When I was a little girl one of the things that really intrigued me about the Catholic church was miracles. I’ve read all about them from Saint Bernadette to weeping statues to crosses of light. An Australian nun, Mary MacKillop, who founded the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart is said to have performed a miracle. The miracle occurred in 1961 when a woman dying of cancer recovered after praying to Mary MacKillop. This miracle has been recognised as such by the Vatican and on January 19, 1995, Mary MacKillop was beatified.
And now it’s possible that another miracle has occurred. If it turns out to be a miracle Mary MacKillop will be on her way to becoming a Saint.
An Irish tourist was bashed almost beyond recognition in Sydney 7 months ago. His family took him home to Ireland and prayed every day to Mary MacKillop. He was given a very small chance of recovery. Well, now he has wakened from the coma. Read about it here. His parents believe Mary MacKillop saved him.
So this story really has got me wondering about miracles. A friend of mine said the other day that she didn’t believe in miracles, that we create our own fate and that believing in miracles is akin to thinking you have fairies at the bottom of your garden.
I think she is on to something in a way. I have always been fascinated by fairies, witches, ghosts. The supernatural. The paranormal. The unexplained. To me miracles are as intriguing as any of those things. Maybe miracles are identifiable proof of the afterlife. Maybe they are the first link in the psychic phenomena chain.
The Catholic Church defines a miracle as –
An event beyond the power of any creature. It cannot be produced by any human power—physical, emotional or mental. It happens in a religious setting and can be recognized as intended by God to be a sign. When someone claims a miracle, it must be proven that there is no natural explanation.
Why does that definition give me a sense of the vastness of the universe?
I have always wanted to believe that there is more to life than just the bare bones of perception. I have always wanted to believe in something akin to magic. I wonder how scientists, aetheists, sceptics, cynics, agnostics would react to evidence of a miracle. I wonder if it is naive of me to feel a surge of excitement at the possibility of a miracle just as I would if someone told me those psychics on TV are really speaking to dead people.
There are lots of things in life that are unexplainable, that are possibly quite irrational. The power of prayer is one. A lot of us pray. We might not think we do it in a religious sense but our daily affirmations, mantras, rituals are a form of prayer.
I have seen people recover from illness as a result of prayer. I have seen people become really successful using techniques like creative visualisation (which really is just a form of prayer). I have seen people make offerings to whoever their god might be when times were bleak and I have seen their hope grow.
And I can’t really explain why it happens.
The more devout among you would say that it is the power of God. Others would say it is an aftereffect of faith. Others would say it is the power of the human spirit, the power of positivity.
I would say it is a sign, a suggestion that there is more to life than meets the eye, and that it is very important to keep an open mind. Always.
Sometimes the night seems darker than it ever has before. We worry about recession, the threat of war, illness, global warming. The thought of a miracle is like a friendly smile on a cold, grey day. I am like Keats, sometimes weary of city life:
” To one who has been long in city pent
‘Tis very sweet to look into the fair
And open face of heaven.”
The whisper of a miracle fills the day with golden light.
I wonder if I’m clutching at straws in wanting to believe. Yet, I can’t seem to help myself.
So what do you think? Are there such things as miracles?
Yes. I would probably call them magic, but I definitely believe in moments of unreasonable hope realized, when the Universe clears its throat and reminds us that we are not the ones in control.
Are miracles true…?
I’ve read a couple of books that detail quite a few miracles, you may have read them yourself Selma., the Old and New Testaments.
But there’s something that puzzles me in those accounts…
During the Exodus and the 40 years of exile there were miracles happening all over the place, yet many of the Jews that saw these miracles with their own eyes, and indeed strolled across the parted sea, continued to question and doubt the whole Yahweh thing. And much the same occurred in New Testament times… they enjoyed the wine, ate the loaves and fishes and even patted Lazarus on the back, but continued to doubt God and Jesus.
And it continues today… I’ve watched Benny Hinn perform miracles on a regular basis, but somehow I just can’t stop doubting. Mind you, if Benny ever restores an amputee’s limb… watch out… I’ll be first in line for a blessing.
(Footnote: I say all that as an agnostic, yet the way Butch and I met seems to have the finger prints of a higher force all over it… which has made me a lot less sceptical about these things than I used to be.)
I DO believe in miracles – and I do believe in fairies at the bottom of my garden, for that matter. 🙂 I don’t know if “miracles” and “fairies” are the correct names for them but I certainly believe that there are things that my tired, jaded, old eyes fail to take in and appreciate.
I think a worthy life goal would be to become MORE OPEN to miracles – because I further believe that they happen all the time all around us.
Not to say that there isn’t unspeakable pain and suffering occurring simultaneously. Maybe that’s a piece of the puzzle – that they do.
AND perhaps I am just thinking too much too early in the morning.
