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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Mary and Superstition

Archbishop Sean Brady of Ireland spoke recently at the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock on the need to trust in God, allow our Lady to be our advocate, guide and intercessor, and eschew the superstitious practices of popular and new age culture. What these practices demonstrate is a lack of faith and trust in God's providence and plan for us. We must trust that God is in control and submit ourselves in faith, hope and love to His plan.

The Archbishop speaks very rightly of Our Lady as the perfect example for us. A young girl, she was told by an angel she was to bear the Son of God. After His birth, she was told that they must flee to a forign land for His safety. At His presentation in the Temple, she was told that He was destined for the rise and fall of many nations, and that a sword too would pierce her heart. At His crucifixtion she stood by and trusted through her mourning, holding His Sacred Body in her arms and loving and trusting in God's providence all the more.

Mary is our exemplar, our advocate and our Mother. To walk in the footsteps of Mary is to walk with Christ, and to love with the heart of Mary is to enthrone Christ in our own hearts. Let us ask for her intercession, her prayers, and her faith, that we may be as faithful to her son as she was, and come to share in the reward won through His cross.

Questions and comments welcome!
God love you!
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Archbishop: Superstitious Need More Trust
Says Astrology and Tarot Cards Reveal Fear of Future




KNOCK, Ireland, AUG. 22, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Astrology, palm reading and tarot cards are superstitions that conceal a lack of trust in God's providence, according to Archbishop Sean Brady.

Archbishop Brady of Armagh, primate of all Ireland, said this today while celebrating the Mass of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Ireland's National Marian Shrine of Knock, visited annually by over 1.5 million pilgrims.

Speaking on the theme of "Following Christ in 21st-century Ireland," Archbishop Brady said that today's challenge is to keep "our lives focused on Christ amid the distractions of increasing prosperity."

He explained: "The land of saints and scholars has become better known as the land of stocks and shares, of financial success and security."

"Tragically it has also become a land of increasing stress and substance abuse. And all of this has occurred as the external practice of faith has declined."

"One of the most subtle but disturbing signs of this underlying fear in Irish life is the increasing reliance of people on practices which claim to 'unveil' the future," the 68-year-old archbishop affirmed. "Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, tarot cards, recourse to clairvoyance and mediums conceal a desire for power over time and a lack of trust in God's providence.

"They are the new Irish superstition. Those who put their trust in them or take them seriously are colluding with an illusion, promoting a fiction. Underlying this trend of 'future telling,' is a fear of the future.

"It is a symptom of the insecurity that lurks behind the seeming confidence of modern Irish culture and life. It is evidence of the failure of a life without God to address the deepest needs of the human spirit."

Discipleship of Mary

"[A]s we face the myriad of challenges of being a disciple in 21st-century Ireland," Archbishop Brady explained, "Mary is the perfect disciple today, just as she has always been through the first two millennia of the Church's existence."

"Indeed our Gospel reminds us that the example of Mary, [is] to say 'yes' at every moment, of every day, to follow Jesus, to say 'yes' to putting our complete trust in God's word and in his plan," he continued. "And so it is Mary who reveals to us the essential virtue for those who wish to follow Christ in the Ireland of the 21st century.

"That virtue is trust. Trust in the power of God to do all things.

"Mary always directs us to Christ. She knows that he alone can give us everything we need. Everything we need as disciples in the Ireland of the 21st century. Everything we need as a Church."

Archbishop Brady added: "The challenges may change in their detail, the culture in which we live might alter from one generation to the next, but the fundamental call of the Christian disciple remains the same in every age, to say 'Fiat, voluntas tua,' -- 'Be it done unto me according to thy Word!'"

5 comments:

Traveling Man said...

