Having been confused by the many interpretations of the good Bible she prayed to the Almighty to reveal the Truth to her, and within a month a Radiant Visitor came to her front door and laid a hand upon her forehead and the Truth became known. And then she was taken to a holy place and she was immersed in water and soon she began to speak in tongues from having received the gift of the Holy Spirit. Since then she has been able to read the Word with a new understanding. She now has the comforts of peace and the security she craved. Her daily walks with Him are a pure joy. And just in a nick of time. Not long after her immersion she found she was suffering from pericarditis, for she was in pain and breathless. After constant prayer she was told by her doctor she no longer had the disease. But then she found she had osteoporosis and after prayer again she made a full recovery. And amazingly she was no longer an alcoholic, nor did the pain from broken bones from a car accident bother her anymore. She has nothing but great thanks for Him and His graciousness in saving her. How can she not praise the Lord for His healing power and deliverance? But then it became clear that misfortune seeks to bedevil her because she developed a spinal degenerate disease and also she got stomach ulcers, and on top of that she broke her coccyx in a fall, but after prayer and fast she was instantly healed and again she thanked the Lord for having wonderfully delivered her from her sicknesses.
The Radiant Visitor had promised that he will wipe away every tear from her sad eyes, and death shall be a miracle, and neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things will have passed away. And when the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide her into all truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whenever she hears he will speak, and he will declare to her the things that are to come. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
She is one who fully believes what she has been told to believe. And she is one to whom the heart of the Lord has been revealed. For to her the Lord has grown in her up like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that she should look at him; and no beauty that she should desire him. He was once despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one to whom wicked men showed their faces he was despised, and they esteemed him not. Surely he had come to bear her grief and carry her sorrows; and she esteemed him stricken, smitten by hatred, and afflicted. He was wounded for her transgressions; he was crushed for her iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought her peace, and through his wounds she was healed.
And it came to pass that she was dying.
And in her mind’s firmament, active before its ceasing, she hears strange talk addressing her. Grave and uplifting, as in the twin-speak of the righteous.
And the feelings of amazement toward healing miracles are manifest in their wondrous occurrences appealed to, and grasped by emotions. And the works of divine grace, such as the sacramental presence, are above the power of nature and due to God alone, and they may be called miraculous in the wide meaning of the term, supernatural like, since miracles in the strictest sense are exclusively apparent from God, and exclusive to the recipient who believes that a miracle has taken place. Healing miracles cause the grasp of the senses to fail, for the miracle of healing brings nothing greater than pure joy and love for God.
The wonder of the healing miracle is due to the fact that its cause is spiritual, and the effect is other than what nature is empowered to do. Hence, by comparison with the ordinary course of things, miracles are called extraordinary. In analyzing the difference between the extraordinary character of miracles and the ordinary course of nature, the god-knowledge employed are contrary to, and outside mere nature. Such are these theological terms which express the manner in which miracles are extraordinary.
Miracles are said by Christian wise men to be above nature when the effect produced is above the native powers of humans, when the laws of nature do not apply, as in the raising of a dead man to life, and in miraculous healing. A miracle they say is outside, or instead of nature when natural forces may have the power to produce the effect, at least in part, but could not of themselves alone have produced it in the way it was actually brought about. Thus the effect in abundance far exceeds the power of natural forces, or it takes place instantaneously without the means or processes which nature employs. Remember the loaves and fishes episode? And the changing of water into wine at Cana? For the moisture of the air by natural and artificial processes is changed into wine, or the sudden healing of a large extent of diseased tissue by a draught of water. A miracle is said to be contrary to nature when the effect produced is contrary to the natural course of things.
Again, the term contrary to nature does not mean “unnatural” in the sense of producing discord and confusion. The forces of nature differ in power and are in constant interaction. This produces interference and counteractions of forces. This is true of mechanical, chemical, and biological forces. So, at every moment of the day humans interfere with and counteract natural forces about them. What does a sneeze really do? Humans live only by the counteraction of natural forces. Though all this goes on around them, they never speak of the natural forces which may have been violated by them, except in a scientific environment. These forces are still working after their kind, and no force is destroyed, nor is any law broken, nor does confusion result. The introduction of humans may bring about a displacement of the physical forces, but not the infraction of supernatural processes.
In miracles God’s action relative to His bearing on natural forces is analogous to the fluidity of human perception. Thus, it is against the construct of iron to float, but the action of Eliseus in raising the axe-head to the surface of the water is no more a violation, or a transgression, or an infraction of natural laws than if he raised it with his hand. Again, it is of the nature of fire to burn, but when, the Three Children were preserved untouched in the fiery furnace there was nothing unnatural in the act, as they could only be fireproof through God’s will. There was no paralysis of natural forces and no consequent disorder.
A miracle is called supernatural, because the effect is beyond the productive power of nature and implies supernatural agency. Thus St. Thomas teaches: “Those effects are rightly to be termed miracles which are wrought by Divine power apart from the order usually observed in nature”, and they are apart from the natural order because they are “beyond the order or laws of the whole created nature”. Hence miracles in Scripture are called “the finger of God”. And “the hand of the Lord”, “the hand of our God”. In referring the miracle to God as its efficient cause the answer is given to the objection that the miracle is unnatural, i.e., an uncaused event without meaning or place in nature. With God as the cause, the miracle has a place in the designs of God’s Providence. In this sense, relative to God, a miracle is as natural as prayer which seeks to inspire it.
