I have been talking to a friend he is an atheist about God and The Church. And in the middle of the discussion he raised up a challenge, something he considers to be a good argument against religion. He said.
“You know, some other thing I have problem with, is that you never see someone in some country that has never been in contact with Catholicism, say that…for example…he saw The Virgin Mary, or Jesus or some other miracle related to Catholicism.”
This is the thing, he thinks that all miracles and apparitions of Jesus and Mary are shapped by the people being influenced by Catholicism, so that they associate their experiences with it.
So, is there a documented case multiple cases if possible, where someone in a place that had never heard of Catholicism, has seen The Virgin, or Jesus or had some miracle related to Catholicism?
Thanks in advance,
Well, without a doubt, mystical visions are shaped by the very culture and language in which we live. It is impossible to prove that miracles do happen or that Mary really appears. It requires faith to believe such things. I suppose the two questions I would have for him are this:
1.) Does religion itself depend on such visions and miracles?
2.) Whether some visions are true or not (and some obviously are not), does that affect the substance of the particular religion?
It seems to me that things like Marian apparitians are a relatively tangential part of Catholic religion. What is essential is faith in Jesus Christ, as the one crucified for our sins and risen on the third day, who is the Word made flesh, God Incarnate, and who comes to us under the appearances of bread and wine in the Eucharist.
Don’t fall for the trap of having to prove that apparitions and miracles and the like exist in order to validate religion. Without faith, one cannot see a miracle.