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Pope says miracles occur even today, but one needs to “wrestle with God”

20 May, 2013 - Miracles occur even today, but in order to obtain them they require a ‘strong prayer’ that ‘wrestles with God’ and does not end with a one-time ‘courtesy’ supplication. The Pope said this at Mass, Monday morning, at the Casa Santa Marta residence in the Vatican, which was attended by a group of employees from Vatican Radio. The Pope was reflecting on the day’s Gospel episode of Jesus healing a boy with an evil spirit, after his disciples failed, and Jesus explained that such type of demons cannot be driven except by strong prayer. “All of us,” he pointed out “have a bit of disbelief in us, and hence we need a strong and humble prayer that enables Jesus to work a miracle.'' In this regard, he recounted an episode in his native Argentina, where a 7-year old girl fell ill with doctors giving her only a few hours to live. The father, an electrician and a man of faith, went crazy at this. In his madness he took a bus to the Marian Shrine of Lujan, 70 kms. away, where he arrived after 9 pm when everything was closed. There, holding the iron gate he began praying and weeping to the Madonna all night. The Holy Father pointed out the man was wrestling with God for the healing of his daughter. After 6 in the morning, he took a bus home and reached the hospital at around 9 am, where he found his wife in tears. He thought of the worst. But his wife said, “I don’t know what has happened, the doctors arrived and told me that the fever was gone and the girl was breathing well and everything was well.” The girl was discharged two days later but they did not understand what had happened. The Pope said miracles still happen, but to obtain them what is needed is a prayer that gushes from the heart – a courageous prayer that fights for a miracle – and not those courtesy prayers: “Oh I’ll pray for you an Our Father, a Hail Mary and then I forget.” He said one needs to pray with courage like Abraham who was wrestling with the Lord to save the city, like Moses who was not tired of holding high his hands, praying to the Lord, like so many people who pray with faith. “Prayer works wonders, but we have to believe! I think we can make a beautiful prayer ... and tell Him today, all day long, 'Lord, I believe, help my unbelief' ...” And when people ask us to pray for the many people who suffer in wars, all refugees, all of these dramas that exist today, pray with your heart to the Lord: 'Do it!', but tell Him: 'Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief 'that is also in my prayers. Let us do this today. "