Miracles – God’s little Oxymorons

Saint

That’s me, practicing to be a saint

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First, you got to organize a halo, like mine. Doesn’t matter if it is lightweight and thin. A halo is a halo. It remains in place right above your head and even adjusts its position like a gyroscope when you move your head.

Just don’t move your head too suddenly. There’s a time delay with halos. Like when you swing your head around with a jerk, it might bump into your halo and that, my friends is a grave sin. Your halo will simply disintegrate and disappear forever.

But say a brunette with big tits moves into the periphery of your vision and you swing your head around nice and easy, trying to be cool about it. Your halo will gracefully wobble, pitch and yaw a bit and then follow your head to where it now is. Its the Almighty’s way of telling you its okay ta stare at boobs.

If you swing your head around in circles, you can even play with a halo like its a hoolahoop. Try that, its fun, but don’t get carried away. Swinging your head too much might make give you a crick in the neck.

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But halos are not what I came here ta talk about. Around this time, 2 years back, I was driving to work when I heard over the radio that Mother Teresa’s canonization proceedings had concluded successfully, after a second miracle was authenticated – a Brazilian man with ugly bumps all over his body which had been diagnosed as malignant tumors, was miraculously cured.

I’m not sure how Mommy Terry got to take credit for that one (she died in 1997). But I’m afraid ta ask.

In case you are confused, canonization is not what an Iraqi infantryman faced outside Baghdad in 2003 when he stood in front of an M1A1 Abrams battle tank. Canonization is bestowing sainthood to a mortal – the Catholic Church’s version of the Medal of Freedom or the Bharat Ratna.

Canonization comes at the end of a process that the Catholic Church follows, when a person (usually already a senior honcho in the church heirarchy) is pronounced a saint. It starts with the nomination by the cardinals, like, ‘okay, this guy seems right, lets check him out’. The guy is then investigated for “heroic virtue and suffered martyrdom”. And at least one miracle he has performed. Usually the sudden curing of a terminally ill person is considered a bonafide miracle. Hang on, it gets crummier……

The first stage of the vetting process ends in beatification, a status that is just short of sainthoodIt is the recognition by the church that a guy is blessed and therefore certified to enter heaven. Until the mid-1600s, just about anyone – even local bishops – had the power to beatify, but in time the church realized that miracles were being manufactured out of thin air and complete jerks were being beatified. Very soon there were more assholes in heaven than in hell.

Not that authentic Christian saints cannot be assholes. Two years ago, Pope Francis canonized Junipero Serra, a Spanish missionary who first brought Catholicism to California in the early 18th century. He achieved this by brutally suppressing the native American culture and banning native rituals under pain of torture and even death. Neither ‘heroic virtue’ nor ‘suffered martyrdom’ were anywhere in play. Of course, compared to the deeds of some others who came before him, Serra was an itsy bitsy teeny weeny daisy.

Suffice it to say that saints are no better or worse than the rest of us, no matter what that pedophilia-riddled institution called ‘the Catholic Church’ may tell you.

Step-2 is the canonization itself and just in case you fancy the idea of being canonized a saint, here’s a few things you need ta know…….

The number one requirement is that you need to be dead before the procedure can even begin. You do see the oxymoron here, don’t you?  If you were dead, would you give a fuck if you became a saint or you didn’t? It is the same as winning a posthumous medal. Did it matter to Capt. Vikram Batra that he won a Param Vir Chakra at Kargil?

The other thing is that you will be among the 900 plus canonized guys and gals, of whom the first three were the archangels Raphael, Michael and Gabriel. Raphy and Mike were low-key, except when they were required to slaughter non-believers that God conveniently labelled as ‘barbarians’.

The rock star in the trio was definitely the third, Archangel Gabriel. Gaby was the one who appeared in that mountain cave outside Mecca called Hira and mumbled to Mohammad – ‘Psst! Repeat after me – Jihad is good! Jihad is good! Jihad is good! And please, keep the meaning of the word ‘jihad’ always tantalizingly vague, okay? Let the schmucks scratch their heads over whether jihad means to purify oneself or to whack infidels en masse .

Raphy, Mike and Gaby were the only ones who didn’t have to earn their sainthood with crappy miracles. They were born with that ‘heroic virtue and suffered martyrdom’ shit already inside of them. They were God’s way of advertising limited editions, I guess.

In order to be cannonized a saint, you have got to have performed a second verifiable miracle (after the one you had to have performed to be beatified). And like I said, the most popular way to get to sainthood has been through suddenly curing someone of a terminal illness, without a medical degree.

Here lies another oxymoron – if one of the basic tenets of Christianity is the principle  ‘as you sow, so you reap’, (ie: we ultimately get what we deserve), then the Brazilian with the tumors must have had it coming. Why then should he be miraculously saved without having to suffer?

Doesn’t a miracle set a wrong example, send the wrong message? You got tumors protruding out everywhere? Tough shit, man, you musta done something wrong and so you got to face the consequences. Isn’t that what Christianity preaches – that we must suffer for our sins, even when we do not always know what they are? Why should a few chosen ones benefit miraculously?

Miracles are like the other catholic ritual known as ‘confession’. You confess your sins to a priest and your diabolic side is wiped clean. No jail time, not even remorse.

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Don’t get me wrong. I hold nothing against Mother Teresa being canonized. It wasn’t her idea, I am certain of that. Left to her I am sure she wouldn’t give a flying fuck if she was made a saint or she wasn’t. She was a great human being and the world already knows it. Does her sainthood change anything, make us revere her more, turn us into better human beings? No, it doesn’t, not one bit.

Canonization is a last-ditch effort by a failing faith that is in it’s death throes, trying to prop itself up by petty self-aggrandizement? One of the things that Hitler started doing at the fag end of the Second World War was to award every Tomas, Dicken and Harry Von Haussen the Knight’s Cross with the Oak Leaves, to bolster flagging morale. If I look hard enough, I am sure I’ll find that Nixon did pretty much the same thing – throwing around Medals of Honor like confetti, after sensing that defeat in the Vietnam War was imminent.

I believe that if one has done something exceptional, it shall be automatically registered and recognized up above, if at all there exists an ‘up above’. Mother Teresa didn’t need to be made a saint. She already was a saint in my heart and the hearts of countless other folks. Attaining true spirituality means that one doesn’t care about canonization or any other earthly recognition.

Today, we have a world virtually on fire, consumed on all sides by racism, bigotry and hate and here we have a church that is totally out of sync with reality, busy making someone who died two decades back, a saint. And waiting for the applause.

When will the Catholic Church learn that crap is crap and needs to be cut?