In scriptura priore, quaestio adducta est de mirabilibus sicut evidentia Ecclesiae. Ut faciam principium in re, non considero hic utrum mirabilia post apostolos sint necesse; potius, dicam iam de mirabilibus et fide generaliter, atque extendam quaestionem postmodo.
Concilium Vaticanum Primum pronuntiat nonnullas sententias in hac re. Dabo eas in Anglice (inventas hic), quoniam invenire non possum Latine (Emphasis omnis mea):
3. Faith, declares the Apostle, is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
4. Nevertheless, in order that the submission of our faith should be in accordance with reason, it was God’s will that there should be linked to the internal assistance of the Holy Spirit external indications of his revelation, that is to say divine acts, and first and foremost miracles and prophecies, which clearly demonstrating as they do the omnipotence and infinite knowledge of God, are the most certain signs of revelation and are suited to the understanding of all.
5. Hence Moses and the prophets, and especially Christ our lord himself, worked many absolutely clear miracles and delivered prophecies; while of the apostles we read: And they went forth and preached every, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it. Again it is written: We have the prophetic word made more sure; you will do well to pay attention to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place.
10. Not only can faith and reason never be at odds with one another but they mutually support each other, for on the one hand right reason established the foundations of the faith and, illuminated by its light, develops the science of divine things; on the other hand, faith delivers reason from errors and protects it and furnishes it with knowledge of many kinds.
3. If anyone says that divine revelation cannot be made credible by external signs, and that therefore men and women ought to be moved to faith only by each one’s internal experience or private inspiration: let him be anathema.
4. If anyone says that all miracles are impossible, and that therefore all reports of them, even those contained in Sacred Scripture, are to be set aside as fables or myths; or that miracles can never be known with certainty, nor can the divine origin of the Christian religion be proved from them: let him be anathema.
Videntur clarae ex hoc duae res. Prima, quod licet fides superet rationem, tamen ratio fidem condit; secunda, quod ratio facit sic aestimandis mirabilibus praecipue. In aliis verbis, ratio, mirabilibus consideratis, fundat fidem esse a Deo, originem divinam fidei, ac deinde doctrinae fidei creduntur virtute huius auctoritatis. Secundum igitur Ecclesiam ipsam mirabilia sunt magna fidei rationabilitati. Hoc non concludit quod necesse est omnem hominem posse demonstrare originem divinam fidei antequam id accipit, sed potius necesse est talem originem posse demonstrari. Alias fides videatur indigna creaturae rationali. Non est igitur impius dicere mirabilia requiruntur argumento Ecclesiae. Utrum mirabilia Christi sufficiant erit quaestio posterioris scripturae meae.
In the last post, a question was raised about miracles as evidence for the Church. To begin with, I will not consider whether miracles after the apostles are necessary; rather, I will speak now about miracles and the faith generally, and continue the question later.
The first Vatican Council declares several statements in this matter. I will give them in English, since I can’t find them in Latin (all emphasis mine):
Two things seem clear from this. First, that although faith surpasses reason, yet reason grounds faith; second, that reason does this especially by considering miracles. In other words, reason, having considered miracles, establishes that the Faith is from God, the divine origin of the Faith, and then the teachings of faith are believed on the strength of this authority. According to the Church herself, therefore, miracles are important for the rationality of the Faith. This does not imply that it is necessary for everyone to be able to demonstrate the divine origin of the Faith before he accepts it, but rather that it is necessary that such an origin be able to be demonstrated. Otherwise, faith would seem unsuited to a rational creature. Therefore it is not impious to say that miracles are required for the argument for the Church. Whether the miracles of Christ are sufficient will be the question of my next post.
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