Miracles- Another Approach: By Fr. Constantine Siarapis

Christ Heals the Blind Man

By: Fr. Constantine Siarapis, Preacher of the Ecumenical Throne.

It is true that we talk about miracles which have happened to some people or we have read about, and we often want to understand what a miracle really is.

A miracle is good not because it cures someone but because it reveals God to all. In every day language the word miracle means something which exemplifies itself in an impressive way.

There is however, another term found in the New Testament which seems to be closer to the conscience of the church than the word “miracle.” It is the term “semeion-sign,” the sign of the impending kingdom of God.

The miracles are signs of the eternal Kingdom, so attention must be directed to where the signs point. When the finger points to the moon, it is silly to look at the finger! The implication is that humans should not put the miracle at the centre of their interest, or they will not be able to mature spiritually.

Those who accept the miracle as a criterion for the Truth risk falling into spiritual delusion. The devil may sometimes present supernatural phenomena in other faiths and/or cults. However, the other religions and cults do not reveal God in His Kingdom. When the thoughts and the hearts of people are ready and mature, then the miracles aid in the understanding of the teaching, and in their own acceptance. The Pharisees witnessed many miracles, but their hearts were hardened and shut to faith. The requirement is that the Word of the Lord should suffice.

When a miracle takes place, when someone sick is cured of his illness and this fact induces repentance to the rest, then the miracle fulfills its intent. The miracle becomes the sign of the presence of God. The major issue is the Revelation of the Lord.

The miracle is good, not because it cures someone, but because it reveals God to all. If someone thinks of the miracle as a “favor” by God to somebody else, then that makes God partial and unjust. Of course, this is a mistake! God does not cure some people because he favors them, while appearing deaf to the supplications of others. A miracle happening to someone else should also be our own personal experience. We must keep in mind that even the person who was cured by a miracle will eventually die. It is not important that we depart this world without having been subject to a miracle.

It is, however, tragic if we depart from this world without the experience of God inside us.

There can be no miracle without an internal change and metamorphosis. St. Gregory Palamas says that the biggest miracle is the rebirth and the sanctification of the person. Thus man becomes God-like that is, his soul lives in a godly way.

God decides when He is going to offer the miracle. Some people have not become recipients of a miracle even if they have lived a clean life. This is so that they will not become proud in themselves. The gifts are offered to the humble and simple. The humble and simple do not think highly of their own selves; they are careful and appreciative of the gift, because they believe themselves to be unworthy of it. On the contrary, those who believe that they are pious and just think of the gift as a justified and appropriate reward by God; their pride then increases even more. The revelation of the Spirit is given to each one’s benefit (Cor. A, 12, 7).

This life is given to us as an opportunity, not as a trail. It is an opportunity to live Christ starting now. His Kingdom commences immediately. It does not start when we die; it only continues then. A “sign” and a “miracle” mean to live God’s revelation inside us. Let us pray that we can acquire the spiritual wisdom so that we discern the Grace of God at every moment of our lives.

Article taken from: Orthodox Way, May 2010. Published by the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto.

Advertisements

3 Responses to “Miracles- Another Approach: By Fr. Constantine Siarapis”


  1. 1 Michael McDonald June 14, 2010 at 6:37 am

    This is a wonderful article and a great view of the miraculous. The Pentecostal/Charismatic believers (of which I am one) could learn much from this.

  2. 2 Andrew June 20, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    There are some inconsistencies in this article. First the articles suggestions that God doesn’t favour people and is inpartial.

    If someone thinks of the miracle as a “favor” by God to somebody else, then that makes God partial and unjust. Of course, this is a mistake! God does not cure some people because he favors them, while appearing deaf to the supplications of others.

    Then further down the article states that God listens to the humble rather then the proud.

    God decides when He is going to offer the miracle. Some people have not become recipients of a miracle even if they have lived a clean life. This is so that they will not become proud in themselves. The gifts are offered to the humble and simple. The humble and simple do not think highly of their own selves; they are careful and appreciative of the gift, because they believe themselves to be unworthy of it. On the contrary, those who believe that they are pious and just think of the gift as a justified and appropriate reward by God; their pride then increases even more. The revelation of the Spirit is given to each one’s benefit (Cor. A, 12, 7).

    By providing a gift (miracle) to a humble person rather someone that is proud it seem like the author is saying that God’s is partial and showing favouritism – something which he previously states is not in God’s character.

  3. 3 Mary June 25, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Hi Andrew,

    I see the inconsistencies in this article now. I’m happy that you brought it up, thank you!

    God Bless

    Mary


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Blog Stats

  • 354,185 hits

My YouTube Channel

St. Mary of Egypt

Archives

St. Poemen the Great

"A man may seem to be silent, but if his heart is condemning others, he is babbling ceaselessly. But there may be another who talks from morning till night and yet he is truly silent, that is, he says nothing that is not profitable."

St. Gregory the Great

"Every day you provide your bodies with good to keep them from failing. In the same way your good works should be the daily nourishment of your hearts. Your bodies are fed with food and your spirits with good works. You aren't to deny your soul, which is going to live forever, what you grant to your body, which is going to die."

St. Paisius Velichkovsky

"Remember, O my soul, the terrible and frightful wonder: that your Creator for your sake became Man, and deigned to suffer for the sake of your salvation. His angels tremble, the Cherubim are terrified, the Seraphim are in fear, and all the heavenly powers ceaselessly give praise; and you, unfortunate soul, remain in laziness. At least from this time forth arise and do not put off, my beloved soul, holy repentance, contrition of heart and penance for your sins."

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

“Prayer does not consist merely in standing and bowing your body or in reading written prayers….it is possible to pray at all times, in all places, with mind and spirit. You can lift up your mind and heart to God while walking, sitting, working, in a crowd and in solitude. His door is always open, unlike man’s. We can always say to Him in our hearts Lord , Lord have mercy.”

St. John of Kronstadt

The candles lit before the icons of the Theotokos are a symbol of the fact that She is the Mother of the Unapproachable Light, and also of Her most pure and burning love for God and Her love for mankind.

%d bloggers like this: