There are times — extremely frustrating times — when our religion is a leap of faith and a walk into the yawning darkness. There are times when our daily prayer crumbles into daily mantra, and we feel guilty of every charge the new atheist brings against us; we are brain-washed, we are ignorant, we were fools ever to believe. There are times of dryness. There are times when God really seems dead. And then there is Every Time Else.
And Every Time Else – with apologies paid to saints experiencing the dark night of the soul, and secularists pursuing the same – is where it’s at. I was giving a talk on Mary to a group of middle schoolers, and, as a joke to get them thinking, I asked whether she had appeared to any of them recently. It was with some surprise, then, that I watched hands shoot up. A fellow teacher told the story of a priest for whom statues of Mary would weep, a priest in Northern Virginia with the stigmata who tapes his wrists on Good Friday – which apparently does very little to stem the flow of blood that runs down his arms – and how with him, she had seen the veil of Our Lady turn and change colors. A little girl told of her parent’s rosary turning to gold on a pilgrimage. I told the story my parents told me of Mary appearing to me as an infant, accompanied by the overpowering smell of roses. And suddenly, gently, the realization settled across the hall of kids; we were surrounded by miracles.
I suppose any self respecting atheist is at this point scoffing: Rosaries into gold, what despicable, brainwashed piety! But I hold you accountable for your own piety, for your own irrational dogma that rosaries stay wooden. I will literally mail 100 dollars in cash to any atheist who can answer the question Chesterton has still not heard answered:
The question of miracles is merely this. Do you know why a pumpkin goes on being a pumpkin? If you do not, you cannot possibly tell whether a pumpkin could turn into a coach or couldn’t. That is all.
Or why the sun stays still, or the dead stay dead. Or why bodies rot. That’s right, incorruptibles, for goodness sake.
You want a miracle, there’s a miracle. Verified by secular science, there for anyone willing to see, bodies that should rot do not. Do not acknowledge this and at the same time scoff at the Resurrection. Do not look upon what you and I quite simply have no other explanation than that the old, stubborn, Roman Catholic Church gives, and then say “but that’s no reason to believe in a God. We simply don’t know.” Real scientists go where the evidence leads them, and stop when it fails. They do not choose which evidence suits them and ignore the rest, that would make them, I believe, douchers.
Anyhow, Catholics! We are a religion of miracles! Find them! Pray for them! Enjoy them!