Father:

I find it interesting that the Church frowns on divination when God clearly did not object to it in the Bibile:

(All quotations taken from the New American Bible, Copyright 1971, Nihil Obstat: Stephen J. Hartdegen O.FM.,S.S.L., Christian P. Ceroke, O. Carm., S.T.D. Imprimatur: Patrick Cardinal O'Boyle, D.D. Archbishop of Washington For Bible Text, July 27, 1970)

Gen. 44 v4-5: "They had not fone far out of the city when Joseph said to his head steward: "Go at once after the men! When you overtake them, say to them, 'Why did you repay good with evil? Why did you steal the silver goblet from me? It is the very one from which my master drinks and which he usesfor divination. What you have done is wrong'"

Exodus 28 v30 In this breastpiece of decision you shal put the Urim and Thummim that they may be over Aaron's heart whenever he enters the precence of the LORD. Thus he shall always bear the decisions for the Israelites over his heart in the LORD'S presence.

Luke 12 v54-56 He said to the crowds: "When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say immediately that rain is coming-and so it does. When the wind blows from the south, you say iti is going to be hot - and so it is. You hypocrites! If you can interpret the portents of eargh and sky, why can you not interpret the present time?

I will grant that the first two citations concern divination by means of an object or objects and are more closely akin to Tarot cards. The last is referencing natural phenomenon to make predictions, but I believe the analogy holds.

The issue here, I think is not the avoidance of soothsayers, but the avoidance of soothsayers that are not approved by the Church hierarchy. If the soothsayer happens to be a girl that has a vision in Fatima, that is an entirely different story.

Be Well,

Traveling Man

Dolores Thompson said...

Star Gazer

Enriched by Your presence
That we may enrich
An impoverished world
Thirsting and hungry
Abducted and poisoned
By hijackers of truth

Possessions and attitudes
Horoscopes and star gazers
Search for Your face
Palm readers
Reach for Your hand
Deprived of hope
Sleep to grasp their dreams

Gluttony and starving
Filled with lies
Yet empty inside
The brightness of dreams
Charting of the stars
Have darkened souls…
An eclipse of the Son of God

Morning star of our souls
Guide us to Bethlehem
Cosmic creator
Eternal master of the now
And of eternity
Illuminate our souls
Be light to our feet
Guide us to truth

September 10, 2007

Dolores Thompson
www.transcendence.jonsong.net

Father V. said...

John,

I am sorry to say that you are incorrect. Divination is the attempt by man to contact spirits of the dead. Our Lady is alive and well in heaven, and she deigned to speak to those children of Fatima and make herself seen by them. There is a difference here in cause.

The examples you give are not really valid. There are lots of people who commit sin in the Bible, beginning with Adam and Eve in Genesis. Jospeh's master sinned in divinition. I am not sure how you tie Aaron into this in your second quote, I don't see any divination there. The third falls under meteorology more than divination.

Traveling Man said...

Father:

I believe you may have mis-read the quote of Gen 44 v 4-5. It is Joseph who instructed his servant to say that his brothers had stolen the cup he, (Joseph), used for divination. I can find no mention in Genesis where God condemned him for that act.

The note in the N.A.B. has, by way of explanation: "Urim and Thummim: both the meaning of these Hebrew words and the exact nature of the objects so designated are uncertain. They were apperantly lots of some kind which were drawn or cast by the priest to ascertain God's descision in doubtful matters, Hence, the burse in which they were kept was called "the breastplate of descision." (pg.78)

Clearly this is divination, which is defined by one entry at dictionary.com as: "(3.) By divine appointment there was also divination by the Urim and Thummim (Num. 27:21), and by the ephod" the N.A.B. has: He shalll present himself to the priest Eleazar, to have him seek out for him the decisions of the Urim in the LORD'S presence; and as he directs, Joshua all the Isrealites with him, and the community as a whole shall perform all their actions." Certainly appears to me to be divination.

And I believe that "divination" derives from consulting the divine will. Seeking answers, (whether or not about the future), from the dead is properly called necromancy.

The quote from Luke I believed to be allegorical, and Jesus telling his followers that just as you see these signs in nature, there will supernatural signs to fortell the end times; but what you will.

My origninal point, that the God of the Bible did not condemn divination when it was his followers that practiced it. Just as he did not forbid his followers to practice magic.

Be Well,

Traveling Man

As for the

dublinstreams said...

crticising supernatural from the pulpit of Knock. hahaha come on!