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.

Be not indifferent 2


By Tom Quiner

“Never again.”

That was the pledge the world made following the Holocaust.  Six million Jews were murdered by the Nazi regime in the late 1930’s through 1945.  They were killed out of hatred.

Even the moral relativists of today grudgingly admit that the Holocaust was an evil act.

Has the civilized world lived up to their pledge of “never again?’

No.  Below are a few cold and impersonal statistics of post-Holocaust holocausts:

A still from the film The Killing Fields

Cambodia:  more than three million men, women, and children were exterminated by the communist government, Khmer Rouge, in the 1970s.

Rwanda:  500,000 to one million killed in 1994.

Uganda:  more than 200,000 killed in the 1980s.

Sudan:  2 million (and counting) killed starting in the 1980s.

Kurdistan:  tens of thousands Kurds killed by Saddam Hussein in the 1980s.

This list, unfortunately, merely scratches the surface of state-sanctioned mass murder since the U.N. General Assembly officially forbade it in 1951.

In other words, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, as the U.N. calls it, has been ineffective in the eyes of the millions who are dead due to genocide SINCE international law made it illegal.

These crimes, tragic beyond human comprehension, are immediately urgent in light of the growing international isolation of Israel.

Hatred of the Jews is growing exponentially.  It takes two forms:  those who simply want Jews dead out of brute bigotry; and those who suggest that maybe Israel really isn’t entitled to its homeland.

The latter view was eloquently expressed by Helen Thomas last week.  As reported in my previous post, she said “I think the Jews should get the hell out of Palestine” and go back to Germany and Poland.
Helen Thomas

I would like you to think about what Ms. Thomas said.  She referred to Israel’s territory as, in fact, belonging to Palestine, despite the fact that it was established as Israel’s in 1948 by the United Nation.

So, what the U.N. says is only binding to liberals like Helen Thomas if it is sanctioning or censuring Israel.

The White House, to their credit, called her remarks “offensive and reprehensible.”

However, let us turn the clock back to 2007.  In an interview with Tim Russert, Helen Thomas said, “I do think it’s wrong to take somebody else’s land and displace them.”

In other words, she said the same thing in 2007 as last week, only without the word “hell” or the Poland or Germany references.  Her central concept, that Israel took land from Palestinians and doesn’t belong there, generated not even a peep.

The notion that Israel is the offending party is increasingly beyond question with liberal elites who dominate media outlets and universities around the world.

This same media has portrayed last week’s flotilla as a “humanitarian mission.”  The humanitarians on board the flotilla refused to allow inspections for weapons because they had weapons on board.

The humanitarians on board the flotilla radioed to the Israelis this humanitarian message:  “Shut up, go back to Auschwitz.”

The humanitarians on board the flotilla also sent out another humanitarian message:  “We’re helping Arabs go against the U.S., don’t forget 9/11.”

These aren’t humanitarians at all, they’re thugs who support terrorism.

Much of the Arab world is comfortable expressing their true intent when it comes to Israel.  Take the Deputy Minister of Religion for Hamas, Abdallah Jarbu.  He said that Jews “want to present themselves to the world as if they have rights, but, in fact, they are foreign bacteria – a microbe unparalleled in the world.”

This Deputy of Religion then offered up his fervent prayer:  “May He annihilate this filthy people who have neither religion nor conscience.”

Over in Iran, the Kayhan, the newspaper that is the mouthpiece for Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei characterized Israel as a “cancerous tumor” that must be excised from the “Islamic Middle East.”  Their goal?  According to the Kayhan:  Israel’s “total annihilation from the political geography of the region.”

This is the same country that is building a nuclear bomb.

What is striking about all of this is the lack of outrage from liberals toward an Arab world increasingly comfortable expressing their desire for another Jewish holocaust.  They reserve their outrage for Israel.  They exercise rhetorical restraint when it comes to the Arab world.

We’re heading toward an unimaginable worldwide tragedy if anti-Semitism is allowed to continue its rapid rate of growth.

