January 6, 2017
Book: Exploring the Miraculous
Author: Michael O'Neill
Our Sunday Visitor, Huntington, IN. 2015. Pp. 223
An Excerpt from the Foreword:
The most definitive theological treatise ever composed on the nature of miracles, mysticism, and revelation was written in the eighteenth century by Cardinal Lambertini, at that time prefect for the Sacred Congregation for Rites and later to become Pope Benedict XIV. The introduction to a partial English translation done by nineteenth-century English Oratorians provides an excellent framework by which to examine and to appreciate the contents of this book:
"The Church began with miracles and divine gifts, and, being one, she continues the same. As the ancient dispensation began with Moses, and was inaugurated with miracles, so it continues from age to age, to the pond of Probatica (cf. Jn 5:2). The dispensation of the gospel is moe glorious than that of the law (2 Cor. 3:9) and is fulfilled in measure beyond the capacity of its predecessor . . . . If the miracles of the law ceased not at the death of Moses, and if the record of them is not confined to the Pentateuch, but is continued through the history of kings and prophets, much more are we to expect a similar result in the history of Holy Church. The Acts of the Apostles do but carry on the miraculous record of Four Gospels; and is there any reason that we should suppose that marvelous gifts, graces, and miracles ceased with the apostolic age? Ths would be the reasoning of the Sadducees, who confined themselves to the five books of Moses, and disowned the prophets. They had closed their hearts against the perpetual evidence of their temple, and refused to believe in the interference of God, and His dealings with that economy under which they were living."
An Excerpt from the Book:
The Church has been enriched by the fruits of miracles from its very beginning. It was the miracles of Christ that invited people to follow him, and it was history's greatest miracle --- his resurrection --- that changed the world forever. The apostles wee emboldened by his mandate to work miracles and the prodigy of Pentecost that sent them on their way into the world. St. Paul's life-altering vision put him on the path to become Christianity's greatest evangelist, and the Roman emperor Constantine was first inspired to legalize Christianity in the year 312 after witnessing a vision in the sky of the HIS Christogram. Miracles big and small surround us, including the greatest one that happens every hour of every day in every country of the world: the Eucharist, bread and wine transformed into Christ's body and blood, which has remained at the center of the Catholic Faith since its institution. The Catholic Church has always affirmed the importance of miracles and revelation and teaches that Christ's work demonstrate that "the kingdom has already arrived on earth."
Table of Contents:
1. Are miracles really all that important?
2. What should we do with miracles?
3. Miracle or fraud? How the Church decides
4. Trends in claims of the miraculous
5. Healing miracles and the canonization process
6. Biblical miracles
7. Miracles of the saints
10. Miraculous miracles
11. Eucharistic miracles