Yesterday from Fr. Paul’s Blog, The Shroud of Turin and Why Physicality Matters:
Recently a member of our congregation went to visit the Shroud of Turin at its ‘ten year showing’. Everyone knows now that it is a production of mediaeval times, but still, lots of people have gone to see it. There are of course many views about the shroud. Those who want to support its religious significance will talk about the questions that are still unanswered, like ‘How was it done?’ and ‘How old is it really? Can we trust the carbon dating?’ So long as there are questions to be raised, the mystery of the shroud can be kept alive. Then of course others of a more pragmatic mindset say ‘Well, it’s just a piece of cloth, so what? Even if it is Jesus’ shroud. So what?’
Pope Francis says that the image on the shroud ‘speaks to the heart’. And of course this is one legitimate way to approach the image. It is like the Grünewald Isenheim Altarpiece, where a very disfigured Jesus on the Cross reflects the suffering of those looking at the image.’ It says to them ‘God shares in what is most shameful and painful for you, and can transform it.’ Both images say something to our condition.
The age of the shroud of Turin and the image on it does not prove the resurrection, neither does an empty tomb. What proves the resurrection is the continual physical presence of Christ in the Church. This happens, as St. Paul tells us ‘according to the Spirit’, but it happens in our bodies. It happens as the sovereignly free God promises to localise himself ‘for-us’ and to be present ‘for-us’ that we might have union with God. That’s why I can rejoice in icons, rejoice in the shroud rejoice in relics and rejoice in the sacraments. Let Charles Wesley have the last word.
Unsearchable the love
That hath the Saviour brought;
The grace is far above
Or man or angels thought;
Suffice for us that God, we know,
Our God, is manifest below.
Jesus Christ is not just in our Christian hearts, but think about the Muslims who have had dreams about Jesus talking to them and then they convert to Christianity, you know the risk they are taking to do that. How about the folks who have been in a hospital, have died in the bed or wherever, seen the nurses and doctors working on them and then during the NDE went through some type of tunnel? and ended up in Heaven and meet Jesus Christ and then being told they had to go back and finish their life here. Later explaining to those nurses and doctors what they observed and finding out that they had died and were brought back to life during that period of their ‘trip’. There are actual documented cases in NDERF files and some are most current. Look them up on the internet and you can make phone calls to verify the info in the data.
Thank you, Fr. Paul, for the post. For more on Charles Wesley, please visit the website for the book series, The Asbury Triptych Series. The trilogy based on the life of Francis Asbury opens with the book, Black Country. Black Country details the religious climate experienced by Francis Asbury in mid to late 18th-century England. The book also brings to light the many influences on this young man who eventually leaves for the American colonies in 1771. Again, thank you for the post. The evidence of changed lives, myself included, is the evidence of Christ.
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