April 23, 2004

Book Thoughts

I'm reading the parts I'd previously skipped of "The Miracle Detective" by Randall Sullivan and although I've tended to be skeptical concerning the authenticity of the apparition of Medjugorje I do marvel at times thinking, 'yes, that does sound like something God would do'.

Little things make it seem plausible, like the fact that the children were not only disbelieved by everyone but experienced persecution from the secular authorities. Also, the visionaries made an assumption about when they thought the visions were over, which proved to be false since they experienced them even when they weren't together at the apparition spot. It is typical to come to our own conclusions about what God will or will not do and have them smashed.

Mary doesn't watch them pray, she prays with them, though her prayer is like music. She isn't depicted as some messenger who has come down to monitor and straighten out the kids, she's portrayed as utterly at peace but still humbly and devoutly praying the "Our Father":
The absence of grandiosity on the part of the visionaries was immensely reassuring to all of the clergy who came to investigate their claims. Vicka, asked by a priest if she experienced the Virgin "as one who gives graces or as one who prays to God," replied instantly, "As one who prays to God." When the same priest asked her if a prayer in the church at Medjugorje carried more power than a prayer in another church, the girl said she would ask at the next apparition. The Madonna had told her that the power of prayer varies only according to a person's faith, Vicka reported the next day.
It is interesting how the apparition is embraced by some pious Catholics who surely wouldn't like to hear the famous line from the apparition: All religions are similar before God. "Although six days later, in answer to a question from one of the seers she said, 'There is one mediator between God and man - Jesus Christ'".

The author also obliquely address why these seers seem not to fit the Fatima and Lourdes mold, where the visionaries became cloistered nuns:
"Why are you appearing to us? Mirjana asked. "We are not better than others."

In response, the Madonna smiled again, then told the seers, "I do not necessarily choose the best."
She suggests they fast on bread and water but tells them constantly they are free. Free to choose.

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