Do you believe in miracles? Reply


By Tom Quiner

A miracle may have recently taken place.

I will tell you about it in a moment.  But first, I’d like you to ask yourself:  are miracles really possible?  And if they are possible, have they ever really occurred?

There are four possibilities as postulated by Dr. Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College and the author of many books related to the Christian faith.

According to Kreeft:

“Possibility One:  If miracles are not possible, then they cannot be actual.  That we know.

Possibility Two:  And if they are actual, then they are possible.  That we know.

Possibility Three:  But if they are possible, we do not yet know whether they are actual.

Possibility Four:  And if they are not actual, we still do not yet know whether they are possible.”

As a Christian, I believe miracles are possible.  Fundamental Christian doctrines of incarnation, resurrection, and salvation depend on the reality of the miraculous, on the idea that God can … and does … intervene in the system of natural causes.

Some scientific-minded folks are highly uncomfortable with the idea of a Cause that comes from outside the system of natural causes.  For example, what caused the Big Bang?  As Dr. Kreeft says, “this does that mean that such questions are unreal, only that science as such cannot answer them.  A scientist who believes that God caused the universe to exist has not abandoned scientific method, but merely acknowledged its limits.”

So what is the possible miracle to which I referred?  It happened in 2005.  Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, a French nun, suffered from Parkinson’s disease.  It is a degenerative disease of the nervous system, the same one with which Pope John Paul II was afflicted.  Sister Simon-Pierre has suffered from Parkinson’s since 2001.

She had reached a point where she couldn’t drive.  She had difficulty walking.  Her left arm hung limply at her side.

On the evening of June 2nd, 2005, she prayed.  Her prayer was specific:  she asked Pope John Paul II, who had died two months earlier, to pray on her behalf for the remission of her illness.

The Catholic faith believes in the Communion of the Saints.  Even more, it believes they can intercede on our behalf, that death doesn’t mean the end of our ability to pray for others.

So Sister Simon-Pierre prayed to the late Pontiff to intercede on her behalf.

On the morning of June 3rd, 2005, this French nun awoke without symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Did a miracle take place?  “All I can tell you is that I was sick and now I am cured.  It is for the church to say and to recognize whether it is a miracle.”  These are the words of the 46 year old nun who regained her health.

The Catholic church is investigating her case.  Convincing evidence of two miracles need to be attributed to Pope John Paul II before he attains the status of a Saint.

Time will tell if the case of Sister Marie Simon-Pierre qualifies.  A medical cure must have no scientific explanation; it must be sudden, complete, permanent, and inexplicable by doctors.

It is a comforting thought.  An army of angels of saints are praying for us.  Ask them to intercede in your life.

Hope for Tomorrow 3


By Tom Quiner

victory-square-pope.jpg

A proud country has been crushed by an evil adversary, beaten into the ground, one-fifth of their population killed in a mere six years.

It gets worse.

The county is then taken over by another, equally sinister country, one that, much like the soul-sucking Dementors in a Harry Potter book, attempts to suck the very soul out of the country.

The tyrants attempt to suppress the rich heritage of their victims.

They prevent churches from being built.

They carry crosses out of existing churches.

They demand that merchants remove any vestiges of God and Jesus from their walls.

Free enterprise is halted.

What follows is 34 years of hell for a nation abandoned by her friends.

And then things changed 31 years ago yesterday.  A plane landed in the weary country’s capital.  A man in white stepped off the plane.  He smiled and knelt and kissed the ground.

Karol Wojtyla was home.  Now known as Pope John Paul II, he was about to unleash a force beyond the understanding of the Nazis or the Communists.  Stalin had once mocked a Pope because he has no troops.

He was wrong.

Following a few remarks, the Pope was taken to Victory Square in the heart of Warsaw.  The Communist government had restricted publicity on the Pope’s itinerary in the hopes of minimizing crowds.

It didn’t work.

One million people were there.  One million!  Joyous humanity stretched as far as the eye could see.  Hope was tangible.  Hope!  Poland desperately thirsted for a mere drop of hope.  They were about to receive a gusher.

The Pope came to celebrate Mass before the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  His homily changed the world.

