 2000 years ago.

The Catechism (#548-549) says, "... miracles strengthen faith in the One who does His Father's works; they bear witness that He is the Son of God. But His miracles can also be occasions for "offense" (Mt.11:6); they are not intended to satisfy people's curiosity or desire for magic. Despite His evident miracles some people reject Jesus; He is even accused of acting by the power of demons...

By freeing some individuals from the earthly evils of hunger, injustice, illness, and death, Jesus performed messianic signs. Nevertheless He did not come to abolish all evils here below, but to free men from the gravest slavery, sin, which thwarts them in their vocation as God's sons and causes all forms of human bondage."

Pope John Paul II said the following in his weekly audience on Jan, 13, 1988:

"After the resurrection, ascension and pentecost, the 'miracles-signs' performed by Christ were continued by the apostles, and later by the saints from generation to generation. The Acts of the Apostles offer us numerous testimonies concerning miracles worked 'in the name of Jesus Christ' by Peter (cf. Acts 3:1-8; 5:15; 9:32-41), Stephen (Acts 6:8) and Paul (e.g., Acts 14:8-10). We also see it in the lives of the saints, the history of the Church and in particular, the processes for the canonization of the Servants of God. These constitute a documentation which, when submitted to the most searching examination of historical criticism and of medical science, confirms the existence of the 'power from on high' which operates in the natural order and surpasses it. It is a question of miraculous signs carried out from apostolic times until the present day. Their essential purpose is to indicate that the human person is destined and called to the kingdom of God. These signs therefore confirm in different ages and in the most varied circumstances the truth of the Gospel, and demonstrate the saving power of Christ who does not cease to call people (through the Church) on the path of faith. This saving power of the God-Man is manifested also when the 'miracles-signs' are performed through the intercession of individuals, of saints, of devout people—just as the first sign at Cana of Galilee was worked through the intercession of the mother of Christ."

2 Comments:

At 4:49 PM, Anonymous loves the eucarist said...

Kelly,

I think I wrote this before, but Kelly that book changed my whole perception of the Eucharist. I highly recommend this book for reading!

 
At 9:29 AM, Anonymous kelly said...

Yes, I loved the book too. I enjoyed reading FG's post about miracles. Really interesting stuff. I would love to get my 17 year old daugher to read it. That would take a small miracle. Did I just say "miracle?" LOL.

 

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