Another Catholic Miracle: Yawn!

Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never Is, but always To be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man, Epistle I, 1733

Since ancient times, people have been making pilgrimages to distant sacred sites to pay homage to their gods or to seek guidance or prophecies from them. Others traveled to distant shrines hoping that they or some loved one might be healed of illness or injury. In ancient Greece, healing shrines (asclepieion) were named after Asklepios, physician-hero of Greek mythology sometimes worshiped as god of healing. At one time, there were as many as 300 such shrines scattered throughout the Greek world. For the Greeks of antiquity, the healing process involved sleeping over night in a building at the site, hoping that Asklepios would come to them in a dream and either heal them or teach them how to heal themselves.

In modern times, a lot of folks still believe that they will be healed if they visit a sacred place to pray, perform a ritual, be touched by a person with the gift of healing and/or leave a gift or offering. The sacred might be a Catholic church, where the ritual might involve lighting a devotional candle while praying to some idol or perhaps being touched by a priest. Healing is often a part of the worship service in charismatic and other non-Catholic churches. Of course, we are also told by media money ministers that people can be healed by long distance if they send a “free will offering” and touch their TV or radio or hold some “blessed” object the self-styled healer will provide in exchange for that offering.

It should be pointed out that, while there seems to be an ever-increasing number of holy shrines in the Catholic world, not all of them have been granted a seal of authenticity by the Vatican; as if such a seal would make them real.

A popular new Catholic asclepieion is located in the Polish town of Nysa, where Karol Wojtyla was born early in the last century

WADOWICE, Poland - Pilgrims are flocking to a new monument to Pope John Paul II in his hometown, touching the water that runs over its base and collecting it in bottles in the belief that it carries healing powers.—Krzysztof Kopacz, Associated Press Writer, Pilgrims collect water at papal monument, © 2006 The Associated Press

Mama Church has not placed her seal of authenticity and/or approval on this new miracle factory, but such a lack has not prevented Catholic faithful from bouncing around the world in search of miracles. Think of Medjugorje, Emmitsburg, etc.

The Roman Catholic church has not proclaimed the water holy, but since the statue was unveiled in Wadowice in southern Poland on June 30, believers have been turning the life-sized bronze figure on a granite base into an informal shrine. The late pontiff was born Karol Wojtyla here in 1920.

"If the water comes from the papal monument, it is holy to us," said Stanislaw Unijewski, a 37-year-old electrician who traveled 120 miles from his hometown of Nysa.--Ibid.

One can but wonder whether JP2's toilet might not be removed from the Vatican and set up in some remote corner of European Catholicism as a shrine to the former pope. Surely water dipped from the bowl might have remarkable healing powers.

When I mentioned this thought to another former Catholic and Christian friend, his response was:

Wow! We are on the same wave length. I thought the same thing. . .. I was going to consider getting a concession for the Papal urinal.

I sometimes wonder whether God Almighty views things like holy water fountains and such as so ridiculous that He breaks out in uncontrolled laughter---before passing judgment.

I believe that there are miracles still, and that they originate with God, not a statue dedicated to a former Pagan High Priest.

Something for gullible Catholics and others to consider:

Although Asklepios was a god, there is a tradition in myth that he died. For it was believed that the god of healing dared to use his powers to bring a human back to life. Zeus, the ruler of the Greek gods, reacted to this action by striking Asklepios with a thunderbolt. Asklepios in Greek Mythology, © 1997-2006

Read the Bible and seek healing from God, not a statue or faith healer.

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