Monday, January 28, 2019

Miracles And The Modern Mind


 Nothing will generate more smiles and snickering among the educated people of today than expressing belief in miracles. The Modernists of the Vatican II sect, having subscribed to naturalism, reject the supernatural. Atheism and agnosticism alike breed contempt for any notion of the supernatural as well. Modernist Bible scholars consider the miracles of Sacred Scripture to be mere myths that can be explained away. Christ didn't really feed five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish. This is merely a myth to show that God provides (so they assure us).

It's no wonder that the modern world rejects miracles as superstitious fables. Not helping the situation are expressions which misuse the word miracle, e.g., "It's a miracle I made it to work today;" "Life is a miracle." There are also people who, while well meaning, ascribe miracles when none exist seeing them in any fortuitous set of circumstances. This post will set forth Church teaching on miracles, as well as responses to the modern minds who reject them.

The Church's Teaching On Miracles
1. Miracles are an effect wrought in nature by the direct intervention of God. They are proofs of the truth of the Catholic religion.

Proof: From the Oath Against Modernism promulgated by Pope St. Pius X for all clerics on September 1, 1910:

 "Secondly, I accept and acknowledge the external proofs of revelation, that is, divine acts and especially miracles and prophecies as the surest signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion and I hold that these same proofs are well adapted to the understanding of all eras and all men, even of this time." (Emphasis mine)

From the Vatican Council (1870):

"If anyone shall say that miracles are impossible, and therefore that all the accounts regarding them, even those contained in Holy Scripture, are to be dismissed as fables or myths; or that miracles can never be known with certainty, and that the divine origin of Christianity cannot be proved by them; let him be anathema."

2. While we must believe in miracles (especially those contained in the Holy Bible), we are not bound to believe in every specific event claimed to be miraculous. We should only give credence to those events considered miracles by the authority of the Church. 

Proof: Many events thought to be miraculous were denied as such by the Magisterium of the Church prior to the defection of the hierarchy at Vatican II.


  • Many people claimed that they saw the statue of Our Lady of Assisi move and smile. (1948) The Church later declared there was no apparition of Our Lady in Assisi, and no miraculous events.
  • There are people hundreds of years into the canonization process as of  1958 (death of Pope Pius XII) whose alleged miracles were never confirmed despite large numbers of witnesses.
  • Theresa Neumann (d. 1962) was alleged to have survived only on the Eucharist for 30 years, and claimed the stigmata. The Church has never confirmed nor denied these miraculous claims which were investigated beginning in 1928.


 3. Miracles cannot be used to help give credibility to that which is false. Any "miracle" that does so is either (a) naturally explained, and therefore not a miracle, or (b) of demonic origin.

Proof: A miracle is a deed that is sensible, extraordinary, and of divine origin. Hence, since transubstantiation is not sensible, it cannot be considered a miracle in the strict sense. Miracles can only be used to support that which is true and good. It is impossible for God to deceive. Moreover, God would equivalently be producing falsehood if He were performing some miracles in order to demonstrate that some false doctrines or a doctrine that is altogether human has been revealed by Himself. We should recognize that God allows extraordinary things to be performed by the devil. (See theologian Tanquerey, A Manual of Dogmatic Theology,Desclee Company, [1959], 1:40-45; Emphasis mine)

In Exodus 7: 8-13, we read:

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "When Pharaoh says to you, 'Perform a miracle,' then say to Aaron, 'Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh,' and it will become a snake." So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. Yet Pharaoh’s heart became hard and he would not listen to them, just as the Lord had said." (Emphasis mine).

Modern Objections to Miracles and Responses

 The three main objections to miracles are a denial that:
  • miracles are possible
  • we can know that a miracle has happened
  • we could ever recognize a specific event as a miracle
Since those who deny miracles do not heed the teaching of the Church, my replies will be based on reason. In brief, I would reply:
  • Given an omnipotent God, miracles are certainly possible
  • We can know that miracles have occurred if we have experienced one, or have been provided credible testimony of them
  • We can recognize a miracle if the circumstances are sufficiently unusual and it makes sense to infer God as the Agent
Let me be clear that I'm not positing the existence of God to prove miracles, and then using miracles to prove God (fallacious and circular reasoning). If someone believes in the existence of the traditional concept of God, the possibility of miracles, and the ability to ascertain them logically follow. What of those who don't believe in God or the Christian (True) God? The Vatican Council says miracles can be used to prove the divine origin of Christianity. Let's define the term first.

