Catechesis on the Miracles of Jesus: Why God Wants to Intervene in Nature

Authored by Msgr. Paul J. Watson in Issue #31.4 of The Sower

In this series on the Miracles of Jesus we have been exploring the whole question of the possibility of miracles by examining the approach of C.S. Lewis. We have seen that the idea that Nature accounts for all that exists is in the end untenable. Reason or rationality cannot be explained within the cause and effect relationship of natural processes. Rationality is something outside of Nature, which acts upon it – giving meaning and purpose.

From the basis of the human experience of Rationality acting from outside upon Nature, Lewis discusses whether this should be properly described as an “invasion”. When we look at the actual results of the interaction of Nature and Rationality, when Rationality enters Nature, then Nature is given order, purpose and meaning. Nature of itself does not provide this. It only provides a series of events following certain other events. It doesn’t actually make sense of them. For that is an act of Reason. When Nature tries to subsume Rationality into itself, making reason into a blind mechanism, then Nature succeeds not only in destroying reason, but ultimately, also destroys itself – condemns itself to being without purpose or reason. (Fortunately, says Lewis, the Naturalists often forget the theory they hold, and act in a human and rational way.)

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