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I know we shouldn't base our faith on miracles only, but they certainly do help to strengthen our faith. It occurred to me that Our Lord and Our Lady's visitations to people, stigmata, etc, have a very profound way of steering people away from false religions.

For example:

The stigmata has the potential to convert Muslims, who deny that Our Lord was crucified, which is the most horrible blasphemy I can imagine. Can you imagine going through a horrendous form of torture to save someone's life and someone who lived 600 years after your death starting a movement to deny you ever did that? Think about a Muslim coming in contact with Padre Pio and seeing his blood-stained hands or his gloves. I think this would be a good thing to mention to a Muslim friend or family member.

Eucharistic miracles prove that the Catholic Church is the true Church of Jesus Christ. Protestants, who have no valid Eucharist, logically have no Eucharistic miracles. As an aside, it also proves the validity of the Novus Ordo Mass, because Eucharistic miracles have been documented in Novus Ordo parishes (I've heard of it occurring in Argentina and Poland).

Our Lady of Guadalupe's tilma and the Holy Shroud of Turin disprove the belief of iconoclastic Protestants and Muslims, as well as some Jews, that we should not have images on display. When God Himself leaves behind an imprint of His Face and His mother leaves behind an image on a cactus fiber that normally would have decayed by now and whose eyes are "alive and looking" at people (as reported by a Japanese eye specialist), you have all the proof you need that that isn't the case. The Shroud and the "aliveness" of the tilma are good proofs for an atheist and/or agnostic because the Shroud documents the Resurrection and no "painting" is going to have the durability or living eyesight of the tilma.

What are some examples you can think of? Smile
69 Miracles at Lourdes, all investigated by the Lourdes International Medical Committee and declared as recognized miracles by a bishop, that remain unexplained according to current scientific knowledge.

I don't know how many cures have occurred where a miraculous declaration was not made, or where there was another plausible explanation - however unlikely the explanation may have been.

I would assume that for those who were cured, a micaculous declaration was not really necessary.  What did St Bernadette say, " for those who beleive, no explanation is necessary"!
The after-Christmas snowstorm had blanketed a wide patch of rural eastern Pennsylvania, and Chris Clark Davidson probably should have waited until the roads were plowed before she, her mother and her two small sons attempted a drive. But Chris’ grandmother lived alone more than 100 miles away and couldn’t get out to the store to buy groceries. “We’ll be fine,” Chris assured her mother. “We’ll take that shortcut that we use all summer.”
However, Chris had forgotten how narrow the short-cut road was, especially with drifts piled high and wind blowing snow across the fields. When another vehicle roared around a curve. Chris swerved and skidded into a snow bank. The other car kept going.
The wheels spun uselessly as she tried to pull out. “Mommy, are we stuck?” toddler Philip asked from under his blanket in the back seat.
“Looks that way, honey,” Chris admitted. They had only seen that one car since they’d turned onto the shortcut. How long would it be before someone came along? How long before the freezing temperature invaded the car’s interior? And why, oh why, had she worn stylish open shoes instead of warm boots?
Chris got out, her almost-bare feet plunging into a high drift, and looked around. Lord please send us some help, she prayed. Then she saw it—a silo and barn roof about a quarter-mile away. “Mom,” Chris leaned in the car, “I’ll walk down to that barn and see if anyone’s there. Keep the kids warm.” Her mother nodded, her face worried.
The journey was incredibly cold and by the time Chris pushed open the barn door, her feet were icy. A welcome blast of heat greeted her, along with the mooing of heifers in their stalls. It was a working dairy, clean and well organized, with a shiny window fan circulating the air. Although she had passed it during previous times on the short cut, she had never really taken a good look. Now, she realized with joy, there were young male voices coming from behind a stall.
Maneuvering around the livestock, Chris followed the sound and came upon two farmhands in overalls and flannel shirts, kidding and teasing each other as they pitched hay. They stopped and smiled when they saw her, and quickly she explained the situation.
“Stay here!” one said, tramping past the cows, grabbing his jacket and going out the door. A moment later, Chris heard a horn honking in front of the barn. There he was, driving a blue pickup truck. “Get in!” he shouted.
Chris hesitated. She didn’t know these men, and her family, down the road, was vulnerable. Yet, there was something so merry about the men that she couldn’t feel afraid. She and the other farmhand scrambled into the pickup and bounced down the road. There was the car, her toddlers bundled up and Mom waving. The driver roared across the field, spun in a wide circle and screeched into position behind it. “Way to go!” his buddy yelled.
Chris gripped the seat. “Do you always drive like this?” she asked, only half-joking.

