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FrGamble
FrGamble
Joined: Jun 5, 2011
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November 4th, 2011 at 10:09:21 PM permalink
I forgot which thread it was on, maybe a couple of them, but someone was wondering about miracles - last night was full of them for me!

I was at an event for the Little Sisters of the Poor a wonderful religious community dedicated to serving the elderly poor in my area. They care for those who have no one else to care for them. It is amazing what they do and these sweet sisters truly love and care for their residents in ways that I rarely see in my many, many, many visits to nursing homes, hospitals, and hospice centers. There vocation and dedication is miracle number one.

Speaking at this event was Dr. Edward Gatz a retired anesthesiologist who in 1989 was given six months to live because of cancer in the esophogus. Last night he gave a moving and very detailed account of his miraculous cure through the intercession of St. Jeanne Jugan, the foundress of the Little Sisters of the poor. If you go to the Little Sisters website you can find more information on her and the cure. It was amazing the extent the Church went through to prove it was a true miracle. She was made a saint the same day in 2011 as St. Damien of Molokai, who is awesome as well and worth reading about! Anyway this was miracle number two.

Then Tony Melendez gave a concert. Check out his website, www.tonymelendez.com. He was born with no arms but plays a mean guitar! As Pope John Paul II once told him, "Go give hope to the world". He filled us all with hope that with God we can do anything! When Tony wants to see a miracle he just asks someone to show him their hands, that is a wonderful miracle to him. On a side note it reminded me of my metaphysics professor in college who claimed to be an atheist. He once told me that he doesn't like to look at his hands because their beauty, dexterity, complexity, and ability makes him think that we are wonderfully made for a purpose and he begins to question his position on God. For Tony and my professor our hands are a miracle. I think Tony himself was miracle number three for me yesterday.
EvenBob
EvenBob
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November 4th, 2011 at 11:26:18 PM permalink
Tanzan and Ekido were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling.

Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection.

"Come on, girl" said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud.

Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself. "We monks don't go near females," he told Tanzan, "especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?"

"I left the girl by the side of the road." said Tanzan. "Why are you still carrying her?"


Zen Koan

I dearly love Zen koans. This is a good one. Tanzan was a Zen master.

This is an even better one. Gisan was a Zen master in Japan in the 19th century.

A university student while visiting Gisan asked him: "Have you ever read the Christian Bible?"

"No, read it to me," said Gisan.

The student opened the Bible and read from St. Matthew: "And why take ye thought for rainment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They toil not, neither do they spin, and yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these... Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself."

Gisan said: "Whoever uttered those words I consider an enlightened man."

The student continued reading: "Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened."

Gisan remarked: "That is excellent. Whoever said that is not far from Buddhahood."
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
odiousgambit
odiousgambit
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November 5th, 2011 at 1:42:30 AM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

someone was wondering about miracles.



As far as giving witness to miracles, it does seem to be another category of "great for the believers, lost on the unbelievers". I hate to be harsh, but you might as well come to realize this. Just my opinion of course.

Unless I am mistaken, Jesus himself said even if you were to bring someone back from the dead, some will not believe. [Of course this lays a guilt trip on doubters, since the Bible says Jesus raised Lazarus]. Paul, I think, said he found the Jews needed to see miracles, but the Greeks seek Reason, or some such [I looked but couldnt find these passages]. So the problem was known even in the day. I'm thinking your audience here is more of the "Greek" variety. My 2 cents.
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!” She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
SOOPOO
SOOPOO
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November 5th, 2011 at 4:42:44 AM permalink
I am happy to hear that a fellow anesthesiologist has apparently beaten the big C. Whenever I hear he was 'given 6 months to live' I know that is not what his treating physician said. What really was said was something more like this... "On average, people with your stage of cancer die in 6 months. About 5% make it past 5 years, and 2% to 10 years. In some the tumor becomes more aggressive and it might only be a month or so..." So you can imagine that any that are fortunate to fall into that 2% group will feel like they experienced a miracle... To put it into gambling terms, if a whole throng of people are given dice to shoot, and they win money if they roll snake eyes in their one allotted roll, will the 2 out of 100 that roll the snake eyes consider their roll a miracle?
On a side note, the yearly Anesthesiology convention has a convocation with a man of the cloth (different religions get a shot each year), and all thank their deity for performing his miracles through us, the anesthesiologists. Whenever I get a new student with eyes wide open it does remind me how what I do and see every day could be construed as 'a miracle'.
Nareed
Nareed
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November 5th, 2011 at 6:55:05 AM permalink
Quote: SOOPOO

So you can imagine that any that are fortunate to fall into that 2% group will feel like they experienced a miracle...