I think it’s important to have something to believe in and my mind has always been open to all possibilities. I believe there are things that happen we just can’t explain….are they miracles? I’d like to think so.
I don’t believe in miracles as such but do accept that unexplained things can happen. Odd coincidences occur all the time
I was brought up a Catholic and I loved the miracles stories as a child. I daydreamed about something happening to me. Magical.
But I grew out of it.
Call them what you will, I believe miracles, perhaps wonderful, unexpected twists of fate…happen every single day. I guess the origin of the power is something to ponder but it’s the reality that they do happen that captivates me. Here’s to real miracles for all of us, to come and soon…. 🙂
Many hugs, G
I believe in miracles … you sexy thang! Oh sorry, went into a little verse by White Cherry! I DO believe in miracles, fairies on flower tops, of magic and pixie dust. I DO. And isn’t it Einstein who said “There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.”
If it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for him.
Most definitely I believe in miracles, Selma, and I believe in the power of prayer. I don’t know what it is or how it works, I just know that it does. I have seen amazing things happen in my life and the lives of people I know that can be explained thru no other means than divine intervention.
I believe that we are all spiritually connected and our purpose here is to help each other. Prayer is one form of doing that when there is nothing tangible we can do. And it helps! I agree with you that prayer takes many forms, but deep down it is the connection that matters.
Miracles to me invoke the idea of charlatans peddling snake oils and cure-alls at state fairs in the deep south. “Be healed!” shouted the preacher as he laid his hands on the frail old man… short answer is that no I don’t believe in miracles.
I’m trying to put this into words so that it makes some kind of sense. But I believe that at once, there is very little we control and that we are connected in a way we don’t truly understand. (But definitely not in Christian god kind of way.)
Of course there are miracles, some great and some small, you only have to open your eyes to see them! There is so much beyond that which we can prove with science, there is so much beyond what we understand. The more open we are the more we will experience.
I absolutely agree with you 100% when you said, “I would say it is a sign, a suggestion that there is more to life than meets the eye, and that it is very important to keep an open mind. Always.”
And, I TRULY believe with my whole heart that EVERYTHING happens for a reason.
By pretty much any definition, I think, existence itself is a miracle.
‘Moments of unreasonable hope realised’ – I love that. I really love that!
I know exactly what you’re saying. It’s those ‘immediate’ miracles that make us doubt. A guy was in a wheelchair for 10 years and suddenly he is walking. Our logical mind won’t let us accept that as reality. However, the metaphysical miracles are another thing entirely. Like you and Butch meeting. Or why a friend calls just as someone is considering taking all the pills in the medicine cabinet. Those are the situations that make me believe.
You’re definitely on to something there. The fact that bad things still happen every day acts as an impediment to us keeping an open mind about such things as miracles. My son said just the other day: ‘But if there are miracles, Mum, why are children dying in Africa? Why don’t the saints save them?’ And therein lies the mystery.
There are definitely unexplainable things all around us. Even the scientists can’t explain them. I have a friend who works at Sydney Uni in the Pure Maths Dept. He is always fiddling about with Pi which is just one of those numbers that goes on infinitely. He believes that working with those big numbers brings him closer to the divine and he is not religious at all. I think it’s a miracle he still talks to me considering the trouble I have with long division. 😉
I was the same. I always thought something would happen to me and I’d become a famous saint. I remember when I was about 6 they were giving out bookmarks at church with St. Therese on them and suddenly that became my dream – to be a saint on a bookmark. There was a sense of wonder about the whole thing that I have lost as an adult. Maybe I’m trying to recapture that.
The origin of the power is definitely something to contemplate. There is something there, isn’t it? The suggestion of something other than just misery and gloom and the hard daily slog is intoxicating. Here’s to the miracles, indeed!
My son used to sing that when he was about three. A cover of it was on the local charts by a band I think were called T-Shirt. It was so bad but of course, catchy. Oh, that takes me back! Love the Einstein quote. Wow. That has blown me away!
Absolutely. That connection cannot be denied. I am becoming much more aware of it the older I get. Prayer is definitely something I have seen work first hand. And why it does work fascinates me!
I know what you mean. Those miracle cures would put anyone off. But there is definitely a connection that transcends all race, all religion, for sure. We are not alone.
That’s the thing I have noticed – the more open I am to any possibility, the richer the experience. I have to learn not to be so afraid of change or anything different because the results are worth the risk!
It seems to happen for a reason, doesn’t it? Even the bad stuff that at the time makes you tear your hair out and go: ‘Why is this happening to me?’ Afterwards you look back and go – well, that made me do this and do that which led to this. And then I was able to do that. Amazing!
You have summed it up completely. It is a complete miracle that we are here at all!