The driver shrugged. “Well, it ain’t our truck.”
Within minutes the men had freed Chris’ car, and she opened her purse to reward them. But both backed away. “It was our pleasure, Ma’am. Just drive safely.”
Not like you, Chris grinned as she pulled away. But their happiness was infectious, and they were wonderful guys.
Chris didn’t realize just how wonderful until several weeks later when she and her mother decided to make a return visit to her grandmother. Since the snow was almost gone by then, the shortcut was safer. “When we get to the barn, I’d like to stop and let the guys know we made it to Grandma’s that day,” Chris told her mother. But when they pulled up in front to where Chris had climbed into the blue truck, she could hardly believe her eyes.
The barn was vacant, shabby, with paint peeling and door hinges hanging loose. Bewildered, Chris wiped away a heavy film of dirt and cobwebs on the milk house window and peered inside. Where were the heifers, the floor littered with fresh manure? Even the fan was rusty.
“You couldn’t have seen any farmhands or cattle there,” the woman at the next house told Chris. “No one’s worked that property for years.”
Chris got in the car. “Am I crazy, Mom?” she asked, bewildered.
“No.” Her mother was firm. “This is definitely the place.”
Then how….?  Suddenly Chris understood, and like the shepherds at that first Christmas, she was filled with awe. Her angels had worn blue jeans and flannel shirts instead of white robes. But they had delivered the same timeless message to her and to anyone willing to listen. Fear not! The Savior is here! Alleluia!

http://www.christian-miracles.com/angelsinthebarn.htm
Donna related her amazing story during my visit to see Fr Richard on November 17, 2010.
I came to see Fr. Richard Tartaglia to drop off a large number of prayer requests from Christian-Miracles.com.  With Fr. Richard’s help and support, I've arranged for requests to be prayed for on Monday mornings during Holy Hour adoration, including every third Thursday of each month at the evening prayer service held at St. Mary’s Parish.
While in the office, Donna showed me her hand – one can visually see that several fingers are affected by arthritis.  Two fingers on her right hand have given her a great deal of difficulty, especially when she tries to write.  “I’ve had daily arthritic pain in my fingers for nearly five years,” says Donna, a parishioner and administrative assistant at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.  The church is on the corner of Myers Avenue and Route 46, Denville, New Jersey.
However, Donna relates that on September 27, 2010, “the pain unexpectedly disappeared.”  She was in the church office at her desk – listening to Radio Maria while doing paperwork; answering the telephones; and greeting visitors.  The computer was connected to the website of Radio Maria and through internet streaming, she tuned into the Catholic radio program, Sacred Treasures.  The show is broadcasted live every Monday at 3:00 PM (EST).
What makes Donna’s story even more interesting is that she was listening to my testimony on the radio regarding God’s spiritual blessings!
Radio host Kathie Duggan and I were discussing God’s signs that are related to our Catholic and Christian faith, including Archangel Michael and a cross which has appeared annually on my property in Mine Hill, NJ, since 2005.  We also discussed Christian-Miracles.com, a website I launched in 2008.  Documentation regarding my testimony is posted on the site.  While on the radio, I shared news of my healing from several medical conditions which resulted from receiving The Anointing of the Sick, a healing of the Catholic Church. Both a heart ailment and years of suffering painful headaches were healed after being anointed with the sacrament by my parish priest.
With that in mind, Donna continued and explained to me that at the end of the radio broadcast, she felt inspired to visit Christian-Miracles.com.
While on the website, she was examining the photographs of a cross which appeared on my property including other pictures of interest.  She says that a sensation of peace came over her while looking at the web pages.  “The whole website touched me in its beauty,” says Donna.
While surfing the site Donna recalled and said, “I was holding my fingers and thinking about wanting them to feel better.”  She didn’t notice until maybe ten or fifteen minutes later that all the pain in her arthritic fingers disappeared. She described having a feeling of inner peace that came over her.
Truly touched by God’s healing grace, she shared her story immediately with Fr. Richard.  Donna said that Fr. Richard responded by saying “That’s faith!"
Without question, faith leads us to God’s gift of answered prayer. Fr. Richard agreed with me that Donna was blessed with a small miracle.
After finishing work at St. Mary's, Donna left and went home and shared the events with her husband Bob, and son Brian, including her other children.  She said they were in awe of her story.
Donna has received a spiritual gift of God's divine love which she can treasure and share with others.
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has blessed St. Mary’s Church and Parish as a place where miracles happen!

http://www.christian-miracles.com/amiracleatstmarys.htm
.My own conversion to faith in Jesus Christ was due to a mystical experience that never happened again, but since that time I've never experienced anything else but semi aridity in prayer. I tend to be skeptical of the miraculous, things like stigmata or even Marian apparitions. I don't personally have much interest in stuff like that but it might just be my temperament. I admit that the Tilma is something undeniable though. That's probably the most intriguing phenomenon in Latin Catholic history.

