Apparently the writers who insist on the incompatibility of the belief in miracles with devotion to scientific medicine do not realize that the greater number of thinking physicians during the last seven centuries, and quite down to our own day, have been ready to confess their belief in the possibility of miraculous healing, yet have tried to do everything in their power to relieve suffering and cure human ills by the natural means at their command. Their attitude has been very much that attributed to Ignatius of Loyola, who said to the members of his order: “Do everything that you can with the idea that everything depends on you, and then hope for results just as if everything depended on God.” There is no lack of logic in this; and the physician of the present day who realizes his impotency in the presence of so many of the serious ailments of mankind is not a scoffer at the attitude of mind that looks for help from prayer; but if he is sensible, welcomes the placidity of mind this will give his patient, even if he does not, as many actually do, however, believe in the possible interposition of supernatural forces.

James J. Walsh, The Popes and Science (1908)


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