It’s time to believe in miracles again
Image: Fatima Miracle of the Sun by Judah Ruah 1917
“Then He ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass; and taking the five loaves and the two fish He looked up to heaven, and blessed, and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.” (MT 14:19)
When I moved away from home at age 18, like most Christian children I stopped attending church service. However, I never left the Catholic church. I simply procrastinated (13 years) getting up on Sundays for mass. I ended up missing an entire decade of heresy and returned to church still holding onto the truth engraved in my heart in childhood. I recall a priest preached how the feeding of the 5000 wasn’t a miracle in the ‘childish’ sense we had been raised to understand. No (he said) the miracle was that, through Jesus’ love and prayer, people began to share within one another. He concluded that each of us will have all that we need if we share what we don’t need. I remember thinking, “makes sense…hey, wait, who says God can’t work miracles? That’s not our faith!”. And from there came the mind-blowing discovery of the relative theology widespread in American universities, seminaries, schools & churches since the 1960’s. Our faith had been reinterpreted under the guise of academic freedom to posit any perspective (regardless of error or heresy).
His conclusion was untrue because the premise was untrue: God can and does make miracles happen. Our faith has always taught the omnipotence of God.
“Omnipotence is the power of God to effect whatever is not intrinsically impossible…the true nature of omnipotence is not clearly expressed by saying that God can do all things that are possible to Him; it requires the further statement that all things are possible to God”. (The Catholic Encyclopedia)
The domino and ripple effects of this fuzzy faith are subtle yet remain widespread and, if looking closely enough, you’ll find its fingers everywhere. Just a few heresies foundational in American Catholicism:
- ‘Not all of our faith can be rooted in scripture, some must just be accepted’ (e.g. purgatory is an invention of St. Augustine); note how this makes it our choice to determine what is true.
- ‘Jesus was human & so had the same temptations as us’ (even disordered or sinful; e.g. Jesus was both gay and straight); this minimizes Jesus’ Divinity, thus minimizing God Himself;
- ‘God can create but cannot control what creation does—He cannot override our free will’ (which leads to...)
- ‘Miracles aren’t the supernatural work of God and angels but, rather, the outcome of our good deeds in the world. Because we control what happens here on earth with our free will, we are co-creators (rather than cooperators) with God.’; note the air of platonic eastern religion in this.
- ‘The connections made by Gospel writers to the Old Testament were inventions—the biblical Jews didn’t know Jesus & so wouldn’t have understood it that way’ (and since God cannot control creation, He could not have this greater plan beyond our understanding because we create the plan as we live it out, not Him; and/or the OT wasn’t prophesying Jesus—pick your heresy)
It is easy to see how the root of it all focuses on the person and not God.
As confusing as this is, the Truth is very easy to find because God is always crystal clear. St. Ignatius of Loyola teaches us of the two standards, God’s and Satan’s. If it’s not of God, it’s of Satan. No in-between, grey zone, compromise or lesser good teaching of faith is of God who is supreme excellence without partiality. God doesn’t compromise. He doesn’t need to: He’s God. So, no matter how popular the author or speaker, any “teaching” or idea that minimizes God’s power, that isn’t rooted in the need for our repentance to grow in relationship with God, and/or requires human power or centers on the human rather than God simply isn’t of Him. With 2000 years of saints’ wisdom to read, why bother with these other folks?
Our faith is built upon belief in God’s omnipotence (CCC 268-278). God permits errant theologians to test us; he gives us Saints to teach us. If we are tempted to believe the sinner and not the saint, then God has allowed this opportunity so that we grow in Him (Spir. Ex. 1st week rules 9). We do this by turning to Him in prayer, scriptures and saints’ inspirations. When we choose Him instead of feel-good hype, we’ve converted. As the eyes of the soul are opened to the love of its Creator, it begins to enjoy the Gifts that same Spirit infused within it at baptism: wisdom, counsel, knowledge, understanding, fortitude, piety and fear of the Lord. That’s how relationship with God works.
It must start with us, a willingness to examen our thoughts each day to find where, in small ways, we choose fuzzy faith. These choices give false feeling of fitting in with those around us, and Satan adds thoughts such as everyone’s opinion is ok, it’s foolish to dwell on such petty details, etc. I must honestly ask myself “why is the real Truth not good enough for me?”
The greater sin: Our understanding of the immensity of God’s love for each of us is due precisely to His omnipotent power. His total and complete lack of need for us is what makes His choice to love us so powerful, so unbelievable, so great. We are optional, unnecessary, and undeserving and yet His focus is on us growing to perfection so we can remain with Him in eternity. Amazing! When God’s omnipotence is minimized in any way, no matter how slight, this means His unconditional love for us is conditional and less incredible. I wonder just how much this false teaching saddens God.
What can be worse than the blasphemy against God? In His eyes, it is the effect it has upon us, His children.
“…but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (MT 18:6)
To believe in miracles again, we must come to know Him.
And do all things for the greater glory of God 😊
Cover Image: Fatima Miracle of the_Sun by Judah Ruah, photograph for the news paper O Seculo, published the 1917-09-29 on the news paper Illustracao Portugueza, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Mary and baby Jesus: Anton Ebert, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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