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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Matrix and the Matrix



One afternoon when I had the flu I sat through The Matrix movies. Two of them. There was a third, but at the end of the second I had had enough. Somewhere in the middle of the second film, the star of the movie finds himself in a room with a man with an overly trimmed beard who explains what's going on in the film and what, exactly, "The Matrix" is all about. I could not understand one word of it. The man with the overly attended to beard might just as well have said, "I am Santa Claus, ho, ho, ho." It would have made as much sense.


I also have a question: My mom is a huge catholic zealot, and I happened to notice a bag of random religious items like crucifixes, and something called the Matrix Medal. Do you have any idea what that is?

I am Santa Claus, ho, ho, ho.

That's about as good an answer as the actual answer.

On top of the answer being a little out there, we're actually not supposed to talk about the Matrix. Not the movie. You can talk about that all you like. You can even get yourself a big black leather coat for all we care, although your money would be better spent on the poor. You're not supposed to talk about the Matrix, like the Fight Club, only we're not supposed to spread it around clandestinely either.

The Matrix involves a woman in Ireland who talks to Mary. Mary sightings are a bit of a Catch 22, if I may throw out yet another movie reference. We have to pay attention, to see if Mary is trying to tell us something, but until we know it's really Mary trying to tell us something, we can't pay attention.

Remember the story of St. Catherine LaBoure?
Go ahead and read it if you are not familiar with what went on there. I'll wait.

Notice that St. Catherine went to her confessor and made him deal with it and no one knew one thing about Catherine, or little angels in the night, or in which chair Mary sat.

So this woman in Ireland says the Mary described a new medal and made promises about a devotion to it. I believe Mary said something like, "put a picture of me kneeling before Jesus on the cross, pleading with him, and just write 'the Matrix' on there." I don't know who drew it up for the Irish woman. While there have been miracles ascribed to the devotion, the whole situation is very dubious.

For one thing, every time Mary really does come, she has something new to say. Not this time.

For another thing, like the situation in Medjugorje, which has now come into question, Mary comes again and again. What's wrong with her that she can't seem to get her point across? Again.

The woman also ran right out and started up some sort of Mary prayer center for the whole thing.

On top of that, some people don't believe the woman herself is on the up and up with the donations. And somewhere in there, Mary complains about the Euro. Or the European Union, I can't tell which, or to what she is objecting.

Mary might just as well be saying, "I am Santa Claus, ho, ho, ho."
I'll shut up about it now. Use the Google if you want to know more, but leave me out of it.

I do like that medal, though, I must admit. The back is a little cartoony, but the front is compelling. That's supposed to be Mary herself there in front of Jesus on the cross. That is supposed to be the hearts of Jesus and Mary there on the back.

Thankfully, I haven't been sick in quite some time and have better things to do with my time these days.

One more saint request, please! We are part of a Catholic Homeschool co-op.
This year we will be teaching our elementary group about "Continents" and sharing a Saint from each one. Except we can't find one for Antartica? Or one for the oceans? Any suggestions? Thank you!

I'll admit that Antarctica was a poser.

The oceans, a no brainer. You didn't mean a patron saint for each ocean, did you? The would be much trickier. The oceans: Stella Maris. Mary Star of the Sea.

The jury is still out on Antarctica. For now, I'm going with St. Nick, (speaking of Santa Claus) because, at least he's dressed for it.

23 comments:

Purpleflowerpatch said...

Hi Sister Mary Martha! I really enjoy your blogging.
Does your reader mean they need a saint for Oceania (rather than oceans)? Blessed Mary MacKillop is to be canonised next year (I think), the Holy Father assuring the Sisters in Australia while he was here for WYD.

Mercer's Daughter said...

Sister,
I was raised Baptist. Wasn't even allowed to have Catholic friends. I was scared of God and couldn't understand the need for Jesus. Yet, I had two children and took them to church faithfully, taught them about Jesus and tried my best.
In 1987, my oldest son was shot and killed accidentally by a neighbor boy. He was 12.
God showed me in a vision later that day my son, dressed in a shimmering robe, looking to my right, I looked to see what he was looking at, and saw this woman dressed in gray, very sad, with her arms outstretched to him.
I asked God, "who is that woman with my son?" and then I knew, it was Mary.
In time, my entire family became catholic, we still are 21 years later. Sister, the day I saw Her, I knew for positive that God was love.
No matter what bishops, etc., say, I, a common sinner, was given the gift of Our Lady. It was through Her I found Jesus.
She is MY MOTHER, I love Her and She has helped me through days of crying, times of joy and I'll never ever wonder if God is love, or if there is a Heaven, or why we need Jesus.
I love you,
Victoria

Anonymous said...

Dear Sister,
I want to wear a scapular, however I am allergic to wool. If it was just a matter of a skin rash, no big deal, but I get respiratory symtoms too--throat closes up, I have to be medicated to breathe, and everything. So, as I am shopping for a scapular, I find several places that say if the only "acceptable" or "true" ones are wool and subsitutues are not acceptable. So my question to you, is that a sales tactic, or must they comply to that standard to be "true?" Thanks!

Monica said...

never mind the long leather jacket; I'm going to get me a leather tank top, pants, black sunglasses and a slick hairdoo. Maybe my children will take my threats more seriously.

Ginkgo100 said...

I looked up the Latin word "matrix." It comes from "mater" (mother) and variously means "womb" or "source/origin" (and some other meanings that are probably not relevant). What either of these meanings has to do with Jesus wishing "to mold" is beyond me. Ho, ho, ho.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if she meant "mediatrix" as in Mediatrix of All Graces" and just isn't too bright and got the words mixed up....(when the poor soul made the whole thing up).

denise said...

