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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, July 21, 2016
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Rock and Refuge
with Fr. Roy Cimagala
OPINIONS

Rock & Refuge

Our need for miracles

While we normally use only ordinary means to solve our problems of whatever type, there are times when we have to resort to extraordinary means because the predicaments at hand are just too big or complicated to tackle.

These days, in fact, this type of predicaments is getting plentier. In the international scene, for example, we are witness to the seemingly endless terror attacks on innocent people, done completely at random.

These attackers are not afraid anymore to lose their lives.

The value of life has diminished tremendously. If it is not due to some kind of fanaticism, racism or extreme revenge, it can also be due to the cheapening of life in general through the widespread legalization of abortion and other anti-life practices.

In our country, we are seeing nowadays many drug-related killings of the summary and extra-judicial type. We are also shocked to know the number of people affected by this problem. In my little, very rural barrio in Bohol, for example, I was jarred to learn a good number are involved.

But closer to each one of us, we can also detect an increasing number of predicaments that often reduce us to helplessness. This can be brought about by the new technologies that, while giving us a lot of advantages, can also cause great harm.

 

Many people, especially the young, are now addicted to pornography, to uncontrollable games, to plainly wasting time. They are finding it harder and harder to resist the temptation.

They more or less know that what they are doing is wrong, but they still do it. But neither can we discount the fact that many people are now losing the sense of sin, of what is right and wrong, and of repentance.

It's clear that the world today is into some serious sickness, more spiritual and moral than physical and medical. It's not just some kind of virus that causes it. There seems to some kind of evil possession involved. Precisely in the gospel we are told that we are actually ranged against spiritual enemies, more powerful than the usual germs and viruses around.

Those concerned say that they cannot explain their condition, much less, get out of it by themselves. Their condition seems to defy logic and any human analysis. It overwhelms their usual powers. And any medical prognosis or psychological relief can only do so much.

This is not to mention that in many cases, those affected by this disturbing phenomenon are still in the denial stage. They would not admit that they are in deep trouble. And worse, they know many tactics to cover up their anomaly. They can appear normal and happy, and yet a festering problem actually grips them.

This is where we can say that we need miracles. We have to go to Christ, like those many helpless characters in the gospel who approached him for a cure. In other words, we cannot anymore rely on our human natural and human powers to handle these predicaments. We have to beg for miracles!

Miracles are certainly part of what God has made available for our problems. When St. Paul said: “God will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it,” (1 Cor 10,13) he must have included this extraordinary recourse to miracles as one of God's ways for us to endure any temptation or predicament.

And so let us go to Christ like the blind man Bartimaeus (Mk 10,46-52), the woman with the flow of blood (Mk 5,25), the 10 lepers (Lk 17,11-19), the man born blind (Jn 9,1-12), the man possessed by a legion of devils (Mk 5,1-10), and many others. Let's go to him without delay, without hesitation.

We can also help others go to Christ if they themselves cannot do it, like what the father of a possessed boy did (Mk 9,17-24), those who brought a paralytic to Christ (Mk 2,4), the centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant (Lk 7,1-10), etc. We can do a lot of good to others if we do this.

What is important is that we approach Christ with deep faith. In those miraculous cures Christ did, he always referred to the great faith of those who asked for those miracles.

Let us humble ourselves so that that faith can grow and show itself in deeds, like intense prayers and sacrifice. Remember what Christ told his disciples why they could not cure an epileptic boy. It was because of their little faith. (Mt 17,20)*

 

While we normally use only ordinary means to solve our problems of whatever type, there are times when we have to resort to extraordinary means because the predicaments at hand are just too big or complicated to tackle.

These days, in fact, this type of predicaments is getting plentier. In the international scene, for example, we are witness to the seemingly endless terror attacks on innocent people, done completely at random.

These attackers are not afraid anymore to lose their lives.

The value of life has diminished tremendously. If it is not due to some kind of fanaticism, racism or extreme revenge, it can also be due to the cheapening of life in general through the widespread legalization of abortion and other anti-life practices.

In our country, we are seeing nowadays many drug-related killings of the summary and extra-judicial type. We are also shocked to know the number of people affected by this problem. In my little, very rural barrio in Bohol, for example, I was jarred to learn a good number are involved.

But closer to each one of us, we can also detect an increasing number of predicaments that often reduce us to helplessness. This can be brought about by the new technologies that, while giving us a lot of advantages, can also cause great harm.

Many people, especially the young, are now addicted to pornography, to uncontrollable games, to plainly wasting time. They are finding it harder and harder to resist the temptation.

They more or less know that what they are doing is wrong, but they still do it. But neither can we discount the fact that many people are now losing the sense of sin, of what is right and wrong, and of repentance.

It's clear that the world today is into some serious sickness, more spiritual and moral than physical and medical. It's not just some kind of virus that causes it. There seems to some kind of evil possession involved. Precisely in the gospel we are told that we are actually ranged against spiritual enemies, more powerful than the usual germs and viruses around.

Those concerned say that they cannot explain their condition, much less, get out of it by themselves. Their condition seems to defy logic and any human analysis. It overwhelms their usual powers. And any medical prognosis or psychological relief can only do so much.

This is not to mention that in many cases, those affected by this disturbing phenomenon are still in the denial stage. They would not admit that they are in deep trouble. And worse, they know many tactics to cover up their anomaly. They can appear normal and happy, and yet a festering problem actually grips them.

This is where we can say that we need miracles. We have to go to Christ, like those many helpless characters in the gospel who approached him for a cure. In other words, we cannot anymore rely on our human natural and human powers to handle these predicaments. We have to beg for miracles!

Miracles are certainly part of what God has made available for our problems. When St. Paul said: “God will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it,” (1 Cor 10,13) he must have included this extraordinary recourse to miracles as one of God's ways for us to endure any temptation or predicament.

And so let us go to Christ like the blind man Bartimaeus (Mk 10,46-52), the woman with the flow of blood (Mk 5,25), the 10 lepers (Lk 17,11-19), the man born blind (Jn 9,1-12), the man possessed by a legion of devils (Mk 5,1-10), and many others. Let's go to him without delay, without hesitation.

We can also help others go to Christ if they themselves cannot do it, like what the father of a possessed boy did (Mk 9,17-24), those who brought a paralytic to Christ (Mk 2,4), the centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant (Lk 7,1-10), etc. We can do a lot of good to others if we do this.

What is important is that we approach Christ with deep faith. In those miraculous cures Christ did, he always referred to the great faith of those who asked for those miracles.

Let us humble ourselves so that that faith can grow and show itself in deeds, like intense prayers and sacrifice. Remember what Christ told his disciples why they could not cure an epileptic boy. It was because of their little faith. (Mt 17,20)*

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