Wednesday, January 11, 2012


A little story a priest once told in a homily:

There was a group of students in a large woodshop and one of the students lost his watch. They spent a good amount of time looking for the watch while the woodshop was running, and couldn't find it. After everyone left, one student remained behind and laid himself down on the floor of the woodshop. In the stillness and silence he listened - and he heard the faintest ticking. By that ticking he located the watch.


I do not believe that those who were brought to Jesus to be delivered, who scriptures say were possessed by demons, were epileptics and that Jesus healed them of their epilepsy. Nope, I think there really were numbers of people possessed. Because there are signs that go along with both possession and the demon being excorcised. Names are spoken and the demon exposed and words of authority commanding the evil spirit to come out.

What evidence is there that people back then did not know that epileptic seizures were not demonic possession? We're very stupid to think they were primitive.


I remember a priest - a good priest - who spoke in his homily about Christ calling, indirectly, that Canaanite woman a dog. The priest attempted to soften it by referring to how things were socially in that time. I can't remember exactly what it was he said, but he ended up only making it look worse. And at no point did he simply mention that Jesus was testing the woman's faith. Would have saved a lot of trouble. Fact is, the passage doesn't even look bad from the get-go. It's only politically correct people constantly aware to discrimination who bring up such things, where there are none.


But you see, even the thought that Jesus would analogously align a woman with a dog even as a front, as a testing repertoire - indeed, actually leading the woman to her wonderful response of humility and faith - is unthinkable to certain people.


People rely on labels in a fundamental way in their attempts to be non-labeling, or in their attempts to show how arbitrary are labels; and so they end up entrenching labels into our language beyond what any bigot could do. Like those who avoid the Left and the RightTM. Or like those who love to blather about how no creed can contain God or how no name can limit God: they do not end up thereby enlarging our view of God; they end up diminishing our view of words into something worse than barbarism.


Religion is not just a crutch for the weak-minded. It is an entire hospital. At least the Catholic Church is like a hospital - in fact, the only hospital.

Those who say religion is a crutch for the weak-minded are oblivious to the fact that they themselves go through life on an array of various crutches; they go from one crutch to the other with such rapidity and unconsciousness that the crutches simply do not appear as such. It makes one think of that Simpsons episode where the doctors discover that Burns is being kept alive not through a healthy body, but because of the perfect balance of innumerable diseases.


Belfry Bat said...

Also, Jesus surely foresaw what a great pun it would make in Rome's Latin!

Terry Nelson said...

Very well thought out - I agree.