Cardiogirl 19 percent body fat 100 percent fun


saints and sisters


My brother, as you may know, is bed-ridden with advanced MS. He is 47, married, has two children 13 and 15 and his wife is his main caregiver. He has become very religious over the years, which I assume is a natural response to the disease. Every person is different, mileage may vary.

Anyway, he has a small crucifix (surprise! we're Catholic) that holds a relic -- a small piece of the actual cross Christ was crucified on. Yes, there is paperwork to document the accuracy of these statements.

Now some have suggested, of this particular crucifix, that it has healing powers. It was given to my brother with that thought in mind. Both my brother and my mother, who suffers from progressive Alzheimer's, have held the cross and nothing has happened.

I am a Practicing Catholic. When I say "practicing" I mean I don't understand all of it. I constantly question and doubt and try to figure things out but ultimately I am taking it all on faith alone. I believe in God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. I consider myself a somewhat devout Catholic. But I have some questions regarding the relic.

When in doubt, I ask my dad.

To give you an idea of what we're dealing with here -- he believes you choose your mood, if you're depressed you choose to be depressed, there is no reason to cry unless you are certain a person is destined for Hell (of which no one can be certain, hence no reason to cry, evah), God has a plan and you must always look on the bright side. I guess his philosophy can be boiled down to one word: Denial.

Anyway, I was curious what his answer would be regarding this healing relic. Now before I go further, I must say I do feel the fear of God in the presence of that relic. I am not trying to be disrespectful, but I want a concrete answer. Either it's a HEALING relic and all who touch it will be healed or it is an important spiritual reminder of our faith and beliefs. In which case, a miracle may or may not happen. (Have you figured out I also get my black and white thinking from Dad?)

So I threw that out there. He basically said we are not privy to God's plan and that he believes some people are here on earth to later be saints. They do their suffering on earth and then rise directly to Heaven upon death. So you think Mom and Jack are going to be saints, I questioned him. Yes, I think it's possible, he answered. So the crucifix is not a healing crucifix, I further questioned. I did not say that, he replied. I think for some people it is healing and for others God's plan does not include healing on earth.

This is like trying to roll Jello uphill.

What's most frustrating, particularly with my dad, is that he is so rigid in his thinking and yet when it suits his purpose he shimmies through a loop hole. I know, the bottom line here is that I want him to admit he is vulnerable, he cries and that this situation sucks it, big time. But I know he is not capable, in psycho-speak. In real terms, this is the coping method he uses and he's not going to change it now that he is almost 81.

I just wish he would respect MY coping methods. I get tired of having to figure out where other people are coming from and then having to adjust my response accordingly in an effort to be understanding and peace-loving. Grr. Sometimes I want to be a moody chick who doesn't give a bright yellow Lego about what other people think. But in reality I am a people pleaser who worries about offending others. It doesn't get me far in this world, but somehow that's what's most comfortable to me: Peace at any cost.

One last note regarding relics. I went to Wikipedia to quickly review what they had to say about relics. (It's the journalist in me, I want to give you fine folks the most accurate information I can.) There are three classifications of relics: First-Class, Second-Class and Third-Class.

First are things relating to the events of Christ's life (the manger, the cross) or the physical remains of a saint (bone, hair, etc).

Second are items a saint wore (a sock, a shirt, etc.) or an item the saint had like a crucifix, a book, etc.

Third is separated into two sub-categories: The first is a piece of cloth touched to the body of the saint after his or her death. The second is a piece of cloth touched to the shrine of a saint.

Of course I thought about what my dad said and now I think how crazy it would be to see the masses fight over my brother's skanky sock should he become a saint later on. It must be weird to be the saint's sister, don't you think? You would know him as the punk who teased you as a kid, but the world would see him as an almost perfect being who suffered nobly here on earth.

Last thought of the day: Do you think Mother Theresa or Pope John Paul II ever got pissed off and quietly uttered a swear word?

* * *

Sending out a thank you: I'm sending an extra 1000 strides on the elliptical trainer to miame (she is locked and requires a password) who added me as a favorite recently. Thanks Miame!


2007-06-26 at 6:47 a.m.

last post | next post