God’s power is shown in miracles directly through His own immediate action or immediately through creatures as means or instruments.
In the latter case the effects must be ascribed to God, for He works in and through the instruments; that is God works miracles through the instrumentality of angels, of men, through the Bible, and humans learn that animate things are instruments of Divine power, not because they have any excellence in themselves, but through a special relation to God. Think Mother Teresa.
The contention that miracles require an immediate action of Divine power, is not necessarily so. A miracle is due to the intervention of God, and its nature is revealed after the gap between the expectation and prayer has been bridged by faith alone.
A sign appeals to intelligence, and expresses the purpose or final cause of the miracle. A miracle is a factor in the Providence of God over men. Hence the glory of God and the good of men are the primary or supreme ends of every miracle. This is clearly expressed by Christ in the raising of Lazarus, and the Evangelist says that Jesus, in working His first miracle at Cana, “manifested his glory”. Therefore miracles must be worthy the holiness, goodness, and justice of God, and conducive to the true good of men. Hence they are not intended to produce, nor do they produce, disorder or discord; nor do they contain any element which is wicked, ridiculous, useless, or unmeaning. Hence they are not on the same plane with mere wonders, tricks works of ingenuity, or magic. The efficacy, usefulness, purpose of the work and the manner of performing it clearly show that it must be ascribed to Divine power.
Miracles are essentially an appeal to the suspension of knowledge. Therefore miracles can be distinguished from purely natural occurrences. A miracle is a fact in immaterial creation, and falls under the observation of the senses or comes through testimony, like any natural observance.
Miracles are signs of God’s Providence over humanity hence they are of high moral character, simple and obvious in the forces at work, in the circumstances of their working, and in their aim and purpose. Now philosophy indicates the possibility, and Revelation teaches the fact that a spiritual being, both good and bad exists, and possess greater power than humans possess. Apart from the speculative question as to the native power of humans it is certain that God alone can perform those effects which are called substantial miracles, e.g., raising the dead to life, and that miracles performed by angels, as recorded in the Bible, are always ascribed to God, and Holy Scripture gives Divine authority to no miracles less than Divine. Holy Scripture shows that the power of evil spirits as strictly conditioned, for example testimony of the Egyptian magicians, the story of Job, evil spirits acknowledging the power of Christ, the express testimony of Christ himself and of the Apocalypse. Granting that these spirits may perform prodigies, works of skill and ingenuity which, relatively to human powers, may seem to be miraculous, yet these works lack the meaning and purpose which would stamp them as the language of God to men. Therefore, and how and why, there is prayer.
Be at peace dying woman, for it is the Radiant Visitor who speaks.
Prayer is a great phenomenon, which finds expression in a persistent manner and enters intimately into the life of humanity. So universal is the act of prayer that it seems an instinct and integral to being. It is the fundamental fact of religion, and religion is a universal phenomenon of the human race. Christian philosophy teaches that in their spiritual nature humans are made to the image and likeness of God, therefore human souls instinctively turns to their Maker in aspirations of worship, of hope, and of intercession.
The real value of prayer has been a vital subject for discussion in modern times. Some hold that its value lies only in its being a factor in the culture of the moral life, by giving tone and strength to character.
Contemporary Christian philosophy teaches that God, in answer to prayer confers not only spiritual favours but at times interferes with the ordinary course of physical phenomena, so that, as a result, particular events happen otherwise than they should. This interference takes place in miracles and special providence.
Now when you have knelt to pray you have begged God to work miracles and that your life is a testament to His power. The sense of your littleness gives a humble and reverential spirit in your prayer. You trust that God, through His Infinite knowledge and power, will in some way best known to Him bring about what you ask. Hence, by special providence there are events which have happened through the instrument of supernatural laws. You have never discerned either in the events themselves or in the manner of their happening any deviation from having faith. What you were aware of however, is that things happen in response to your prayer. The laws of nature are invariable, yet one important factor must not be forgotten: that the laws of nature produce an effect, when the same conditions are present. If the conditions vary, then the effects also vary. By altering the conditions, other tendencies of nature are made predominant, and the forces which otherwise would work out their effects yield to stronger forces. In this way your will has interfered with the workings of natural forces and with human understandings, as was demonstrated by your faith.
Now, if such power rests with you, could God offer you less? Thus you have believed through prayer that God will cause the conditions of natural phenomena combined with His special agency to give you healing and that, to the ordinary observer, the healing has happens as though it was nothing extraordinary. You have recognized God’s favour and you have been devoutly thankful for His fatherly care. You know that God has brought the healing about in some way. When, therefore, you have prayed for healing to avert a calamity, you have not actually begged for a miracle per se: but instead you have asked that He who holds the heavens in His hands and who searches the abyss would listen to your petitions and, in His own good way, bring about the answers you’ve needed.
And now in your time of dying miraculously you will face it alone, for I am your visitor who can only depart.