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July 31, 2008


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Ann Marie

I live in a world of tension regarding miracles. The part of me that still responds to my high school learning says there has to be practical reasons for something happening. And yet, I have experienced miracles through healing. Many times they are simple things.

I have seen and experienced too much in my "short" life to rule out any miracle being just that. Yet, each time I hear of one, I try to analyze it rationally. But irregardless, there is a part of me that does truly believe that with God all things are possible and doesn't quailify it by saying that God uses what is there - sometimes miracles occur out of nothing and one of the best parts is just basking in knowledge that God is real and active in our world.

Love and Prayers,
Ann Marie


According to Leibniz "... when God works miracles, he does not do it in order to supply the wants of nature, but those of grace." I, too, find the yellow warning light coming on wqhen I hear about miracles, but it glows most brightly for me when there seems little point other than that the peson was sick and now isn't. I have learned, however, to try and keep a little room for God to do something I don't expect.


Yes. I "believe in miracles" because I believe in one God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth and all things visible and invisible. Seems plain to me the maker of all that is can do whatever, whenever, and however, and often does; things which to our eyes and minds, mostly stuck in this dimension, seem contrary to our understanding of nature's "laws". I have never really understood the impulse to explain everything according to what we empirically "know". If God is thoroughly explicable, how can he be God? And why would we worship Him?

And as for (sorry, I was wearing clericals, as I often do when hospital visiting), I am deeply saddened that you think you need to issue the apology. Why do many clergy fear wearing clericals in public outside of a church service? I do not accept the old blather that this constitutes some sort of barrier to witness. I think it more often reflects a fear of being approached by those who want to heap abuse on the priesthood or fear of being seen as self-important or fear of being expected to be and act like ministers of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Members of the clergy need to realize and accept that they are members of another order and clericals witness to that and allow lay people to interact with the order, not the person. I am not explaining myself very well, I know, but I hope you understand.


Ann Marie - God being real and active in the world certainly introduces a new player into the mix of ordinary human experience. I think that is something at the heart of the matter: recognition of the presence and activity of God.

Keith - I had been recently reading a bit of Augustine's epistemic theory related to miracles: (City of God XXI.viii) "For we say that all portents are contrary to nature; but they are not so. For how is that contrary to nature which happens by the will of God, since the will of so mighty a Creator is certainly the nature of each created thing? A portent, therefore, happens not contrary to nature, but contrary to what we know as nature." Spinoza says something similar. The point for the deist is that what is thought of as "miracle" is not something "outside" nature, but is something within nature, and within the will of God. It is simply that we will only have knowledge of how we interact with nature; we cannot have knowledge of how God interacts with nature.

On another point, I have often heard of the miracles (or "signs") in the Gospel as pointers toward, or witnesses of, something of Christ. However, I also see that it is within the nature of grace (if I can combine the two) for God to simply heal, well, simply to heal. As surely as there is grace for spiritual redemption, so I suppose there is grace for physical redemption. I suspect that one of the fruits of miracles iwhich have no obvious object lesson is intended to be joy.

Susan - the clercial thing was more tongue in cheek than anything. I do find you point well taken though. On my way back down the elevator I had a request to come and pray for someone on another floor...



no, i do not. but i have to tell you, the jacob and the angel story is incredibly impt to my view of the world.


anthony - how so?

on another note, the gospel reading this week seems to give a very simple reason for "healing miracles": "Jesus had compassion on them, and cured their sick."


1) because it is so much about the incarnation, about bodies
2) because i have yet to figure out how to be broken,
3) because when i was 22 and thinking about my role as a christian and semeniarn, father stephen hero (real name, accidental joyce allusions) made me read it as penance, because i think he didnt know how to handle my questions
4) because it suggests that the liminal spaces many of us live in, can become less liminal,
5) because the blessings of YHWH can only be acheived through struggle
6) because it reminds me of my childhood, and stories of joseph smith and his cumberland wrestling days
7) because of the blake etchings, and the epstein sculpture, and the dore drawing, and the gaugin painting, and etc
8) because it is a story that has been used often and well by queer theologians
9) because it is a story, where to gain your name, gain your identity, and the identity of your people, you have to submit to mystery, to violence, to desire, and finally to exhaustion.
10) and because it hatched in my brain so long ago, i interalised it, and it became part of me.

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blank stare...

  • Copyright Rev. Joseph Walker, St Timothy's Anglican Church

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