The Pope asked rhetorically “why, precisely in 1978, after so many centuries of a well established tradition in this field, a son of the Polish Nation, of the land of Poland, was called to the chair of Saint Peter? Christ demanded of Peter and of the other Apostles that they should be his “witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

“Have we not the right, with reference to these words of Christ, to think thatPoland has become nowadays the land of a particularly responsible witness?

But if we accept all that I have dared to affirm in this moment, how many great duties and obligations arise? Are we capable of them?”

The communists were beginning to squirm.

All of this was taking place on the Vigil of Pentecost, the birth of the Church when Christ sent the Holy Spirit upon the earth.  Catholics believe in the “communion of the saints,” that during the Mass, all the angels and all the saints are present.

The Pope invoked them:  “It is good that my pilgrimage to Poland on the ninth centenary of the martyrdom of Saint Stanislaus should fall in the Pentecost period and on the solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.Fulfilling the desire of Paul VI after his death, I am able to relive the Millennium of the Baptism on Polish soil and to inscribe this year’s jubilee of Saint Stanislaus in the Millennium since the beginning of the nation and the Church.

“The Solemnity of Pentecost and that of the Most Holy Trinity bring us close to this beginning. In the apostles who receive the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost are spiritually present in a way all their successors, all the Bishops, including those whose task it has been for a thousand years to proclaim the Gospel on Polish soil. Among them was this Stanislaus of Szczepanow, who paid with his blood for his mission on the episcopal chair of Krakow nine centuries ago.”

Saint Stanislaus is revered in Poland with an intensity that Americans may not fully understand.

What the Pope said next was amazing:

“To Poland the Church brought Christ, the key to understanding that great and fundamental reality that is man. For man cannot be fully understood without Christ. Or rather, man is incapable of understanding himself fully without Christ. He cannot understand who he is, nor what his true dignity is, nor what his vocation is, nor what his final end is. He cannot understand any of this without Christ.”

Christ was the enemy of communism.  And yet the Pope proclaimed to one million down trodden Poles that it was Christ, not the State, that is the true reality!

He was provocative …

“Therefore Christ cannot be kept out of the history of man in any part of the globe, at any longitude or latitude of geography.”

He was adamant …

“The exclusion of Christ from the history of man is an act against man. Without Christ it is impossible to understand the history of Poland, especially the history of the people who have passed or are passing through this land. The history of people. The history of the nation is above all the history of people. And the history of each person unfolds in Jesus Christ. In him it becomes the history of salvation.”

At that moment, the Pope ruled Poland.

He gazed at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier:

“The history of the motherland written through the tomb of an Unknown Soldier!”

He talked about redemptive sacrifice:

“I wish to kneel before this tomb to venerate every seed that falls into the earth and dies and thus bears fruit. It may be the seed of the blood of a soldier shed on the battlefield, or the sacrifice of martyrdom in concentration camps or in prisons. It may be the seed of hard daily toil, with the sweat of one’s brow, in the fields, the workshop, the mine, the foundries and the factories. It may be the seed of the love of parents who do not refuse to give life to a new human being and undertake the whole of the task of bringing him up. It may be the seed of creative work in the universities, the higher institutes, the libraries and the places where the national culture is built. It may be the seed of prayer, of service of the sick, the suffering, the abandonedall that of which Poland is made.”

Poland’s blood, sweat, and tears were about to bear fruit.

For fourteen minutes, the crowd interrupted the Pontiff with cheers, with songs, with a primal cry of “We want God!  We want God!  We want God!”

He let them go on, because he knew they needed it.  Deliverance was at hand in the presence of an army of saints and angels in communion with a million praying souls in Victory Square in the heart of Warsaw, Poland, in the heart of communism.

The crowd quieted, and the Pope said:

“All that in the hands of the Mother of Godat the foot of the cross on Calvary and in the Upper Room of Pentecost!”

And he invoked their history:

“All thatthe history of the motherland shaped for a thousand years by the succession of the generations (among them the present generation and the coming generation) and by each son and daughter of the motherland, even if they are anonymous and unknown like the Soldier before whose tomb we are now.”

And he invoked the many who sacrificed for Poland:

“All thatincluding the history of the peoples that have lived with us and among us, such as those who died in their hundreds of thousands within the walls of the Warsaw ghetto.

