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Is it valid for Catholics to use miracles to prove the Faith? E.g. Would reference to Lanciano, Guadalupe, Lourdes, Fatima, or Las Lajas be valid ways to prove that the Catholic Religion is true?
Yes! I think so. Why else would God grant us these graces?
To a point, yes, but remember that Pharaoh’s magicians also performed miracles. Miracles are definitely worth pondering, but it is important to be sure not to become too fixated on them. Focusing excessively on miracles can make it easy to be misled by false prophets, or to become so discouraged one fails to persevere through moments of desolation.
(04-23-2019, 11:03 AM)Credidi Propter Wrote: [ -> ]Focusing excessively on miracles can make it easy to be misled by false prophets

Medjugorje is a pretty good example of this. I do not for one second believe that Medjugorje is a genuine apparition.
(04-23-2019, 11:21 AM)Augustinian Wrote: [ -> ]
(04-23-2019, 11:03 AM)Credidi Propter Wrote: [ -> ]Focusing excessively on miracles can make it easy to be misled by false prophets

Medjugorje is a pretty good example of this. I do not for one second believe that Medjugorje is a genuine apparition.

I think we all agree that Medjugorje is phony.

What I mean is this; if my faith is weak is it fine to use miracles to bolster my faith in God? I guess Jacafamala answered my question.
Yes--from the First Vatican Council:

Quote:4. Nevertheless, 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.

5. Hence Moses and the prophets, and especially Christ our lord himself, worked many absolutely clear miracles and delivered prophecies; while of the apostles we read: And they went forth and preached every, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it [18]. Again it is written: We have the prophetic word made more sure; you will do well to pay attention to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place [19].
There is no proof, in the proper sense, of any of the Faith, because an act of Faith (an act of the will) is meant to substitute for a lack of certain proof. If the article of the Faith could be proven, then it would not be of Faith.

So the first step in discussing religion is to assure that one is one the same page as regards Natural Theology, which all can be proven from reason : That there is one God, who is creator of all, who is Good, who rewards the good and punishes the evil, is Personal, is Intelligent. Even Aristotle could get that far. This is essential because the rest of the Catholic Faith is founded on these ideas.

Then one shows how Catholic beliefs are reasonable, not how they are true. One shows how the Trinity is a reasonable thing to accept, and not against reason. One shows how it is reasonable to believe that God could reveal certain truths, and that He could even become incarnate. It is reasonable to believe that he would create a religious institution to guarantee proper doctrine and worship. It is reasonable that God would intervene in the world in certain ways to demonstrate his power and thus miracles are reasonable, and are not violations of the natural law. We are still on the level of reason here, showing how aspects of the Faith are not against reason, and so such believe is reasonable.

Then we proceed to showing the actual claims of the Church and Christ, and their historical reliability. Here we can introduce miracles as means of suggesting the truth of such things.

Then the person must make an act of Faith, because Faith is not about merely assenting to truths on a rational level, but making a willful act by which one says, I cannot prove this, but as it is reasonable, and God or his agents say this is true, I accept. That is the act of Faith, and shows that one has Supernatural Faith, which then can lead to Hope, Contrition and Charity.

So short answer, yes, miracles are good, but not independently of other things, and certainly not without first establishing the truths of natural religion and the reasonableness of the Faith. Jumping to miracles immediately is probably not going to be very effective.
Orthodox view here, so I don't expect anyone to necessarily agree with the below content. I do want to present another perspective on miracles and proving the faith, especially proving the faith to oneself.

Just like miracles, emotions and the imagination are very dangerous when they constitute the principal determination of the Divine.  

Orthodox saint, Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov, writes extensively on the problem of spiritual delusion/deception or prelest'.  

Here is the link with the full writing that I am referencing:

Below are some very insightful passages from St. Igantius (my own emphasis):

"Spiritual deception [prelest'] is the wounding of human nature by falsehood. Spiritual deception is the state of all men without exception, and it has been made possible by the fall of our original parents." 

