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In one of his films, the actor and comedian Neil Tobin played the role of a parish priest. His curate gives a blessing to someone that is associated with healing and Neil, when he hears of it, takes him aside and says, ‘listen here my good man, this is the church of the 21st century and we are not into miracles’. It was a little bit of religious satire that carried a lot of truth. How did we ever get to the place where miracles or any form of religious experience was viewed with deep suspicion by church authorities and generally regarded as a bit of hocus pocus. If faith can move mountains then it surely must be able to work miracles. At grass roots level there is a huge thirst for any form of religious manifestation and if a moving statue was reported from somewhere in the morning the chip vans could get ready because a crowd would be guaranteed by nightfall. The paradox is that the Christian faith has its foundation in an amazing series of miracles beginning with the revelation of the angel Gabriel to Mary followed by the virgin birth and culminating in a man rising from the dead. To downplay the miraculous is nothing less than denying our faith heritage.

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