Does a Miracle Have to Be Grandiose to Count as a Miracle?
What Is A Miracle?
A miracle is defined as "an extraordinary and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore attributed to a divine agency".
There are numerous articles on what miracles are, and there are usually criteria the event has to meet in order to be classified as a miracle, namely it has to be:
- Exclusively attributable to divine power (meaning it has to be performed by a Higher Power such as God)
- Beyond the power of created nature (meaning it is not something that happens or can happen in the natural)
- Beyond the order of created nature (which basically means that it has to have happened after the world was created and humans were placed in the world)
- Extraordinary (this point is pretty self-explanatory, it has to be something major, out-of-the-ordinary)
- Sensible (subject to perception by our senses—we should be able to feel, see or hear it)
The Vatican's Definition of a Miracle
"In order that the submission of our faith should be in accordance with reason, it was God’s will that there should be linked to the internal assistance of the Holy Spirit external indications of his revelation, that is to say divine acts, and first and foremost miracles and prophecies, which clearly demonstrating as they do the omnipotence and infinite knowledge of God, are the most certain signs of revelation and are suited to the understanding of all." (The Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith, ch. 3)
Pope Francis addresses crowds at the Vatican
In 2010, former Pope Benedict XVI confirmed that John Paul II had posthumously healed a French nun suffering from Parkinson's disease. The church recently confirmed a second miracle, when a Costa Rican woman's brain injury spontaneously healed after praying to John Paul II.
A miracle is God's way of communicating with us
Miracles are meant to prove the authenticity of God’s revelation. All who see it may know it is authentic. Here miracles have their function, serving as a seal to authenticate God’s communication to humanity, verifying Jesus' revelation.
Furthermore, as miracles confirmed the authenticity of Jesus’ revelation in the Apostolic Age, the miracles performed throughout the history of the Catholic Church prove the Church’s claims to be true—namely, that it is the church founded by Christ.
My Everyday Miracles
Now, I am not Catholic, I don't believe in Saints having special powers like God, but I am a Christian, and while I appreciate the Vatican's lengthy definitions and criteria for ''miracles'', I beg to differ, for in this day and age, I think God uses everyday occurrences to 'communicate' with us, namely in the form of humble miracles, but miracles nonetheless.
My grandfather, who was a faithful (and humble) servant of the Lord, and held prominent Pastoral titles till the day he died at the age of 81, always taught us to appreciate the so-called 'normal' miracles God would perform on a regular day. I once heard him thanking God for a parking spot that opened up close to the entrance of the post office! At the time, I thought it was a bit strange. But now that I am older, I realize the value of appreciating those everyday displays of God's love for us.
I myself bear witness to miracles that occur on a daily basis—had I not been wise enough to see it, I would have missed that a miracle was performed for me! Little ol' me! That's just the love of God.
I slipped and fell, but got right back up
Given the cold, snowy weather of late, the sidewalks and paved areas have been amassed with snow which then turned to icky, slippery sludge. As I walked down a short flight of stairs at the train station running to catch a train, I slipped, tore my jeans open at the knee and badly bruised my knee. But that was all. It hurt for a few minutes, it bled a bit, but I was able to get on with my day. I made it to work on time, and I tended to my knee with a band-aid. The next day it had already started healing. That's a miracle right there!
Now, I could have fallen so badly that I could have broken a hip/leg/ankle but thank God I didn't. I will take that as an ''everyday'' miracle, not a fancy miracle as defined by the Catholic church where saints are beatified and it is classified into a special category, no, this was a miracle for me. Because I am able to walk, and tell the story of how it could have been worse but wasn't... because God was watching over me.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.— Isiah 41:10
Has God performed an 'everyday' miracle for you?
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