Father John Catoir

Father John Catoir

There are many things you should know about miracles. They are frequent occurrences. They happen all over the world. But most important, they happen to saints and sinners when you say humbly: “Thy will be done, dear Lord.”

A lot of people scoff at the possibility of supernatural miracles, but saints treat them as normal. Saints have no problem seeing the hidden hand of God in miraculous events and even in mundane ones. For instance, at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in France, where the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Bernadette, hundreds of believers flock seeking (and some receiving) a miracle.

Interestingly enough, the gift of a miracle does not seem to be dependent exclusively on the holiness of the person asking for one. Saints have faults and failings, like everyone else. Yet, they expect miracles. In fact, many saints claimed to be sinners, but it didn’t stop them from seeking the path to holiness or from expecting miracles.

Consider that St. Teresa of Avila suffered from fits of anger. She once wrote that the devil sent her a bad spirit that would throw her into a rage that she couldn’t control: “To converse with any one is worse, for the devil then sends so offensive a spirit of bad temper, that I think I could eat people up; nor can I help myself.”

Maybe we all should be more patient with ourselves when we fly off the handle. Being irritable can be caused by many things, even dehydration. People get angry when their body is in need of more water. If you do not drink sufficient water every day, especially in the hot weather, chances are you might be dehydrated.

If that’s the case, something as simple as water can provide the natural miracle you need. We need to be kind with others, but we also need to be kind with ourselves. That can also be counted as a miracle — learning to see the greatness God sees in us, instead of focusing only on our flaws.

Going back to the example of St. Teresa and her anger, consider that anger isn’t always a sin. It can become a sin, however, if you start plotting the downfall of the one who annoys you. But there is no malice in feeling anger. In fact, it might be fully justified; just don’t get carried away.

Need I say that Jesus got angry when provoked? Remember his wrath at the money changers in the temple?

I wonder how St. Francis of Assisi handled his anger when people turned on him for preaching charity toward the poor as a response to greed? In today’s materialistic world, we see this scenario happening to Pope Francis right before our eyes.

But just because the saints may have had flaws or experienced the full range of human emotions, did it stop them from asking for miracles or experiencing them? No. It shouldn’t stop you either because you feel unworthy. Remember that God loves you.

Even if the miracle never occurs, remember that God hears the prayers of saints and sinners with a keen interest in the way they ask. Therefore, it is wise to ask humbly and say, “Not my will, but yours.”