The definition of a miracle. According to theologian Parente, the word miracle comes from the Latin word miror---I wonder. In the broad sense, it is an extraordinary event which calls attention and excites wonder. Theologians explain it is: (a) done by God as principle cause; (b) done in the world; (c) in a way superior to all forces of nature; and outside or above, but not in violation of the laws of nature, but by an exceptional happening brought about by a divine power that intervenes in created things, producing an effect superior to their natural power. The possibility of the miracle rests chiefly on the absolute dominion of God as the First and Free Cause of the Universe, Whose laws are subordinate to Him and cannot limit either His freedom of action or His power. Only the logically impossible and that which violates His Nature (sin) are impossible to Him. (See Dictionary of Dogmatic Theology, The Bruce Publishing Company, [1951], pg. 188).  


Those of your unbelieving family members, co-workers, neighbors, friends, etc, are really saying one of three things when they deny the miraculous.

1. They claim to know with certainty that miracles cannot happen. 
How do they know miracles are impossible? They must assume the non-existence of God first, or that God would not/has not performed a miracle. If they expressly or implicitly deny the existence of God, that shifts the ground of the debate. Their problem is not about miracles. If they claim God has not or would not perform a miracle, how do they know the Mind of God? What is their source of this alleged knowledge?

2. Science disproves the existence of miracles. 
Science is confined to the observation of natural phenomena. You cannot replicate something that is unique, like a miracle. Scientists believe in the Big Bang, yet that can't be replicated. I believe my mother loved me, but I have no scientific proof, nor is any possible. Must I conclude she didn't love me? Science is but one way to knowledge. Ask them, "Do you believe that water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius at sea level?"  They will respond "yes" because it can be proven. Not so fast. All you can prove is that all water that you have seen in the past or at present has frozen (or is freezing) at 0 degrees Celsius at sea level. You assume that the future will be a constant repetition of the past--that it will always continue to do so. But how do they know this? Ironically, they take it on belief! 

3. Miracles were just ways superstitious people explained things they didn't understand.
Similar to #2, they accuse Christians of making a "god-of-the gaps" to explain gaps in knowledge. When we don't understand something, we ascribe it to the action of God. However, they assume that everything has a natural explanation which cannot entail the supernatural; a "science-of the gaps." They do not follow the evidence where it leads, only seeing where they want to go, and not really looking for the truth.

Conclusion
Miracles can and do happen. The Modernists, atheists, and agnostics have denied any possibility of the supernatural based on assumptions, not evidence. A short post can never do justice to the great and many proofs for, e.g., the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. However, it is shown that miracles can happen, and they can prove the truth of Christ's Church. If God exists, He can perform miracles. These miracles can be proofs of faith, such as the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima witnessed by over 100,000 people. The greatest miracle is the Resurrection of Our Lord, proving He was God and He founded the One True Church.  

The modern minds claim to know everything, but as the Bible tells us, "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,..." (Romans 1:22). 

21 comments:

  1. Introibo, what is your analysis on the case of Carlos Acutis, young man who plans to be the new saint novus ordo who claim to have the
    incorrupted body?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Junior
      The body has not been declared corrupt, See https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/amp/news/body-of-venerable-teen-exhumed-too-early-to-declare-incorrupt-10239

      Second, the Vatican has been faking miracles. In one of the alleged “Miracles” used in the “canonization” Of Mother Teresa, It involved the cure of a young Indian woman, Monica Besra, who claimed that a tumor on her ovary was cured when a medal of Mother Teresa was touched to her body where she felt pain.

      Dr. Ranjan Mustafi, the chief gynecologist treating her, claims that it was the four drugs to which she was responding. The Vatican never contacted Dr. Mustafi to investigate, and nevertheless claimed "there was no medical explanation" for her cure.

      The Vatican II sect has false Miracles to compliment its false worship, false Sacraments and false beliefs/morals.

      God Bless,

      —-Introibo

      Delete
  2. "The Vatican II sect has false Miracles to compliment its false worship, false Sacraments and false beliefs/morals."

    Hi Introibo,

    You should've used the word COMPLEMENT rather than COMPLIMENT.

    But it's ok. If one doesn't know English very well it's a common enough mistake. Is English your second language?

    Matthew

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Matthew,
      You are a very angry and pitiful person. I make a mistake in typing a response in the comments section and this is how you attack someone? Really? Do you have anything of significance going on in your life? It doesn’t seem that way. Such behavior is usually indicative of a much deeper disturbance. Please seek help from a Christian therapist.

      I’ll be praying for you!

      God Bless,

      —-Introibo

      Delete
    2. Introibo,
      Please don’t publish comments like Matthew. They add nothing of value to Theological discussion or this blog.

      Delete
    3. Please dont be a comment deleter like other so called trad sites who are not interested in Truth but only defending their disobedience to the man the claim has Authority from Christ.

      Delete
    4. Tom and Anon @8:42
      I will publish comments as long as they do not contain blasphemy or vulgarity and will publish those who disagree with me. I try to avoid deletions whenever possible, even if they are ridiculous as in the case of Matthew.