I've got a sense of the presence of God, the Theotokos and the saints but it's mostly by the luminous Darkness of faith and the habit of prayer than anything else. I guess I don't want to experience something that might make me question my sanity. I'm generally ok with prayer being a drudgery that I can't live without.

I find that for me that one experience I had was enough to convince me ( it's not provable in any way to others) that Jesus Christ is real. I suppose that will have to be the most I get this side of the veil.
^ What FB said!!  Pretty much my experience, too, though my mystical encounter, also never repeated, was with the Theotokos and not Jesus.

I've no doubt that miracles occur.  It's just that I've never, to my conscious knowledge, have experienced one other than what I said just above.  Having said that, sometimes I just look outside and think to myself....Wow!  All of that's miraculous!!  But that isn't the same kind of "miracle" as, say, stigmata, or weeping icons, or raising the dead, is it?  More a deep, abiding appreciation and love of God's creation, I think. 

My faith, such as it is, doesn't rest on and isn't dependent upon miraculous events like those I mentioned.  If it was, I'd really be in deep trouble, eh? Smile



(03-19-2017, 10:33 AM)formerbuddhist Wrote: [ -> ].My own conversion to faith in Jesus Christ was due to a mystical experience that never happened again, but since that time I've never experienced anything else but semi aridity in prayer. I tend to be skeptical of the miraculous, things like stigmata or even Marian apparitions. I don't personally have much interest in stuff like that but it might just be my temperament. I admit that the Tilma is something undeniable though. That's probably the most intriguing phenomenon in Latin Catholic history.

I've got a sense of the presence of God, the Theotokos and the saints but it's mostly by the luminous Darkness of faith and the habit of prayer than anything else. I guess I don't want to experience something that might make me question my sanity. I'm generally ok with prayer being a drudgery that I can't live without.

I find that for me that one experience I had was enough to convince me ( it's not provable in any way to others) that Jesus Christ is real. I suppose that will have to be the most I get this side of the veil.

I had one mystical experience myself a couple years ago that involved the scent of jasmine flowers suddenly permeating my bedroom. I've never been able to replicate that odor. I try not to look too much into it or think about it, but I read that the scent or rose+jasmine flowers occurs at the tomb of Ven. Maria of Agreda in Spain (the nun who wrote the "Mystical City of God"). Still no idea why a 16th century Spanish nun would want to come visit me, if that's the case. We have to be careful not to intentionally "chase" after miracles, but this wasn't one of those cases.

Unfortunately I still have a hard time believing in God, or rather that God loves me...or any human being for that matter. I do not know what it means to have a "personal" relationship with an almighty, all-knowing, all-powerful God. Having a "relationship" with God is only a concept or idea to me, not an actual person.
As a Christian and practicing Catholic, God has called me to share my spiritual journey with others by being a witness to my faith through signs and wonders which are arising from Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I believe it's helpful to encourage others to trust in the word of God as written in the gospels.  Furthermore, I believe God's plan is to move forward in evangelizing our world through signs and wonders.
Scripture says, "whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."  John 3:21
Since 2005 a cross with an outline of a shield has appeared annually on my property in Mine Hill, NJ. Once again on March 27, 2011, rays of light from the sun is creating an image of a cross. This image has been showing up every morning since last week. The image appears at the top of the fence and slowly descends until it touches the ground. It then changes into a circle and disappears. The cross can be seen for about 30 minutes. 
The cross continued to appear with the start of Holy Week including Easter Sunday. It was cloudy Easter morning; however, the sun became visible just before 9:00 AM and the cross appeared on the lawn at the bottom of the fence before disappearing. The cross disappeared after Easter.

Interesting Note: The sun is on the outside of the fence, while the cross appears on the inside. However, the sun is high above in the sky and God is shining his light upon humanity including our home and property. That light is the Holy Spirit, and with that in mind, it's not impossible for God to send rays of light in all directions of the world, including inside our yard and on the fence. Furthermore, there are no objects in our windows which might cause a reflection.
In 2005 the cross appeared as a result of daily prayers made to Our Lord and with my intercessory Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel for God's divine protection during a time of adversity.  I believe the cross is a miracle and affirms God's spiritual presence with angels.  Please don't underestimate the power of prayer, Our Heavenly Father will respond when we invoke the name of Jesus for assistance.
I believe that God has opened the windows of heaven and is pouring out the Holy Spirit on our world. Joel 2:28 says, "And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. And Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions."

