I found the Opening Ceremonies to be predictably 'euro-mod' in parts and lacking the cohesive narrative unity I've come to expect from these spectacles. But more interesting than the Torinese cultural display last night was the discussion provoked among my fellow TV viewers:

Of utmost interest was the realization that Torino is the location of the infamous Shroud of Turin-- which revelation being that they were in fact one and the same city. Being not Catholic, my fellow couch potatoes queried about the authenticity of the disputed relic.

I responded casually that the Church does not validate the claims because no scientific forensic evidence can prove the hypothesis. A cursory Googlesearch reveals that the dispute has reached a stalemate; according to Wikipedia, the Catholic Church neither confirms nor denies the authenticity of the Shroud; but veneration of the what the relic represents is considered wholly agreeable.

My confreres were surprised to learn that the Church takes the investigation of miracles as seriously and empirically as it does. The Holy See's Congregation for the Causes of the Saints does thorough and extensive analysis of every single miraculous claim.

The Vatican's commitment to rational inquiry into what are clearly expositions of faith is nowhere more clearly demonstrated than in the story of Bernadette Soubirous and the apparition of Our Lady of Lourdes, whose day we celebrate.

Bernadette could not have fabricated the term Immaculate Conception, and that is how Our Lady introduced herself, and that was ultimately the grounds on which everything hinged. Considering the overwhelming number of healings attributed to this sacred pilgrimage site, one would have a difficult time building a case that something outside of medical scope has not occurred in the majority of instances.

If we did not employ rational inquiry, miracles could be easily dismissed. Isn't it thrilling to contemplate how many extraordinary events are going on in the midst of our every day living? We routinely overlook how marvelous life can be; pay attention to the sacred in your midst. Listen to your heartbeat, listen for God, and pray~

Hail Mary
full of grace,
the Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary
Mother of God,
pray for us Sinners,

and at the hour of death.

1 comment:

Katie G. said...

I would highly recommend anyone interested in the Vatican's scientific approach to relics and other miracles read The Miracle Detective by Randall Sullivan.

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