Your take on "Miracle of the Sun".

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Your take on "Miracle of the Sun".

Post by DeavonReye on Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:13 am

A Catholic was telling me about some of the miraculous things that have happened, usually surrounding Mary, and mentioned the "Miracle of the Sun". You may have to do a quick search on it if you aren't familiar with it. What is your opinion of it, or the other miraculous things one claims to have experienced in that town in Bosnia [such as the liquid coming from the statue of Jesus, or smelling flowers]?
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Re: Your take on "Miracle of the Sun".

Post by DotNotInOz on Tue Feb 08, 2011 4:51 am

Interesting question, Deavon. I've researched the various Marian apparitions extensively since my misspent Catholic kidhood and find them extremely interesting IF any of them actually occurred as claimed...which I somewhat doubt.

Here's why in part I have my doubts. Every religion has its wonder-myths. The Catholics are no exception. Lots of the saints' biographies are little more than a few facts (some highly dubious) hugely colored by who knows how much sheer fantasy in order to give the common folk in the pews inspiration, hope and encouragement.

That may sound disparaging, but I truly don't mean it that way despite my late-life skepticism. Reading or hearing those stories often gave me a feeling of belonging to a powerful group, the community of saints, which Catholics believe includes all those verging on being declared saints, full-fledged saints and the "saints in the works," everyday Catholics trying to live their lives and their faith as best they can.

So, maybe the Bosnian sun-thing did occur. I'm inclined to think it was a vision experienced by the crowd that witnessed it largely because they were very much in a mood for wonders and miracles. What the diehard skeptic would dismiss as a mere mass hallucination.

Did the sun truly do what was claimed? Doesn't really matter I don't think if those there that day were uplifted and empowered by what they think happened.

Everyone who can only read about it must decide for hirself what to think about its actuality and how to regard the whole thing, IMO.

The one aspect of Catholic miracle claims that bothers me most is probably the claim that the body of St. Bernadette of Lourdes is incorruptible. Don't think so. If it's so incorruptible, then why have the nuns of her convent felt it advisable to put a wax mask over her corpse's face so that the face looks as normal as the word "incorruptible" signifies to most people? If it's a miraculous incorruptible body, then it should look as if the dead person is merely sleeping, wouldn't you think? Anything less than that means that there's something else going on...possibly the fact that her body was initially buried in an area of the convent's cemetery where the combination of soil chemistry and water preserved it far better than would be expected. I've read that theory and wonder if there isn't some merit to it.

Things like smelling flowers occur with spirit manifestations of all sorts. I've experienced some of those. Nothing miraculous about those, IMO.

At bottom, cynical though this sounds, a lot of what has become tacked onto these accounts is the result of that old game often called Gossip. That's the one where kids sit in a circle and the first thinks of something to whisper to the next kid who whispers it to the next, etc. until it goes around the circle. The last person announces what s/he was told which is typically so far-removed from what began the game that it's laughable.

People add to these accounts what they believe happened, wish had happened, desperately want to have happened...well, you get the picture. Very soon, most if not all the add-ons become part of the story, and no one can tell what was truth to start with...which was colored by human perception from the get-go.

And then, parts of these accounts are pure organic mulch. There, I'm sure I've pissed off someone by saying that, but I think it's quite true.

Interesting stuff, though...it sure is that.
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Re: Your take on "Miracle of the Sun".

Post by DotNotInOz on Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:07 am

An afterthought...check out the three big secrets Mary was said to have told to the children of the Fatima apparition. There was so much hype about those when I was a kid that I believed they must contain truly extraordinary information.

I read the full texts of them when they were finally revealed. About as informative and compelling as the prophecies of Nostradamus.

Sure left me feeling that I'd been duped into believing that Mary gave some really wondrous information to those peasant children. A real letdown, that's for sure, when I finally read that stuff. What a waste of hype for all those years!
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Re: Your take on "Miracle of the Sun".

Post by DeavonReye on Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:41 am

Yeah, I've read some of those "statements from Mary", and they were basically "live right or else".

Anyway, I'm certain that the Miracle of the Sun was just an illusion. The sun wasn't doing anything different than it normally does. It is possible that, in these areas where "apparitions" happen, there could be some sort of slight gasses from the ground seeping up. That, along with the myth of what occured in the past, . . . and the whole hearted desire of the individual to experience the same thing, . . . could result in this "miracle".

I was reading a lot of the claims, on a blog from someone who posted them, and yes, they seemed to be filled with all sorts of incredible things, "children defying the law of gravity", that it seems made up. I would love to go to these places, where the apperitions happen, and see for myself. Stories are good and all, but someone else's experience doesn't mean much to me. But those people really REALLY believe that they experienced these things. I was conversing with a guy [on another forum] who actually went to Bosnia and had experiences such as has been discussed here. He really does believe them, so that makes me curious as to what he DID experience that affected him so much.

Now, there is the possibility of "simulacrum". The mind being overly stimulated by the person's desire and belief that something really is happening, . . . that the mind makes it a "realistic simulation" for the person. It is an interesting concept, . . . . but then, the same [simulacrum] can be given as a reason for all religions and I don't want to go down that slippery slope.
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Re: Your take on "Miracle of the Sun".

Post by connal on Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:45 am

It is true that there are many debates about what happened in Fatima on October 13, 1917, when the so called 'miracle of the sun' occured - mass hysteria, the desire of the crowd to see something or the possibility that it was a perhalion. But the one wierd thing for me - as a non-believer - is that none of the scientists who have studied this have come up with an explanation for the following things:

- the phenomenon was apparently seen by people up to 18 kilometres away who were unaware that the miracle was due to take place that day.
- no observatory anywhere reported unusual astronomical or meteorological activity that day.
- the ground and clothes of the crowd, which had been sodden after more than 24 hours of rainstorms, became suddenly and completely dry.

These reports came not just from church people and believers, but even anti-clerical journalists who had previously mocked the whole Fatima story.

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Re: Your take on "Miracle of the Sun".

Post by gillyflower on Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:03 am

Another case of UPG. It had meaning for them but doesn't for people it didn't happen to.

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