Based on some of the (forbidden!!) reading I've done about the apparition, I don't think the seer is particularly grounded in Latin.

In modern usage, a matrix can be a mold as in something used to shape something else.

It can be a structural framework.

It is also the stuff that holds other stuff together:
-- tar holding rocks together becomes asphalt
-- oil holding pigment becomes paint
-- dough holding chocolate chips becomes wonderful :)

So, I suppose Matrix might mean something about Jesus wanting to make something of (from?, with?, for?, pick your favorite pronoun?) us.

Sarah said...

Sister, I wonder if you've seen this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fnt-P38ykc4
It looks like something you'd enjoy.

Anonymous said...

SMM, I have a question for you. I just moved in with my protestant half-brother and he was a Associate Pastor not too long ago. HE left because he holds the belief that you cannot lose your salvation after you get it. He has also told people online that he is trying to get the Catholic out of me and I was converting before I moved 3 states away from where I was due to a hard situation and I am in a mostly protestant area and will have to wait to get a job and a car to drive to a Catholic church. I know that both faith and works is necessary but I wonder where the proof is in the Bible so I can use it when and if the subject comes up and because I need to know for myself. My brother preaches to prisoners at the moment. Thank you for your time.

squix said...

Hey, anonymous with the protestant half-brother? You might check out scripturecatholic.com. It's a website chock full of bible verses in defense of Catholic teaching, and I'll bet that they have something about salvation and works/faith.

Sister, I was wondering, if you had any favorite books written by saints?

bill7tx said...

anonymous with the protestant half-brother, another place to check is catholicanswers.com.

Interestingly, our parish priest's homily today (July 27, 2008) touched on this. His homily is online at http://yusefalfonse.blogspot.com/ -- see paragraph 8.

If your brother is going to stick to the "sola scriptura" line, tell him to read Jas 2:14-16 (faith without works is dead). Also Matthew 7:21 ("Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord" will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.") and Luke 6:46 ("Why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?") What does the Lord say? How about the Beatitudes? How about feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, etc. etc. among all the many things Our Lord said we are to do. Faith is certainly the first requirement, but it takes works too.

Also consider:

The only time "faith only" is found in the Scriptures, it says: "You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only." - Jas 2:24

There is such a thing as "an unsaved believer" -- for example, the demons believe, but are not saved - Jas 2:19; there were some who believed in Jesus, but were not saved - Jn 12:42,43; Jesus described a true disciple as one who not only believes in Him, but does what He says - Jn 8:30-32

There are a LOT of places in scripture where we are told that works are necessary to our salvation. Faith is the first requirement but it's not enough by itself. Your brother is simply in error on this point, as are many other people (particularly Protestants, but sad to say there are Catholics who think all they have to do is believe).

Don't expect your brother to give up, though. Just stand your ground. Get a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (it's online if you can't afford to buy a copy) and start reading up. Especially check the scriptural citations in the Catechism. I'll be praying for you.

Jess said...

I have a quick question on The Matrix medal. Does it seem strange to you that the Bl. Mother would be kneeling before the cross, as if she's asking for mercy? Because the Blessed Mother was sinless, did she need God's mercy in the same way that we do?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, hello! I am married to a Baptist and have heard it all. Go to http://www.davidmacd.com/catholic/. It's a site explaining Catholicism to Evangelicals in terms they'll understand. It is clear and kind--not agrumentative at all. Be sure to ask your brother, when he attacks you/your faith, why he's so violent in his approach since violence is not a fruit of the spirit. Why would the spirit move him to such aggressive attacks on someone God created/loves? It makes him look full of anger/hatred, which is not Christian at all.

Anonymous said...

Sister Mary Martha, can you fill me in on novenas? I'm saying one to Saint Anne, and am good on weekdays, but have trouble on weekends. If I skip two days, do I have to start over again? How did novenas come about anyway? Is there one for every patron saint?

I bet you've talked about this before, but I couldn't find it in the archives, and frankly got tired of looking. How hard would it be for the 7th grade boys to set up a search function for the archives? 7th graders are pretty resourceful--especially if there's pizza involved!

tattytiara said...

Interesting stuff beautifully written!

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

About the Matrix: The explanation given by the Santa Clause guy made all the sense in the world to me. It was a point-by-point description of the religious beliefs of Freemasonry which is derived from the old Gnostic heresies, still popular today, especially in science fiction. Nearly all science fiction in the last 60 years has been founded in the dualist philosophies of Gnosticism. When he said "I am the architect", I have to admit that I burst out laughing and said, quite noisily in the theatre, "Oh yes. Of course you are."

Freemasons call their idea of god "the Architect".

Not making it up.

bill7tx said...

I don't know if nuns celebrate the memorial days of the saints whose names they take, but have a blessed St. Martha's day, Sister.

Anonymous said...

I would recommend Our Lady of the Snows for Antarctica.

Smiley said...

Rev Sister,

I suspect some illiteracy doing the rounds.Could it possibly be that Our Lady told the seer Mediatrix and the seer got it wrong and ended up with Matrix?

Anonymous said...

I think Mother Mary's hurt,love and humility is shown by her kneeling beneath the cross begging for mercy from God on behalf of us her sinful children...She weeps for her son Jesus on the cross and at the same time she wants to save us ...We must always thank her always for that

cfneidecker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Its made up by Christina Gallagher form Ireland to con people from their money,shes a false prophet,look her up on the Net.

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