On June 7th, 1979, Pope John Paul II visited Auschwitz.  He called it the “Golgotha of the modern world.”  Golgotha is the place where Jesus was crucified.

He knelt before the tomb of the unknown victims:

“In particular I pause with you … before the inscription in Hebrew.  This inscription awakens the memory of the people whose sons and daughters were intended for total extermination.  This people draws its origins from Abraham, our father in faith, as was expressed by Paul of Tarsus.  The very people who received from God the commandment ‘thou shalt not kill’ itself experienced in a special measure what is meant by killing.  It is not permissible for anyone to pass by this inscription with indifference.”

Pope John Paul II was famous for his encouragement to “be not afraid.”

Based on his remarks at Auschwitz, let us paraphrase what he is telling us now:  “be not indifferent.”

And pray this prayer:  “never again.”

Why are liberals against Israel? 2


By Tom Quiner

Jew hatred is alive and well.

Helen Thomas, renowned liberal reporter for Hearst Newspapers, made the following statement:  “I think the Jews should get the hell out of Palestine” and go back to Germany and Poland.

Back to Germany, the home of the Holocaust.

Back to Poland, the home of Auschwitz.

[photo]

Ms. Thomas’ views very much reflect those of the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:  Israel has no right to a homeland and no right to exist. Perhaps she even agrees with President Ahmadinejad that the Holocaust never occurred.

The reaction to a comment as outrageous as Ms. Thomas’ was surprisingly muted.  She was was not fired on the spot, as she should have been. Rather, she was allowed to “retire” three days later.

Her ugly public diatribe against Israel was precipitated by last week’s raid on a Palestine flotilla where nine people were killed.

The International community has been unified in their outrage against Israel.

The American main stream media has been unified in their outrage against Israel.

Liberals everywhere have been particularly vocal in expressing their outrage against America’s most important ally in the Middle East, Israel.

Is all of this outrage really warranted?

No, at least not toward Israel.  After all, the terrorist group, Hamas (as classified by the European Union, the U.S., Canada, and Japan) has lobbed in excess of 10,000 bombs toward Israeli cities.  So Israel, along with Egypt, initiated a blockade in order to keep weapons away from Hamas.  In other words, even Egypt views Hamas as a threat.

A blockade is an act of self-defense.   The U.S. blockaded Cuba in 1962 to keep Soviet weapons away from our shores.  It is a peaceful way to prevent military escalation.

Now you may think that needed supplies, food, medicines were being denied Palestines because of this blockade.  No, they weren’t, only weapons.  Supplies are delivered daily.  These supplies include 48,000 tons of food this year.

Maybe these supplies weren’t enough, right?  Maybe that’s why the IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi) launched this flotilla.  Maybe the Palestines needed more food and clothing and medicine.  But if this is true, all the IHH had to do was follow Israel’s instructions to dock and be inspected for weapons.

If this was truly a humanitarian mission, isn’t this a no-brainer?

The IHH refused because they evidently sought a confrontation.  An activist on board the ship said “either we reach Gaza or we will achieve martyrdom.”  The IHH has a history of aiding radical Islamic groups including Hamas and al-Qaeda.

The goal of the flotilla was a confrontation that would make Israel look bad.  A video at The Israeli Project shows “activists” on board the flotilla preparing weapons prior to boarding by Israeli soldiers.

They attacked the soldiers immediately upon boarding.  Remember:  they had a choice to avoid confrontation by allowing an inspection.  They refused, because that was clearly not their goal.

It is interesting to note that Israel shares the same foundational values as the United States.  And yet the Left despises them.  For that matter, the Left despises U.S. foundational values of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as defined by our Founding Fathers.

Perhaps that explains the knee-jerk reaction of the Left against Israel.

Helen Thomas only said what her liberal allies in the media were thinking.  But she said it with less discretion.

Is anti-semitism a thing of the past?  Tragically, the answer is no.


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/