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless.”  Psalm 84:11
Interestingly, this is the Lenten season, a time of spiritual renewal and conversion for Catholics and Christians as we prepare for Easter.
Jesus said,"I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness."  John 12:46
My wife, Teresa, had invited her cousin Diane Kayal to come visit with her husband and children on Saturday, March 26th. Diane's daughter, Brooke, stayed overnight with our family. Then on Sunday morning, the cross appeared on our backyard fence at around 9:00 AM. Brooke went outside to examine the image. I photographed her standing next to the cross and she said in awe, "It looks like Jesus."
Prior to Sunday, I went on March 24th to visit my spiritual advisor, Fr. Richard Tartaglia to speak with him about spiritual matters related to Lent including the cross that began to appear once more on our property. I also gave Fr. Tartaglia an open invitation to visit our home to see the Cross of Light for himself.

On Monday, March 28th, I dropped off some photographs in the rectory office at St. Mary's Parish, which is located in Denville, NJ, for Fr. Tartaglia to examine and to keep for church archives.
During my April visit to discuss spiritual matters with Fr. Richard, I shared the images directly as captured on the camera's digital memory card by transferring the photographs on to a CD for church records. 
God is forgiving and sending a message of love for people to return to the sacraments of the church and to reconcile through confession during Lent.
Our Lord is calling everyone to make a sincere effort to attend weekly church services or Holy Mass. In doing so, it helps in receiving Our Lord's blessings and divine favor.
He is calling each and every person to pray for world peace and divine protection so that violence can be mitigated.
Jesus is calling everyone to open their heart to receive the Holy Spirit in order to have peace in their lives and families and throughout the world.
I believe Our Lord's plan is to move forward with an era of peace as foretold by Our Lady of Fatima, and to fulfill Revelation 20:1-3 with a thousand-year reign of God's peace. To read Our Lady's message, please visit the following link: The Fatima Message
"See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.”  Isaiah 42:9
I believe that if enough people pray, the course of history will change through God's divine intervention. "For nothing is impossible with God."  Luke 1:37
May Our Lady intercede on behalf of humanity and may God's mercy enfold our world with peace and divine love.

http://www.christian-miracles.com/amiraclecross.htm
(03-19-2017, 03:52 PM)Sequentia Wrote: [ -> ]
(03-19-2017, 10:33 AM)formerbuddhist Wrote: [ -> ].My own conversion to faith in Jesus Christ was due to a mystical experience that never happened again, but since that time I've never experienced anything else but semi aridity in prayer. I tend to be skeptical of the miraculous, things like stigmata or even Marian apparitions. I don't personally have much interest in stuff like that but it might just be my temperament. I admit that the Tilma is something undeniable though. That's probably the most intriguing phenomenon in Latin Catholic history.

I've got a sense of the presence of God, the Theotokos and the saints but it's mostly by the luminous Darkness of faith and the habit of prayer than anything else. I guess I don't want to experience something that might make me question my sanity. I'm generally ok with prayer being a drudgery that I can't live without.

I find that for me that one experience I had was enough to convince me ( it's not provable in any way to others) that Jesus Christ is real. I suppose that will have to be the most I get this side of the veil.

I had one mystical experience myself a couple years ago that involved the scent of jasmine flowers suddenly permeating my bedroom. I've never been able to replicate that odor. I try not to look too much into it or think about it, but I read that the scent or rose+jasmine flowers occurs at the tomb of Ven. Maria of Agreda in Spain (the nun who wrote the "Mystical City of God"). Still no idea why a 16th century Spanish nun would want to come visit me, if that's the case. We have to be careful not to intentionally "chase" after miracles, but this wasn't one of those cases.

Unfortunately I still have a hard time believing in God, or rather that God loves me...or any human being for that matter. I do not know what it means to have a "personal" relationship with an almighty, all-knowing, all-powerful God. Having a "relationship" with God is only a concept or idea to me, not an actual person.

This is something I struggle with, sometimes mightily, too.  How does a human person, a creature, have a personal relationship with an omniscient, omnipresent Creator of all the universe?  Just how does that work, in practice?  Okay....we can think about Him, try (yeah, right...) to conceptualize Him, pray to Him, "talk" to Him, etc., etc.  But sometimes, maybe more often than not, how do we know that His "replies" or whatever are not just our own inner dialogue or noise in our heads?  Okay...God became man in Jesus.  But Jesus was only incarnate and on this earth for approx. 33 years.  Then....poof!!..."up" (if this even involves some kind of physical directionality) he went to heaven....In my more difficult and doubtful moments I can't help but wonder how that fosters any kind of "personal" relationship??  But...hey...I just keep on plodding on, saying my prayers, reading my spiritual material and Scripture, living my life as closely to how I think God want me to, and, well.....hoping for the best, whatever that might turn out to be. Unsure Unsure
(03-21-2017, 12:48 PM)J Michael Wrote: [ -> ]Okay...God became man in Jesus.  But Jesus was only incarnate and on this earth for approx. 33 years. 
Technically, He's on this earth in every Catholic church around the world, in their tabernacles, and on their altars at every Mass. Smile 
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