Does anyone else have the comment spam problem? I moderate my comments and I STILL get at least 4 or 5 ads for viagra, porn, cialis, all-natural cures...does ANYONE ever check out those spam links? Someone must, because those "they" people still develop evil ways to send out their product's advertisements to drive normal people (who DON'T need any of those things) insane.
Now, I'm going to surprise you with a totally off-topic thing. I know I've written in the past about my...skepticism of certain "Catholic devotions". I just have something I have to get off my chest.
Here it is (pleasedon'thatemepleasedon'thateme):
I don't believe that God painted the tilma of Juan Diego.
There, I said it.
I just don't believe that that image is anything divine. I had the digital copy in my home (you know, one of those "traveling", life size photos) for a few hours one day and I really studied it. It's kind of an ugly painting. I'm sorry, but it's sort of a badly painted painting.
I think that the story and the image itself MAY have had a hand in helping the central American indigenous people to conform to the Christianity of their occupiers, which helped the society to advance beyond barbarism, of course. I think that it's an INTERESTING story, but I don't think it's a true one. There just isn't a lot of proof. Most of the renditions of the story don't really ring very true. Especially the so-called "proof" of the images in the painting's eyes. That is such garbage. I see weird, bearded men in my bathroom tile and groups of evil demons on the wood of the doors in every house I've ever been in. I even see cartoon faces of various animals in the doodles that Tommy makes on the walls. That stuff is just a HUGE stretch of the imagination!
Please, don't get me wrong, I WISH I thought the story was true. It would make it that much easier and more fun to celebrate the feast day, display the iconic image in my home (way prettier than the ugly "creepy Jesus" image of St. Faustina), and have something neato to teach the kids about while we light those votive candles you find in the Mexican food section at the grocery store.
I still tell them the story when they ask. I don't tell them that I don't really believe it's true. I figure they can decide for themselves about those kinds of matters. I just tell them that there are aspects of our faith that are non-negotiable and lots of other aspects that are totally beautiful, but you can take them or leave them.
I leave them.
Of course, I don't OBSESS about disproving certain things, like SOME people. That sure would make my life miserable. When something is brought up about one of these subjects, I listen then make my opinion known. I think it's great that certain things make people light up and talk about their relationship with God in a good way...but then I go and open my big mouth and say "Eh, I don't really go for that kind of thing." when they ask me if I've read such and such a book or if I've ever experienced some great epiphany when reflecting on something like that. Here's my current list of "no, I don't really believe that stuff is true":
1. Our Lady of Guadalupe
3. The Divine Mercy stuff
4. Charismatic renewal (self hypnosis, garbage)
5. (not as well known, but still strange)The Intercessors of the Lamb (weird, quasi-order of "nuns"...more like a cult)
6. (steer the HECK away from this deluded woman) Anne, a lay apostle
I heard about most of these through a Marian conference held at my CHURCH, so just because it's (supposedly) "endorsed" by a church, be careful.
I also think that a lot of the stories of uncorrupted bodies of saints are a little "out there". "Uncorrupted", to ME, would mean that they have perfectly preserved bodies that still look alive. I mean, even Medgar Evers was found in good condition when he was exhumed. Oh, also those frozen Peru people and tar people in France...I guess I'm saying that I don't necessarily think you need to have lived a sanctified life to be somewhat preserved by the earth after you are dead and gone. That whole "rotting corpse smells like roses" thing, though, I've never witnessed but I sure think THAT'S interesting!
Oh, and as long as I'm on the rant wagon, applied kinesiology is a parlor trick and a scam, and it really bothers me when people say things like "I know she's in Heaven, watching over you/me." when talking about a dead relative. I hope that you all say "I HOPE she's in Heaven, laughing her butt off at me." when I'm 6 feet under. I don't KNOW I'll go to Heaven...I HOPE so, but it's not a guaranteed dealio. Please pray for me? I need all the help I can get, obviously.