Saturday, April 29, 2023

Questions and Answers 204 - 209

Question 204: Is it true that the miracle of the Holy Light (Holy Fire) in Jerusalem on Holy Saturday can only be done by an Orthodox Patriarch? The story of the Armenian Patriarch centuries ago seems to confirm it.

Answer: This belief or theory is based on a story or two, but it really is just an interpretation of those incidents. The truth is, we don't know. I think it could be dangerous and misleading to make such pronouncements based on an interpretation of events. Does the Holy Light appear because the Patriarch is Orthodox, or does it appear because the tomb of Christ has grace and it is the event of the resurrection that is confirmed, no matter who invokes God for the light. After all, the Armenian Patriarch still brought down the Holy Light, it's just that, according to the story, it occurred in a frightening and unusual way. Also, miracles happen among Catholics with the relics of true Saints that have nothing to do with confirming the belief system of those possessing them, though it may confirm their faith in the Saint who has the grace. There are many examples like this. It happens with Muslims too who put their faith in Christian Saints to help them. The same can be said with the Holy Light, that if someone merely believes in the miraculous nature of it, the miracle can occur without it necessarily affirming the belief system of the individual. The danger of saying the Holy Light comes down only for the Orthodox is if it happens one day with someone who is not Orthodox, then what will be the explanation? I prefer to say that the Holy Light has more to do with the location than the person who receives it, though it may also be true that the person does have something to do with it. Only God knows. Every other interpretation is an act of judgment, and such judgments are beyond my nature and ability due to my limited understanding of God's mind and intention.

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