Wednesday, October 24, 2007

On miracles

Somehow in one of our novice conference the subject of miracles and their credibility/prevalence etc. came up. Fr. Longenecker has a very sober take that is, IMO, spot on. He's referring here specifically to the stigmata that Padre Pio had, and a story that they were apparently faked with carbolic acid. (Carbolic acid? Lordie. Administered, no doubt, by a murderous self-flagellating albino monk.) Standing on My Head: Look Ma, No Hands!
Nobody went around saying, "I know, let's have some saints bear the open wounds of Christ in order to make the faithful believe more." Instead, everyone (the saint included) is rather embarrassed by the miraculous phenomena. They try to keep it quiet and cover it up because, well, they're humble. When the news gets out the church looks for every logical, natural and sensible explanation first.

Then she shrugs her ancient shoulders and says, "Well what do I know. What I see is what I see. This old friar has the wounds of Christ on his body, and didn't St Paul say that he 'bears the marks of Christ on his body? Maybe it's so."

1 comment:

Fr. Andrew said...

I'm a few years removed from my chemistry degree, but I don't believe Carbolic Acid is all that caustic as to cause gaping wounds in one's flesh. I have made sillier mistakes, though.

BTW, do a google search on "carbolic acid wiki" and find a nice article on the "father of modern antiseptics" Joseph Lister. Or I could just include the link.