I believe in miracles. I think they happen to everyone – I don’t believe they are for only a select few. I think we see miracles every day if we choose to open our eyes. Larger miracles happen continuously too… but people are afraid to share, so we don’t hear about them as often. I also believe the more we accept and are grateful for them, the more they will show up in our lives.
The power to heal is a gift – some have it. I am always excited to hear of others using their gifts. Does that mean that God exists or no? I think it depends on where you believe the gift comes from in the first place – is it a gift from God or a gift from natural selection? (You know how I feel on that one)
I also don’t believe we are in control. Too many times I have seen a higher power guiding my way (and others) to deny it. Is that faith? I guess so… is it faith when it goes beyond hope to that which you KNOW at the very fiber of your being?
I don’t think I’ve ever consciously witnessed one, but I wouldn’t be foolish enough to say there’s no such thing.
Ask any doctor … mine told me of a patient who presented with all the symptoms of a serious stroke, but when the surgeon did all the scans and things, he just shook his head in disbelief, and said ‘I can’t find a damn’ thing wrong with you!’
She made a complete recovery … and she was, and still is an atheist!
I have related thirty miracles (small and big) which I have experienced in my life in different countries, in my books, ” SMALL MIRACLES” – by Askin Ozcan
ISBN 1598001000 Outskirts Press
Available at 200 internet bookshops incl. http://www.bn.com, http://www.amazon.com and through 25.000 bookstores
Oh my –
This morning I was viewing a completely non related video on youtube my mother sent me, and here is a quote that was shared in the comments:
‘ There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
I love that quote Texas, thanks for sharing this! So inspiring to contemplate. Hugs, G
The concept is something I believe in, but… For example, two children kidnapped and molested ~ one killed in a most atrocious manner, the second one found. That she was found was called a miracle. I would have seen it as a miracle if both children and perhaps even their murdered parents had lived. I’m still working on this. You’ve filed a terrific post here, well written and thoughtful. Thank you! And the Einstein quote in comments is wonderful, too!
It’s funny, I think we do know it, don’t we? The belief/feeling that goes beyond hope is there in all of us whatever our creed. Stories like this are a reminder to me to keep on looking, to keep my eyes open. If I look hard enough and often enough I might just see something wonderful!
There you go. There are lots of cases of medical recoveries that doctors found difficult to explain. It does make me wonder. Maybe it’s a guardian angel thing. Maybe one day we’ll know for sure!
Sounds like an interesting subject to write about. Hope the book’s going well for you.
You and L’Uragano are on the same wavelength. It is a fantastic quote. I’m going to put it above my desk!
It is sooooo inspiring!!!
I’m still working on it too. I struggle with the idea of who is deserving of a miracle and who isn’t. I mean, aren’t we all? I guess it all comes down to how we look at things. Lots more to consider, I think!
Baby darling, WE are the miracles.
Definitely. Science can’t match us. We are wonders, marvels. When you think about it we are lucky creatures, indeed!
Well, I’m sure you know what I’m going to say… Of course I believe in miracles! …but aside from what is widely accepted as a “miracle”, I have what I consider to be tiny miracles every day. Little – and sometimes big – synchronicities that I could not have orchestrated myself, or seen coming, that alter my life for the better in one way or another.
I don’t think miracles have to be enormous or life or death situations to qualify (and I know you don’t either). Heck, the fact that the ice cream store has juuuust enough of my favorite flavor to make me a cone is a version of a miracle to me! 🙂
Mind you, if Benny ever restores an amputee’s limb… watch out… I’ll be first in line for a blessing
There you have it: I, too, have witnessed Benny “curing”, one after another, the afflicted and yet, not so much as one bonified, proverable cure has ever been proven to have taken place. I once had a neighbor who would have been the perfect case for Benny. She was deaf, except, when she forgot to be deaf.
lol – I didn’t see that it was already quoted! haha!!! 😀
Miracles? No. There are things that we haven’t been able to explain and things we haven’t yet begun to fully understand. A god up in heaven doing these things? No. Fairies & angels? No. Aliens…..now that is a possibility.
A miracle for me is someone choosing to do things differently, stop smoking, stop taking drugs, helping a fellow human or an animal in danger. A miracle will be needed if India is to ever play in the FIFA world cup 🙂
A miracle will be when humans forget about god & religion & race & caste & colour & boundaries and say to each other “what the hell were we all thing”? That’s a miracle!
The ice cream miracle is one of the all-important ones. LOL. You are so right about the moments of synchronicity. I see them all the time, little signs that prove to me it is just not right to lose hope, that it is worth it to keep going. Definitely.
Those sorts of miracles give miracles a bad name. It’s like magicians on TV, I think. Lots of smoke and mirrors.
Great minds think alike. It’s all good.
I completely agree with you that when we transcend all our prejudices – that will truly be a miracle. And come on, the Indian team aren’t that bad, are they?