Hear, hear!

But it's the lack of evidence that's disturbing. I know there's such a thing as spontaneous remission. No one, as yet, has any notion why it happens, but it does happen. Anyone may point to such rare occurrences and call them miracles, but no one can prove it.

More later. I have to run to my electrology session. I've a bone to pick with you about that, too :)
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
rxwine
rxwine
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November 5th, 2011 at 11:01:00 AM permalink
Quote: odiousgambit

As far as giving witness to miracles, it does seem to be another category of "great for the believers, lost on the unbelievers". I hate to be harsh, but you might as well come to realize this. Just my opinion of course.

Unless I am mistaken, Jesus himself said even if you were to bring someone back from the dead, some will not believe.



If someone could start bringing various dead people back to life with regularity it would be convincing to me. It'd have to be more than sketchy recounting, and more like various independent medical experts confirming the death and sufficient amount of time after death for life to be brought back into the body. No cold water drownings. More like body lies in state in a warm room where heart and brain function are completely absent for 24 hours, at least. (like Quaddafi, for instance, although they put him in walk in freezer I think)

I don't ask for much.

Question: What if the Vatican kept a special box (tm) that was said to contain something that if opened, would make all unbelievers believe, but God had commanded in several biblical passages that it was never to be opened until Christ returned.

Would the Pope ever open the box before then? Or perhaps, to put it another way, does the Pope ever need to open the box to prove anything? (assume cheating is strictly forbidden, any tampering type method would show the box to be empty, including x-raying)
Quasimodo? Does that name ring a bell?
odiousgambit
odiousgambit
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November 6th, 2011 at 3:06:59 AM permalink
Quote: rxwine

If someone could start bringing various dead people back to life with regularity it would be convincing to me.



Here is a "homily topic", Fr. Gamble! Should we question why miracles aren't used more to convert unbelievers? For my own 2 cents, I think it has to be conceded that this is not the purpose of miracles.It would be possible to pick miracles that are more convincing; even in the case of Lazarus, a doubter could have some objections, I need not list them. Jesus could have wowed the crowds by walking on water all the time, but seems to have only accidentally revealed this ability to his Disciples. I could go on. Any thoughts?
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!” She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
NowTheSerpent
NowTheSerpent
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November 6th, 2011 at 3:29:37 AM permalink
Quote: rxwine

Question: What if the Vatican kept a special box (tm) that was said to contain something that if opened, would make all unbelievers believe, but God had commanded in several biblical passages that it was never to be opened until Christ returned.

Would the Pope ever open the box before then? Or perhaps, to put it another way, does the Pope ever need to open the box to prove anything? (assume cheating is strictly forbidden, any tampering type method would show the box to be empty, including x-raying)



Since the Pope is considered Vicar Christi ("regent of Christ") on earth, is there really any spiritual or moral difference between the Pope opening the Special Box and Christ opening it? Is the Box effectively the Council of Propagation of the Faith (i.e., the Inquisition forces), which could compel confessions of penitence and faith upon pain of death, thereby making people "believers"?
NowTheSerpent
NowTheSerpent
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November 6th, 2011 at 3:48:28 AM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

.... [M]y metaphysics professor in college... claimed to be an atheist. He once told me that he doesn't like to look at his hands because their beauty, dexterity, complexity, and ability makes him think that we are wonderfully made for a purpose and he begins to question his position on God.



Anybody who thinks that human dexterity, eyesight, etc. proves or even suggests that we were "wonderfully and fearfully made" by God hasn't compared feeble human physical abilities to those of larger, faster, higher-flying beasts and birds of prey, with vision capable (from a mile in the air) of seeing a mouse scurry and swooping down on it. Sharks can smell of a drop of blood in an ocean, and dogs can smell guns buried deep in the ground and cadavers under ten feet of chlorinated water. I could go on. There is nothing amazing about human abilities, except the abilities to reason and to speak, but most religionists hate to admit that this is real spirituality. Why did your metaphysics professor miss the evidence for God that could have come from the undeniable character of human intellect and the uniquely human pursuit of art?
NowTheSerpent
NowTheSerpent
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November 6th, 2011 at 3:56:54 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

But it's the lack of evidence that's disturbing. I know there's such a thing as spontaneous remission. No one, as yet, has any notion why it happens, but it does happen. Anyone may point to such rare occurrences and call them miracles, but no one can prove it.



A miracle is a subjective experience; a remission of a tumor is an objective fact. There is no lack of evidence for the auspiciousness of the Universe and its causalities, just a lack of evidence that miracles are measurable, isolable "things" other than perceptions.

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