Thursday, February 11, 2010

Catholic Ghostbuster

It's the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes today, which is pretty much the most respected Marian Ghost thing we've ever had. The only apparation I've ever read about was Fatima, and I don't really believe it. For the same reason I didn't believe people had the gift of tongues when I worked in a Pentecostal church, and the same reason I don't believe being 'slain in the spirit' is meaningful. To me, I guess, the issue is does something edify the church. Do people love God more because someone sees Mary and she tells them something about Russia or whathaveyou. I'm not denying it could happen, I'm just saying that 'personal revelation' (as the Church rightly calls it) has no relevance to me. It's folk Catholicism, which I've never been a fan of. There's too much in common with the Oracles at Delphi and whatnot, I prefer to stick to scripture and apostolic tradition. I have the same problem with relics. I don't deny it's efficacy, but compared to the Blessed Sacrament - God himself - what could the toe of anyone do?

Anyway, in short, I think it's best just to focus on the actual doctrines of the Church, ask for Our Lady's intercession, reverence things that ought to be reverenced (the Eucharist above all), and stick to the creeds. All the extras: medals, burying statues upside-down, etc, count me out.

...I bet now I'll have a Marian Ghost appear to tell me I'm an irreverant bastard.


  1. That's the beauty of our Catholic Faith, though: You are not bound to believe in any Marian Apparition, even ones like Lourdes that the Church investigated and found credible.

    I would point out that Mary at Lourdes said "I am the Immaculate Conception," a teaching made dogma only 4 years prior, a doctrine that is from the apostolic Tradition.

    BTW, neither of us are probably child-like or humble enough for Mary to appear to us, so don't worry too much about that happening. :)

  2. Perhaps you should take a look at the story of Alphonse Ratisbonne, Andrew; it's quite a dramatic one which involves an apparition of Our Lady. You are certainly correct in shunning superstitious practices, but I've found that often things are not as they appear. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.

  3. Andrew: Devin makes the very good point that you are not obligated to believe. I have examined as much documentation on the matter as I could, for and against, and I do believe it.

    I once wrote: "...with no inconsistency to Catholic theology, God does use natural phenomena, however anomalous, to effect His miracles. Very likely, for example, it was a optical meteorological effect that made the solar disc "dance" at Fatima."

    I recommend the book "God and the Sun at Fatima" by Fr. Stanley Jaki for a scientific approach to Fatima, with copious documentation to original witness statements, etc.