Tag Archives: miracles

Miracle! Everybody Lived

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Was this a miracle? I think so.

Back on July 31, Father Esequiel Sanchez was one of 103 passengers aboard a jetliner taking off from Durango, Mexico. Within moments of takeoff, a freak accident tore off the plane’s left wing and two engines. The plane was going to crash (https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/priest-who-survived-major-plane-crash-credits-our-lady-of-guadalupe-13548).

Convinced he was going to be killed, or burned, or seriously injured, Father Sanchez now recalls that police and firefighters had told him “when you get into a crisis situation, your training kicks in. I think that’s what happened to me, too.”

So he prayed for God’s help, and for all his fellow passengers: “I absolve everyone on this plane, may the Lord have mercy.”

The plane crashed.

Everybody lived.

Uninjured, Father Sanchez helped emergency crews minister to those who’d been hurt. Somehow every person aboard the plane was safely evacuated before the plane burst into flames, exploded, and turned into pretty much nothing.

Talk about rising to the occasion! “I absolve everyone.” Hats off to Father Sanchez–and to the emergency workers who performed what seems, in hindsight, an incredible feat: not forgetting that the plane could have blown up while they were working on it.

But everybody lived.

To God be the glory: for He surely heard those prayers, and did something about it.

I’ve Found a Keeper

Image result for images of nicholas by michael j scott

“When confronted with the miraculous, faith is the only rational choice left.” (From the book’s cover blurb)

I review a lot of books for Chalcedon, always looking for something I can recommend. I’m halfway through Nicholas by Michael J. Scott–and excuse me while I climb up to shout a recommendation from the housetops.

Do you believe in miracles? If you were a hard-nosed newspaper reporter, sent off to a monastery at the top of the world to do a human interest story, and there you discovered–well, the original St. Nicholas, alive and kicking!–would you believe?

We’re not talking about everyday miracles like the sun coming up, or the birth of a child. We mean miracles in the strictest sense of the word–things that those who worship Science declare are totally impossible, they couldn’t happen, not ever, etc. Yeah, those miracles.

I am so tempted to skip ahead and find out what happens, but I can’t do that to a fine writer like Mr. Scott. In my first published horror novel, Lifeblood, I took pains to create a totally unexpected surprise ending–and Aunt Gertie went right ahead, as soon as she started reading the book, to find out how it ended. I hardly knew what to say to her.

So here we have a book about miracles, the least of which is a saint still alive, still serving God, after living some 1,700 years upon the earth.

This is really, really cool!

If you’re into miracles, give this one a read.

Balaam and the Ass

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This is another story which liberals sneer at us for believing: the account of the prophet, Balaam, who was rebuked by his ass (Numbers 22: 23-33).

Modern people think the people of the ancient world were credulous ninnies. Actually, people of Balaam’s time would have known much more about domestic animals than we do. They would have certainly known that an ass doesn’t talk.

Ah! But according to liberal scholars who don’t believe the Bible anyway, this was only a story cooked up by Jewish priests to pass the time while they were held captive in Babylon. At worst it was an idle tale to be imposed upon the gullible. At best it was a metaphor.

The Bible tells us that Balaam was a prophet, a man with the ability to communicate directly with God, a man held in high esteem even by kings and princes. As the children of Israel neared the Promised Land, the king of Moab sought to hire Balaam to curse Israel. Balaam was not eager to do this, but eventually the king’s emissaries soft-soaped him into it. And so Balaam sinned by selling the gift of God.

On his way to the king of Moab, Balaam was confronted by an angel of the Lord’s wrath. Because he had wilfully subjected himself to spiritual blindness, Balaam couldn’t see the angel. But the ass he was riding could: and three times the ass did Balaam an injury while avoiding the angel with the sword. When Balaam, because he totally failed to perceive the cause of what was happening, beat the ass, “the Lord opened the mouth of the ass,” and the ass rebuked Balaam and had to explain the situation to him.

Then Balaam went on to Moab; but instead of cursing israel, was compelled by God to bless him.

I believe this narrative is true–and that it was remembered, and kept in the Bible, because it was a miracle: a thing that could only happen because God made it happen. Balaam was a high and mighty VIP who was rebuked by an ass, the least prestigious of riding animals. I dare you to tell me God doesn’t love to work that way! He uses weak things of the world to overthrow the things that are mighty, foolish things to confound the wisdom of this world, and things that are despised, to take down the things that are held in high esteem (1 Corinthians Chapter 1).

Another thing learned by Balaam, in the course of his humbling experience: God is not a man, that He should lie (Numbers 23:19).

And even Balaam was never such a fool as to mock anyone for believing God.

A Modern Miracle

Image result for ernest shackleton

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.    –Psalm 23:4

In Daniel 3, the Bible tells us how Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, had three Jews thrown into “a burning fiery furnace” for refusing to bow to his idol. Miraculously, those three men–Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego–survived unscathed. And the king, astounded, said, “Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” (v. 25)

Fast-forward into the 20th century.

As Europe was tuning up for World War I, explorer Ernest Shackleton set out on an expedition to cross Antarctica by land. But his ship was crushed in the ice, and he and his men made a narrow escape to a desert island. There they would be sure to die, unless they were rescued.

After many hardships and extreme peril on the sea, Shackleton and two companions arrived on South Georgia Island, where they then had to hike over mountains and glaciers in hope of reaching the whaling station on the other side of the island, from whence word could be sent to summon rescuers. It was a grim and difficult march, literally a race against death.

Now let Shackleton himself tell us what happened during that march, excerpted from his book, South.

“When I look back at those days I have no doubt that Providence guided us, not only across those snow-fields, but across the storm-white sea that separated Elephant Island from our landing-place on South Georgia. I know that during that long and racking march of 36 hours over the unnamed mountains and glaciers of South Georgia it seemed to me often that we were four, not three. I said nothing to my companions on the point, but afterwards Worsley said to me, ‘Boss, I had a curious feeling on the march that there was another person with us.’ Crean confessed to the same idea. One feels ‘the dearth of human words, the roughness of mortal speech’ in trying to describe things intangible, but a record of our journeys would be incomplete without a reference to a subject very near to our hearts.”

For two persons, let alone three, to have the same hallucination at the same time is exceedingly unlikely, and may not even be possible. So I believe this story, even as I believe the Biblical account of the miracle in Babylon.

It is not recorded that anyone was fool enough to call Shackleton a liar to his face.

‘Miracle on 34th Street’

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen… (Hebrews 11:1)

Here at our place, it’s our custom to watch Miracle on 34th Street after Thanksgiving. I don’t know how many times we’ve seen it. It never grows stale for us.

Just suppose a nice old man insists that he is, in fact, Santa Claus; and that he’s put on trial for his sanity. How could he possibly get out of this jam? It would take a miracle–right?

And a miracle is just what we get. And without any laws of nature being broken, either.

Look, if this story doesn’t stir up your feelings, you’re probably ready for an autopsy.

It’s a parable. It’s a story about faith. It’s what you’d get if someone were to make a movie of Hebrews 11:1. Do yourself a good turn, and see it. Or see it again. It will do you good.

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