Talk 37: What is the True Purpose of Signs and Miracles?

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Set of 3 Audio CD's

(Duration: 3hrs 13mins) 

This talk is a continuation of the very popular series “Miracles and Deception.” Since the beginning of time people have been fascinated by dreams, prophesies, miracles, and other supernatural phenomena. While this interest lessened with the spread of Christianity, in recent centuries it has once again increased even among Christians. In reading the Holy Bible and the lives of the saints, many people focus only on the miracles and signs, while showing little interest in the teachings of the Church, participating in the sacraments, fulfilling God’s commandments, and struggling spiritually in repentance and humility.   

Using the Holy Fathers as a guide, Father Kosmas explains why it is that, even though miracles abound in Scripture and the lives of the saints, Christ particularly praises those who have believed in Him through His teachings rather than through witnessing signs and miracles. Understanding the true purpose of signs and miracles will help Orthodox Christians to know what to focus on in order to receive spiritual benefit in this life and salvation in the next. 

The following questions are also discussed: why did some who saw no miracles asked Christ to stay with them, while others who saw miracles asked Him to leave? Why do many Orthodox Christians not change their sinful lives despite witnessing so many miracles—myrrh-streaming and weeping icons, the incorrupt relics of saints, and how holy water does not spoil even after many years? How should Orthodox Christians regard the lives and miracles of Roman Catholic “saints”? 

Other points covered in this talk include: an explanation of why Christ condemned one city that believed in Him because of His many miracles; why not everyone who comes to Christ for healing deserves praise; the spiritual schizophrenia of those who were at once astonished and offended by Christ’s wisdom and miracles; why many of the heterodox who witness the Holy Fire at Christ’s Tomb in Jerusalem and other Orthodox miracles remain in their heresy; and one priest’s realization that humility is more important than knowledge and miracles.