And then he cried out to the Holy Spirit:

“And I cryI who am a Son of the land of Poland and who am also Pope John Paul III cry from all the depths of this Millennium, I cry on the vigil of Pentecost:

Let your Spirit descend.
Let your Spirit descend.
and renew the face of the earth,
the face of this land!”

The day was June 2nd, 1979.  Fast forward to June 4th, 1989:  Lech Walesa is elected President of Poland.  Communism is dead, beaten by a humble Pope and his army of a million praying Poles and angels and saints.

It was so impossible.  But it happened.

Is there hope for tomorrow?  Ask anyone in Poland.

***

I am writing a musical based on the Pope’s epic visit to Poland, tentatively titled “The Pope of the People.”  Check back to this blog for updates.  In the meantime, to experience the magnitude of his trip to Poland, you can order an incredible documentary titled:  “Nine Days that Changed the World” at Gingrich Productions:  http://www.gingrichproductions.com/


THE NATIONAL CREED IS UNDER ATTACK 2


What is the glue that holds this great nation together?

Think about it.  The foundation of any family or nation is its shared value system.

America has stood united throughout its history because, despite differences in political beliefs, race and religion, we have a shared set of values.  The belief system was stated beautifully by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence in what became known as the “National Creed.”  It states what America stands for, that each person enjoys God-given rights.  These rights include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The National Creed is the bedrock of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  And yet today, the Democratic Party adamantly rejects, in their rhetoric and their legislative initiatives, each component of the Creed as envisioned by our Founding Fathers.

There is no middle ground in this clash of values.  America is at war with itself.

Were the Founding Fathers right?

Do all have a right to life?

Democratic legislators, by their actions, say “No”. They have paved the way for tax-funded abortions in their health care initiatives. They seek to revoke conscious-protection provisions that would require doctors and hospitals to perform abortions even if they have moral objections.

This is a big deal.  One in eight hospitals are affiliated with the pro-life Catholic Church. These hospitals employ 750,000 workers.  Do rank and file Democrats really want to force these institutions to make this choice:  perform abortions, which they consider to be murder, or shut their doors?

What about liberty?

Today’s Democratic Party is not concerned with liberty as much as it is with equality, even if it is at the expense of someone else’s civil liberties.

Nowhere was this more evident than with the President’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court last year.  Judge Sotomayor sat on a circuit court panel that struck a blow against liberty by ruling against Frank Ricci.

Mr. Ricci was a poor student, impaired by learning disabilities.  He became a firefighter in Connecticut.  His department announced an opportunity for promotion, which he wanted.  Unfortunately, it required him to pass a test that he was ill-prepared to handle.

Undeterred, he quit his second job and invested over a thousand dollars in books.  Because of dyslexia, he hired someone to read to him.  He studied eight to thirteen hours a day.  His hard work paid off.  He finished sixth on the exam, which qualified him for promotion.  But the city threw out the results because no African-American fighters scored high enough to be promoted.

Ricci and nineteen others sued, charging they were discriminated against on the basis of race.  Judge Sotomayor said tough luck.  She embraces the philosophy of the Democratic Party that promotes identity politics.  Liberty can always be sacrificed in the name of equality.

What about the pursuit of happiness?

George Mason, who is considered the father of the Bill of Rights, said that “all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights … namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property…”

The Founders considered the right to property to be fundamental. In today’s Democratic Party, the pursuit of happiness has become all about lifestyle choices that are at odds with our core values. Property is something to be redistributed at the whim of the state in the name of equality.

Do fundamental rights come from God?

Finally, do these inalienable rights flow from our Creator? Democrats and their pressure groups, such as the ACLU, have successfully expunged most public references to a Creator.  And the attacks on God continue.  Just this week, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb, appointed to the court by President Carter in 1979, ruled that a National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional.

Keep in mind that when Congress set a day aside for prayer in 1952, they didn’t tell you to Whom you had to pray.  It could be Jesus, Allah, or Mother Earth.

Keep in mind, a national day of prayer is an idea that’s been around since President John Adams.  He called for “a day of solemn humiliation, fasting, and prayer,” during which citizens of all faiths were asked to pray “that our country may be protected from all the dangers which threaten it”.

Keep in mind, if you don’t want to pray, you don’t have to!

Our Founding Fathers had it right.  America’s greatness and unity reside in its values.  To my many Democratic friends: call your party to accountability.  They have drifted too far from what this country is all about.