"We believe that there is a bestial desire in the human heart, the desire that was brought by the fall and that has a relationship with the desire of the fallen spirits; and we believe that there is a spiritual desire in the heart as well, with which we were created, which naturally and properly likes God and neighbour, which is in harmony (in consonance, in accordance) with the desire of the Holy Angels. To love God and neighbour in God, we need to be cleansed of the bestial desire. The cleansing is performed by the Holy Spirit in a person who, with his life, is expressing a desire for the cleansing. Actually, the thing that is called the heart, in a moral sense, is the desire and other forces of the soul, but not the body part – the heart. The forces are concentrated in this part – and the common use of the name is transferred from the part to the congregation of forces."

"All the forms of demonic delusion to which the athlete of prayer is subject arise from the fact that repentance has not been set as the foundation of prayer, that repentance has not been made the source, the soul, the goal of prayer."


Saint Ignatius' accounts of prelest' also show that delusions lacked a basis in Scripture and the Fathers, in other words discontinuity with what was always correctly-believed, a discontinuity that is based in pride. Any spirituality not based in the whole of the Church's right-belief (Tradition, comprised of Scripture, the Fathers, the Saints, the Councils, and the Liturgy), which instead substitutes miracles, emotions, and the imagination for Tradition, will be a source of prelest'.

Anyway, miracles, emotions, the imagination, etc., as part of the carnal (or material) world are easily manipulated by Satan and his demons. Total repentence, meaning a contrite and humble heart, mind, and body (asceticism) is a prerequisite for holiness, and any miracles and phenomena must be analyzed through the lens of Christian (O)orthdoxy*. 

As such, miracles should not be used  as proof of the Faith, certainly not without better scrutinity through the lens of "what was believed always, everywhere, and by everyone." (St. Vincent of Lerins).  

Call me a crazy/heretic, but I believe that greater attention needs to be paid to total repentance, including ascesis, as a required first step to proper spirituality. This repentance includes curbing the imagination and sensory feelings (the "passions"). Repentance does not require the eradication of these passions, but rather acknowledging their place in the fallen world as a safeguard against spiritual deception. Only then can they be attuned properly to our Lord. 

*I'm Orthodox, so of course, I believe that Orthodoxy=orthodoxy.
(04-23-2019, 10:41 AM)Alphonse il Segundo Wrote: [ -> ]Is it valid for Catholics to use miracles to prove the Faith? E.g. Would reference to Lanciano, Guadalupe, Lourdes, Fatima, or Las Lajas be valid ways to prove that the Catholic Religion is true?


I've never understood those who insist so much on faith that they think these miracles are bad for peoples faith, they'll say stuff like "my belief in the Eucharist is the same with or without miracles" which is fine if they don't shun the miracles (often unfortunately due to their own skepticism or fear), my faith in the Eucharist would be much more difficult without miracles, and with miracles it's much easier not only for myself but to share with others.

The incredible scientific findings into Eucharistic miracles and many others should not be kept hidden and under a rock which many people tend to do. These miracles occur for a reason, to strengthen our faith and bring others to the faith, God wouldn't give us these miracles if they were not to serve an important purpose. And if a purported miracle turns out to be false, I want to know about it. Follow the truth wherever it leads.

And the claims trying to debunk the Shroud of Turin have been proven false as they carbon dated a corner piece of the shroud which was repaired in the 12th century hence the faulty results. There have been many other incredible findings in regards to the Shroud of Turin in recent years.

God Bless You
(04-23-2019, 11:21 AM)Augustinian Wrote: [ -> ]Medjugorje is a pretty good example of this. I do not for one second believe that Medjugorje is a genuine apparition.

My sister in law converted to the faith due to Medjugorje, I have not studied it enough to say one way or the other but I certainly haven't seen any bad fruits from it. My brother and sister in law are both faithful Roman Catholics, the Church needs more like them.

God Bless You
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