So, let us consider more about miracles. Yesterday I defined a miracle as something that, according to the laws of nature or society, ought not to be possible. I also think that a miracle is something which comes just when you need it.
Now, I’m not going to give away any confidences (in fact I couldn’t if I wanted to) but recently we have been in dire need of some money – and then it came, largely in the form of anonymous donations. It came at precisely the moment when we needed it and as much as we needed. That is definitely a personal miracle.
As regards miracles in general, I differ from many Catholics: I’m not one for weeping statues or bleeding icons. I don’t really see what they achieve: we know there is – or used to be – fraud in the production of relics and miracles, but even supposing a statue could genuinely ‘weep’ at certain times (probably a phenomenon due to seeping water or a leak in the roof) – what is the point of it? The point seems to be to increase the faith of believers, or else to make money for the church. Give me a practical miracle any day. Something that actually helps, something that changes lives. Jesus didn’t go in for weeping statues, he did practical stuff. Healed people. Saved them from stoning. Told them stories and helped them not to worry. That’s a real faith – living from day to day and believing that things will work out. And you don’t have to be a Christian – or even to believe specifically in God – to practise it.