Given from the Catholic Broadcasting Station 2SM Sydney Australia
Choose a topic from Vol 1:
You are not really a materialist. Neither thought nor love are material things, yet you believe in them. Your statement, too, conflicts with reason. When you say "alleged or otherwise" you can only mean "alleged or not merely alleged but historically true." The miracles in favor of revelation are historically certain.
Whence came your religion? Did you invent it for yourself? And are you sure that because it is pleasing to you it is therefore pleasing to God? Did He tell you so? And how can you say that you are glad that your religion ignores facts? That does not seem to be an intrinsically good position. Remember, also, that the revelation given by God is not only guaranteed by miracles, but really does rest also upon the firm foundation of its own intrinsic good. Your religion, including the denial of facts, does not.
Men cannot be expected to believe in a doctrine as of God unless they have manifest signs that God is really speaking. But what do you mean by incomprehensible? If you mean that we cannot believe that they occurred, then the whole of historical science is useless. If you mean that they really happened, but that no man can comprehend the laws accounting for them, you are right. A miracle is a fact that occurs in a naturally incomprehensible way. If we could fully account for it apart from God, it would be because we could account for it by the ordinary laws of nature, and then it would not be a miracle. Finally, if God performed miracles before a period known as historical, we would know nothing of them. We know of them through history.
You are not asked to believe anything which cannot be substantiated in order to be saved. By what rule of evidence, then, can the miracles of the Gospel be substantiated? By sworn affidavit, or in other words, by written declaration on oath. If, in a modern court, I offered documentary evidence given by my friend Jones, the court would wish to be satisfied concerning five things. (1) Did Jones write this statement, or is it a forgery? (2) Is it just as Jones wrote it, or has it been altered or tampered with by interested parties? (3) Did Jones have reliable knowledge, or could he have been misinformed? (4) Granted his knowledge, was he telling the truth or lying? (5) Does he make this statement under oath before God? Now when I offer the Gospels as documentary evidence I am prepared to prove that the assigned authors wrote the books, that the books have not been tampered with, that the writers had first-hand knowledge, that they did not lie, and that they gave their testimony under oath before God.
Miracles were necessary during the preparatory stages of religion, and, above all, during the earliest years of Christianity that the final perfection of that religion might be rapidly and firmly established. Once that true religion was solidly established under the form of the Catholic Church, there was no longer the same need. The Catholic Church is evidence enough in herself, if any man will study the facts without prejudice. However, miracles still occur in the world, and a study of the happenings, say, at Lourdes, will provide any man with sufficient evidence if he approach the matter with a fair and open mind.
That is a sophism of the purest ray serene. Don't you realize that time is essentially in constant succession? Do you want today to stay fixed? Never to yield to tomorrow? If a miracle did happen today, you would only have to wait twenty-four hours and then say with a sigh, "Ah, yes! It happened yesterday-- never today!" All the miracles which have happened, occurred on definite days. It was "today" when they happened, but the "today" on which they happened cannot remain static. And if it is an historical fact that a miracle occurred a century ago, or a week ago, the fact that our "today" does not happen to be a week ago in no way disproves the fact. Is all this too deep? Let me give you a simple argument based upon your principles. "They say that Kings of England have died in the past. It is thought that they will die in the future. But I have searched the papers in vain to learn that one died today. The truth is, I don't think Kings of England ever die at all!"