Catholic Trivia: Miracles

Our God is a God of miracles.

This quiz will help you understand miracles a bit better – what they are, how they work, and the power they have.

A QUICK THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

This Catholic Trivia game is made possible by the following sponsors:

Please visit their websites and follow their work!

PLAY CATHOLIC TRIVIA: LENT!

When you’re done, remember to scroll aaaaall the way down, for complete answers and explanations – and to dive a little deeper into the Catholic Faith!

1. Miracles are performed by the power of God.

A miracle is “A sensibly perceptible effect, surpassing at least the powers of visible nature, produced by God to witness to some truth or testify to someone’s sanctity.” (Fr. Hardon’s Modern Catholic Dictionary).

Miracles can only be performed by God’s power.

Catholic.com says,

Only God can be the cause of a miracle. This excludes any sort of occurrence that may have unknown created causes—whether it be a hidden force of nature, a force of nature applied by man in an artificial way, or the forces of nature utilized by pure spirits acting with only their natural faculties. Such effects would be wonderful and marvelous, but not miracles.

– Catholics Online, What Constitutes a Miracle

Sometimes we talk about the apostles and the saints “performing” miracles. But those miracles are not performed of their own power.

Whenever anyone other than God performs a miracle, it’s only by invoking God’s power, and interceding for the miracle.

In the Acts of the Apostles, when Peter and John heal the crippled man, people gather around, amazed at their power.

But Peter makes sure to let the people know that it was NOT by his own power that this miracle had been done.

“Why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus… And his name, by faith in his name, has made this man strong whom you see and know; and the faith which is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.”

Acts 3:12-16

2. Miracles have a supernatural effect

Let’s go back to the definition from Fr. Hardon’s Catechism.

“A sensible perceptible effect, surpassing at least the powers of visible nature, produced by God to witness to some truth or testify to someone’s sanctity”

A “sensible perceptible” effect is one that we can experience with our senses. It’s something we can see, hear, feel, taste, or touch. So, a miracle must have more than a strictly spiritual effect.

However, a miracle does not have an effect that can be explained by the normal laws of nature.

Its effects are “surpassing… the powers of visible nature.”

“Supernatural” means beyond the powers of nature.

So, miracles are supernatural: they will have an effect perceptible in the natural world, but not able to be explained by the laws of the natural world.

See this article from Catholic Answers for more information on the effects of miracles.

3. Miracles help to strengthen the virtue of faith

In paragraph 156, the Catechism of the Catholic Church calls Christ’s miracles “motives of credibility.” They help us believe the mysteries and truths of our faith.

And later on, the Catechism says,

“The signs worked by Jesus attest that the Father has sent him. They invite believe in him… So miracles strengthen faith.” (CCC 548).

We continue to see, through the years, how visionary Saints are often given miracles to help stir up faith.

St. Juan Diego was given the miracles of roses in winter as well as the miraculous image of Our Lady on his tilma, in order to help convince the bishop that the visions were real.

At Fatima, the sun danced in the sky, witnessing to a great crowd that the visions of Our Lady to the three young children were genuine.

Miracles helps us have faith in God and what he reveals to us.

4. Jesus’ miracles are a witness to his Divinity

Jesus often forgave the sins of the people he encountered in his public ministry. This often made the religious leaders angry, as only God can forgive sins.

In order to prove that he did indeed have this power, Jesus would at times follow up the forgiveness of sins with a miracle.

The Catechism says, “he demonstrated his divine sovereignty by works of power over nature, illnesses, demons, death, and sin.” (CCC 447).

Later on, the Catechism says, “His deeds, miracles, and words all revealed that ‘in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.'” (CCC 515).

5. In the Bible, Jesus was accused of performing miracles by the power of demons.

Because his miracles were such a strong witness of his divinity, those who did not believe that Jesus was God wanted to discredit him.

One of their tactics was to try to say that he performed miracles by the power of the devil.

I love Jesus’ response.

“And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, ‘He is possessed by Be-el′zebul, and by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.’ And he called them to him, and said to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.'”

(Mark 3:22-24)

It just doesn’t make sense for the devil to work miracles against himself!

And besides, he doesn’t have that power.

6. Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine.

After his baptism, Jesus performed his first public miracle at the wedding feast at Cana, at the request of his mother.

Mary noticed that they had run out of wine.

She let Jesus know about it, with the implied request that he help them out.

Jesus in turn asked the waiters to fill up a bunch of 20 gallon jars with water, and proceeded to turn them into wine, thus saving the day.

Check out the account of this miracle here in the Gospel of John.

And check out this book: Jesus the Bridegroom if you’re interested in an in-depth exploration of the significance of this miracle.

7. The miracle of the multiplication of the loaves prefigures the superabundance of the Eucharist.

I’ll just give you the quote straight from the Catechism for this one.

“The miracles of the multiplication of the loaves, when the Lord says the blessing, breaks and distributes the loaves through his disciples to feed the multitude, prefigure the superabundance of this unique bread of his Eucharist.”

(CCC 335)

8. What’s the difference between miracle and mystery?

Remember that miracles have effects in the natural world, but above natural explanation.

Mysteries are things that exist that we cannot fully understand.

All three: the Incarnation, the Resurrection, and the Trinity are mysteries.

However, the Resurrection and the Incarnation are events that occurred in the natural world; God becoming man, and Jesus rising again from the dead. Both of these events are beyond human explanation, or natural power.

The Trinity, however, is not an event or occurrence in the natural world. So it is a mystery, but not a miracle.

See this article from Catholic Answers for more information on the difference between mystery and miracle.

9. The apostles performed miracles in the name of Jesus.

Any time the apostles performed miracles, they invoke the name of Jesus.

Going back to the example of Peter and the crippled man:

“Why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus… And his name, by faith in his name, has made this man strong whom you see and know; and the faith which is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.”

Acts 3:12-16

The name of Jesus is powerful!

10. Two miracles are required for the canonization of a Saint.

Over the years, this number has varied.

Currently, the Church requires one verified miracle in order to beatify someone, and a second miracle in order to canonize that person.

And when it comes to martyrs, they actually don’t need any miracles for canonization – as long as the case for their martyrdom is proven.

This article on Canon Law Made Easy is a really helpful history of miracles and canonization.

WANT TO KNOW WHEN THE NEXT ROUND OF TRIVIA IS HAPPENING?

Did you know that we play Catholic Trivia live on Instagram every month?

Sponsors offer prizes that YOU could get a chance to win – just by playing along!

If you enjoyed testing your knowledge of the Catholic Faith and learning a few new things, sign up to get an email reminder (and other blog news) so you can play along for next round of Catholic Trivia on Instagram!

Share your thoughts:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.