It is long: A Spiritual Analysis of the Shroud by Hannah Michaels. It took me awhile to figure out what to say. I wish I could have been kinder. But then, again, in fairness it is a meditation and I’m not good at reading such things.
It seems a bit strange, as when we read about the carbon dating in 1988 and I began to wonder if this was a Turing Test of some kind. It’s me. I know that. My wife is always saying to me, “Don’t you see the symbolism?” No, I don’t:
April 21, 1988 – The test begins. This date marks the anniversary of Jesus’ crucifixion and the Second Passover, . . .
April 22, 1988 – The news of the taking of the sample is released to the world. This relates to the crucifixion because symbolically April 21st became “the day as to which you put the sickle to the corn”; and the next morning, April 22, was when the first perfect sheaf would have been presented. This date correlates with birthdates. For example, this is the 40th birthday of the State of Israel – when the Fig Tree officially took possession of the Holy Land in 1948, but would not bear fruit, as Jesus prophesied. This date sets a mark, linking the Roman Catholic Church to the Jewish Synagogue. For some, this may sound far-fetched, but according to Myron C. Fagan’s famous transcript about the Illuminati, it might not be. He said the Grand Sanhedrin instructed Jews to convert to Christianity in 1492, telling them to become doctors, lawyers, Christian clergy, and such, in order to bring the Christian world down. Biblically, 40 is a significant number, such as Israel wandered in the desert 40 years; “After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, [even] forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, [even] forty years, and ye shall know My breach of promise (Numbers 14:34).” Each-day-for-a-year is a prophetic code, because sometimes the number of days means the number of years. With the Church’s recent clarification of the upcoming 2015 Shroud Exhibition, does this mean that she recognizes the code? Beginning April 19, she will hold the longest exhibition to date, being that of 67 days. Interestingly, this would correspond to one day per the 67 years of the modern State of Israel. It seems they are celebrating the State’s birthdate too, along with John Bosco’s Feast, a priest, popularly known as “Don”, who helped underprivileged boys and poor girls.
I’m not very knowledgeable when it comes to the Gospel of Thomas. Is that what it means, that quotation?
But the reality is that there’s a large amount of evidence to prove its authenticity, including spiritual markers, like the thistle. If we were to divide the evidence onto a set of scales, with one side containing evidence of forgery and the other side containing evidence of authenticity; the only item with any apparent weight on the forgery side is the radiocarbon date. Yet, has the balance in anyone’s mind been tipped? “You test the face of the sky and of the earth, and him who is before your face you have not known, and you do not know how to test this moment.” This is a verse from the Gospel of Thomas, a book rejected by the Church, yet is probably the most revealing book into the mystery of being human, and man’s discovery of being more than a body. Perhaps man’s study of the Shroud parallels his desire for knowledge, “because the spirit does search for all these, even the deep things of God”, as Paul put it. (emphasis Michaels)
And what is this?
When things don’t add up, people tend to keep looking for answers. As for the Shroud, there are some who adamantly support the 1988-study, literally putting all their eggs into that radiocarbon-dating basket for confirmation. Surprisingly, the official stance of the Roman Catholic Church falls into this group. Her official statement from John Paul II in 1988 was, “Since it is not a matter of faith, the Church has no specific competence to pronounce on these questions. She entrusts to scientists the task of continuing to investigate, so that satisfactory answers may be found to the questions connected with this Sheet (Wikipedia: Shroud of Turin).” This is an oddly-crafted statement, because, wouldn’t all things concerning Jesus touch on faith, especially one that dealt with a burial cloth thought to be His? The pope mentioned “continuing investigation”, but so often the Church has rejected them. . . . With all that’s been presented to the Church about the possibility of it being authentic, she ought to be appreciative, but instead she’s ignored a great deal of evidence. A layman might not expect the Church to play Devil’s Advocate, but this seems to be the case. (emphasis Michaels)
But John Paul II said that in 1998, not 1988. And he was not saying what Hannah said he was saying, at least not as I see it. Read the full paragraph of item 2 in the Address of His Holiness Pope John Paul II on the occasion of a pastoral visit to Vercelli and Turin, Italy, in May of 1998. In fact, read the entire address. And it was not an official stance of the Roman Catholic Church, anyway. Ian Wilson discussed the pope’s message in his 2010 book, The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved.
The many photos of the Pope, in simple white, praying on his knees before the Shroud . . . speak louder than any words that he was far from persuaded by the carbon-dating findings. And the words of his homily reinforced this.
. . . and they do. Read them.
The second sentence in this following quote perhaps saves the day. I think so.
Man keeps trying to explain his existence with unproven hypotheses. Part of him refuses to accept the obvious. And until he can explain how the Image got on the Shroud using his own technology, he really won’t believe it wasn’t his technology that did it.