Mary, Undoer of Knots,  in the Church of Mary the Door to Heaven in Brazil is a unique painting of Mary undoing a ribbon of knots, and meditating on its fascinating meaning, this booklet explains the Blessed Mother's intervention in situations that 'have no exit,' providing prayers and novenas for miracles that relieve us of entanglement! Many are those who claim it is miraculous!  click here 



Do you find it a bit peculiar that some folks believe in times past that God spoke to a man named Noah, rods were turned into snakes by men like Aaron and Moses, manna fell from the sky, pillars of light appeared day after day as guidance, stars moved, the Red Sea parted, Elijah commanded fire from the sky, Ten Commandments found themselves etched in stone, angels made themselves visible (at places like Sodom), a donkey spoke, water turned to blood, leprosy was instantly healed, prophecies were fulfilled, the walls of Jericho tumbled upon a command, the mute and epileptic and those suffering from dropsy or leprosy or blindness and countless others were healed by a Man named Jesus, Who walked on water, turned water into wine, cast out demons, prophesied, raised the dead, caused nets to fill with fish, or a fish to bear a coin, multiplied loaves, and so forth: that some will believe all these things and more and yet will not consider that a statue weeps or the Virgin appears or a demon is cast out in our own time?

There is a disconnect.

They are right -- the skeptics (and naysayers) -- to the degree that they're cautious.

Caution is always in order.

There is such a thing as imagination. There is such as thing as wishful thinking. There is deception.

Even the most well-intentioned can be deceived.

We are all susceptible.

None of us has the whole picture.

But when does caution, when does logic, when does vaunted "rationalism," turn into simple ridicule and criticality and naysaying (for the sake of negativism)? When is there cognitive dissonance?

Perhaps most to the point: when is there (with any of us) spiritual blindness?

Jesus did not evangelize with encyclopedias.

As a Christian writer named Perry Stone points out:

"Paul wrote that there is a veil, similar to scales, over the eyes of our understanding that clouds the light of God's revelation from entering into our minds and enlightening us with life-changing insight. If we live behind this veil, then we will never know or experience God's best for us.

"This veil, which at times manifests as a lack of interest in spiritual matters, a dullness in our understanding, or a spirit of unbelief toward the idea of Bible-based manifestations must be lifted to experience the unseen. There is a covering of some sort over our eyes, which prevents us from seeing the activity of the spirit world. However, when we sleep, we are still able to see images through dreams or visions. In Scripture, men like the Apostle John recorded these dreams and visions."

Yet, in our modern rational time, we discard them. Instead, we "intellectualize."

There is also spiritual blindness when we go to church through blind obligation instead of seeking a real encounter with Jesus. There is blindness when we criticize others without noticing our own shortcomings (blocked from seeing by what Jesus referred to as the "lumber" in our own eyes). Those who are judgmental (and "snarky": see internet comments and blogs) don't see their pride. Pride is the great "blinder" (and binder: binding us to faults). From time to time, we all suffer it.

When is it scoffing?

When are any of us a bit too much like the Sadducees and Pharisees?

When is it hubris?

We base our faith on the dunameis of the New Testament, the terata of the Old -- signs, wonders -- but somehow posit that it all halted -- that (contrary to what Jesus promised) the Holy Spirit ended His wonders -- two thousand plus years ago (when, in the greatest miracle, Christ resurrected, or soon after: when He ascended)?

That of course can't be. He said He was sending the Holy Spirit after Him, that we were to do as He did.

No doubt: there is a division between an institutional Church and the mystical one.

The question one must always ask: which most resembles the way of Jesus?

[Note also: Michael Brown retreats: Connecticut! and Announcing two retreats in California]

[Michael Brown's books]

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