      God Bless,

      —-Introibo

      Delete
  3. Fantastic article. Here is a book titled "The Life and Acts of St. Patrick" by Jocelyn: link https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Life_and_Acts_of_St._Patrick
    You can also buy the book online. Do you know if this book is approved or not approved by the Church? I love reading it because it appears to show why St. Patrick was so amazing and probably why Ireland converted. St. Patrick pray for us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @anon7:45
      I honestly cannot be sure, my friend. If it was published with a nihil obstat and imprimatur in or before 1962, you can be certain the book is without errors against faith and morals.

      God Bless,

      —-Introibo

      Delete
  4. Dear Introibo, your reply to Matthew was very rude and self serving. There is nothing in Matthew's observation that indicates that he has a hidden disturbance or is being vindictive. He merely asked a question. If anything, your reply shows that you are very proud and thin skinned. Your suggestion that he should seek help is way out of bounds. I would not presume to offer you the same advice.
    In all things charity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is you Matthew, posting anonymously. The syntax is unmistakable. You sent several highly inappropriate posts prior to this which I will not publish.

      If you do not like my blog, do not read it. Simple solution. Even if this is another person, people who respond with such vitriol to a grammatical mistake and begin insults have problems. “Trolls” are not welcome here. Such people, in my opinion, are sad and need to get a life. It is not uncharitable to suggest such people need professional help.

      —-Introibo

      Delete
  5. I know some who chase nothing but so called miracles. Such as in the false apparitions of Medjugorje and Bayside. They seem to base their whole faith on chasing false miracles and are constantly looking for the newest ones to follow. It is sad, however, there are a lot of people, especially in the Vatican II sect, that base their faith on false miracles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joann,
      Indeed, there are those who actively seek the miraculous. They trust not in the ordinary means of Revelation from God through His One True Church. Many theologians and saints have warned against it as it opens people up to diabolical deception.

      We all can learn from my patron saint, King St. Louis IX of France. It is related that in the King's private chapel (where he would hear at least two Masses daily), a miracle took place when he was not there. When the priest consecrated the Host, it had turned into a visible Christ Child! One of his good and faithful servants ran to the King to tell him what happened, and come and see for himself before the miracle ended. The saintly King just hung his head, deep in thought. His servant couldn't understand his reaction. "Does not your Majesty wish to come and see the Infant Jesus?" He lifted his head and replied, "No, my good man. With the eyes of Faith, I see the Infant Jesus in the Host every morning at Mass. Go, and call those who do not believe to witness it. As for me, I believe He is there every morning, as the Church teaches." King St. Louis IX truly lived the words of Our Lord, "Jesus saith to him: 'Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed.'" (St. John 20:29) By the intersession of King St. Louis IX and the Blessed Mother, may Christ grant us a Faith so strong.!

      God Bless,

      —-Introibo

      Delete
  6. Hello Introibo,
    This post came to my mind yesterday when I read a facebook post of a alleged SSPX semi-trad. He begins his post with something like "...some people don't understand because while being a catholic I don't believe in miracles..." and proudly ends "... welcome to the real world". The man has an alleged study degree in philosophy and theology. So, this is the today's unfortunate scenario of the semi-trads world...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As I heard elsewhere, the biggest miracle we all experience these days is that Bergoglio has convinced the overhelming Catholic community that he is actually a Catholic Pope.

      Delete
    2. @anon7:50
      The alleged “real world” is one in which God intervenes. If this man doesn’t believe in miracles he can’t be Catholic by definition. I can understand a member of the V2 sect saying this, but a member of the SSPX? They grow closer to Bergoglio’s false religion every day. This man is no Traditionalist. Thanks for the information on how far the R&R have sunk.

      God Bless,

      —-Introibo

      Delete
    3. To deny the historicity and authenticity of miracles is something worthy of a modernist, for he is at least a practical agnostic, according to St. Pius X. See a modernist in action:

      "Thus the resurrection can not be a historical event in the same sense as the Crucifixion." Joseph Ratzinger, "Benedict XVI", Principles of Catholic Theology, p. 186.

      Delete
  7. Since you mentioned Fatima, I think it is wise that we remind ourselves that even though a true Pope gave Fatima the seal of approval, nothing, absolutely nothing the three children said or wrote is considered inspired, infaillable, or dogmatic. There is nothing in those "secrets" necessary for our salvation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tom,
      Absolutely. It is private revelation. No one is bound to believe in it. In a Church approved private revelation, they may be considered worthy of our belief, but not under pain of sin. We do not need them to be saved.

      —-Introibo

      Delete
  8. this blog seems like a place for sedes to congratulate themselves. lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed, to see through the confusion of the Great Apostasy is worthy of congratulations, although the purpose of the blog is to inform and warn.

      —-Introibo

      Delete