Body Parts

The Roman Catholic Church exhibits what seems to be a ghoulish fascination with body parts. Bits and pieces of dead people are incorporated into a great many Catholic altars. Heads and hands and other pieces of the anatomy of Catholic demigods are kept in jewel-encrusted golden boxes in Catholic churches around the world. Great numbers of Catholic faithful gather together in societies to express their worship of selected body parts of various RCC deities.

One of the body parts that figures most prominently in Roman Catholic worship is the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This is not meant to imply that the rest of Mary is not also held in highest esteem by Catholics, for indeed Marian worship fairly dominates the religious life of those who have yielded faith and reason to the Catholic cult.

Praying to the dead is bad enough, but what in the world can motivate people to pray to body parts of the dead? Because they have been deceived and believe that it is the will of God.

Everyone who reads here should be aware that Rome's version of Mary figures quite prominently in Catholic teaching, doctrine, dogma and fantasy. Marian worship has been around since the early days of the visible church, but this immaculate heart thing a relatively new phenomenon.

Some Catholic sources suggest that, when speaking of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Catholics are not really talking about devotion to a body part.

"Specifically, this is the devotion to the Blessed Mother of God and to the person of Mary as God's Mother. The word "heart" in Hebrew, and as used in the Scriptures, often stands for the higher part of the soul, the intellect and will. In portraying the heart of Mary and in directing our devotion thereto, we honor her interior fullness of grace, the perfections of her soul...The devotion has been greatly increased since the Immaculate Heart of Mary was a prominent feature of the apparitions at Fatima in 1917." (Robert C. Broderick, Ed., The Catholic Encyclopedia, Thomas Nelson Publishers:Nashville (1987), p. 256; w/Nihil Obstat and Imprimitur)

Don't you just have to wonder whether the Blessed Mother of God and God's Mother are one or two persons? Could we be talking Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) here? I suppose what all that gobbledygook is saying is that devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is really devotion to the "higher part of the soul, the intellect and will," whatever that means. Are the intellect and will higher parts of the soul, or are we talking about the upper levels of all three named items? With Catholicism, who knows? My instinct is to go with the intellect and will as being higher parts of the soul, which means, in the instance of this definition, that those who render devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary are paying homage to the mind and will of a ghost. Whoa!

Another respected Catholic source offers a different definition for the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Gee! What a surprise.

HEART OF MARY, THE MOST PURE. i. Devotion to her heart is a special form of devotion to our Lady. Her physical heart is venerated because united to her person, and as the seat of her love (especially of her divine Son), virtues and inner life; such devotion is an incentive to a like love and virture. The devotion is analogous to that to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and was first considerably fostered by St. John Eudes in the 17th century." (Donald Attwater, Ed., A Catholic Dictionary, The Macmillan Company:New York (1942), p. 509; w/Nihil Obstat and Imprimitur)

Now we are talking about venerating a heart of meat, not intellect or will. This is, we are told, because the meat heart is united to her person. Go figure!. Then the definition gets all metaphysical, telling us this heart of muscle is the seat of Mary's love, virtue and inner life. Hard to keep up with Catholic definitions, isn't it?

Marian heart worship got a real boost in 1917, when Mary's ghost appeared to three Portuguese kids. This was not a surprise visit. The kids knew she was coming. Three times during the previous year, an angel had dropped in to let them know she was coming.

On his last visit, the angel gave the kids communion. I reckon the angelic visitor was familiar with the definition of the Council of Trent that the Whole Christ is present under each of the two species. He gave the cookie to Lucia and let the other two share the wine. This raises another interesting question. In consecrating the species, the Catholic priest functions as alter Christus, another Christ. Was the angel who officiated at the communion of the Fatima kids also alter Christus? Did he change wine and a cookie into the blood and body of the Catholic Christ? Or did someone else do that for him? Can angels be priests? Are they ordained? So many questions. So few real answers.

When the visiting spirit finally appeared to the kids, on May 13, 1917, she did not identify herself, saying only that she was from Heaven. What she did was lay a real burden on their small shoulders when she asked:

Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the sufferings He wills to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners? (Edward Carter, S.J., The Spirituality of Fatima and Medjugorje, Shepherds of Christ Ministries:Morrow (1994)

It is here, beyond question, that we are provided evidence that this spirit, and the one who acted as her advance man, could not have been from God. Why in the world would God ASK anyone to do Him such a favor? God's Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ of Prophecy, already paid reparations to God for the sins of fallen man. And His restitution satisfied completely the debt. Ask yourselves, please, if the suffering and death of Jesus Christ was not sufficient to satisfy Almighty God as restitution for the sins of man, why in the world would anyone believe that the prayers and hardships of three Portuguese kids would?

Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the sufferings He wills to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners? (Edward Carter, Op. cit.)

Will worshipping the Immaculate Heart of Mary do any good? Well, if all the things are done that the ghostly visitor told the Fatima kids and the rest of the Catholic faithful to do, then there will be peace in the world and many souls will be saved from eternal damnation.

You have seen Hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace.(Edward Carter, Op. cit.)

There you have it. Get folks to render devotion to Mary's heart and the lost will be saved -- some of them at least -- and the world will know peace. If all this can come to pass just by worshipping her heart, think how much more could be accomplished if folks were also devoted to her lungs, liver, pancreas, etc. Shoot! No wonder Mary figures so prominently in Catholic worship. Who needs Jesus, when Mary's body parts can save sinners? Sinners need Jesus, that's who.

John 5:24, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."

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