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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

We were worried about Sister Mary Fiacre on Sunday because she was in the room while we watched that "tomb of Jesus" thing on the Discovery Channel. We never know how much gets through to her and we feared that the constant and cavalier mention of 'the Jesus family', Jesus and His wife, Mary's bones and Jesus and His son might cause her heart to stop.

We needn't have worried. Even in her quasi twilight state she could have seen through the shenanigans.

I think my heart stopped during it, though, and didn't start up again until I was snapped back to reality by Ted Koppel's hair, which never ceases to amaze me, in the discussion that followed.

It wasn't the silly docudrama that caused my shock. Not the misinformation about Mary, Mara, Miriam and James, not to mention Jesus' son. Not the recreations of the life of Christ or that wacky statistician...don't get Sister St. Aloysius, the math whiz, going on that unless you want to practice some Lenten suffering statistician style, which is to say, you might enjoy having pins in your eyes a little more than listening to her prove her point.

No. It was one little sentence by that Irish priest that they always trot out on the History Channel. They trotted him out for the Jesus tomb docucomedy for one brief and horrible statement. He said that if they could prove, for the sake of argument, that they actual did find the bones of Jesus, it would not shake his faith. Not even a little bit.

I have to wonder in what faith he is involved.

Jesus is in heaven, bones and all. Jesus took His bones with Him to heaven. (You'll have to wait for the Second Coming to do a DNA test. ) That's dogma in the Catholic church, Father Irishman! Are you just following in the 'I believe in Jesus because he was a nice guy" wing of the We're Not Really the Catholic Church? (Notice...I purposely did not capitalize the 'he' referring to Jesus as we are required because Jesus was divine. If He was only a nice guy, there would be no need.)

I'm not sure how anyone could argue that finding the bones of Jesus (which don't exist because they are in heaven inside His body) wouldn't change a thing. It would indeed change everything.

It would mean that the Gospels have at least one series of really big fat lies, starting with the burial of Jesus on through every statement made thereafter. That's no small potatoes.

The pretend theologian from the documentary argued that Jesus may well have risen from the dead, but appeared just as a spirit, so it's all okay. Surely, as a theologian he is aware of Catholic dogma and at the very least the little incident with St. Thomas.

You remember this one: Everyone has seen Jesus up and around except Thomas who declares "I won't believe it until I can stick my fingers in His wounds." At which point Jesus shows up and tells Thomas to go for it.

Bones are included in that story.

We know Jesus was a little different after His resurrection. The disciples didn't always recognize Him right off. He could walk through walls, but He could also knock on the door. You need bones, by the way, to knock on the door. Think about it.

That difference, where He could eat, but He didn't have to eat, is why we say Our Lord had a glorified body and why we believe that we will have one just like it when we are reunited with our bodies in heaven at the end of time.

If Jesus bones were here, then Houston, we have a problem.

But they're not here. They're in heaven.


sister mary alternative said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sister mary alternative said...

i'm oh so glad i don't have dogma. i'm oh so glad i have doctrine.

Anonymous said...

One blogger I read said if it's true we'll all become Jewish, all except Fr. Irishman, I guess. OTOH, if it's all true it proves the Jesus Seminar people wrong who believe Jesus was eaten by wild dogs, and that's a good thing, right?

Sister Mary Martha said...

If the Jesus Seminar people are correct Jesus' bones are only in heaven if dogs go to heaven.

june cleaver said...

My thoughts were-being an Irishman myself-that I should go "Dixie Chicks" on Fr. Irishman. Too bad he is Irish... especially with St. Patty's so soon.

Anonymous said...

Mary's bones also could not be there becuase Mary's body was brought up to Heaven bones and all,too. And how are they going to prove that these really are Jesus' bones? I bet he wasn't the only guy named that.

Kasia said...


Actually, I think the Jesus Seminar guy who put forward the wild dogs theory is the self-same Fr Irishman. I could be wrong.

Sr Mary Alternative, actually dogma and doctrine are synonymous - I've checked two different dictionaries. Unless you're just glad because "doctrine" sounds more highfalutin than "dogma"?...

DCMS said...

That picture of Jesus and Thomas- is it a Caravaggio?

sciencegirl said...

Hi Sister Mary Martha, I was wondering if you could tell me when it is best to pray the Divine Office or the Little Office to Our Lady. Do you say them both, or switch off hours or days?

Anonymous said...

Yes, these types of shows always trot out a CINO (Catholic in Name Only) who was poorly catechized or prideful or both. How sad that a supposed priest made that remark.

cattiekit said...

Yes, my jaw dropped.

And I *yawned*. Prodigiously.

Feel free to remove yourself at any time. Preferably to another planet.

Sister Mary Martha said...

Alvin, you poor dear. What happened to you?

Anonymous said...

This is unrelated to your post, but is perhaps something to post about later: Do you think that if a faithful Catholic (or perhaps more than one) is praying persistently for a non-Catholic who is earnestly Christian and truth-seeking, that conversion to Catholicism is inevitable?

Also, do you consider non-Catholics who are faithful followers of Christ to be part of the true church?

Claire Joy said...

So I'm wondering why you were watching TV during Lent in the first place?

Anonymous said...

Sigh! There really is nothing too mind numbingly stupid to be on television.

It's too dumb to even bother talking about. But if you have to deal with an overly credulous individual who is impressed with this nonsense, here's a voice of sanity to direct them to:


Anonymous said...

Hey, that link didn't come out the way it was supposed to. Let's try again (since I don't know if there's a way to edit a post once it's up).


Anonymous said...

Darn! The end of the link keeps getting cut off. Sorry about that, Sister! Feel free to delete all posts.

Anonymous said...

I am glad somebody watched this program. I just could not bring myself to watch something un-Catholic, so some of the brothers and I went to Bingo at St. Callistus for their Super-Sunday Jackpot. With our meager winnings ($13.50) we lit an electric candle in the church for John Dominic Crossan and had a pizza.


Sister Mary Martha said...

I didn't realize there was a no TV rule in place during Lent. It wasn't basketball.

Speaking of which, my Lenten sacrifice of the second half of the season spared me from witnessing the horrific leg snapping of poor Shawn Livingston, a kid from my neck of the woods, Peoria.

sister mary alternative said...

from dictionary.com
dogma - a specific tenet or doctrine authoritatively laid down, as by a church: the dogma of the Assumption.
doctrine - a body or system of teachings relating to a particular subject: the doctrine of the Catholic Church.
my understanding of the difference is that the r.c. church says, believe this complete and utter nonsense or you're out of the club.
doctrine is teaching, but w/o the nasty consequences. if you put 50 episcopalians in a room, you'd find 50 different beliefs. there's room for questions and no absolute answers. you don't have to check your mind at the door or suspend your disbelief.

sister mary alternative said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sister Mary Martha said...

if you put 50 episcopalians in a room, you'd find 50 different beliefs.

therein lies the problem.

cattiekit said...

sister mary alternative: if you're so smugly wrapped up in your Episcopalian 'doctrine', why come here?

Just to show how *good* you have it compared to us?

No sale, my dear. ;>)

Unknown said...

i come here so i can laugh at the ridiculous beliefs of the r.c. institution. yeah, i got on my high horse there - it's so tempting and hard to resist. i am episc. but went to catholic school and really had the dislike of all things r.c. drummed into me by the antagonistic behavior of the nuns who taught me. they were a piece of work.
i believe that a lot of the older nuns had no calling to the life but were "tithed" to the church by their parents, as in, "bobby, you are going to grow to be a priest when you grow up and mary, you will be a nun." that's what you did when you had 10 or more kids. living the religious life with no vocation makes for one angry math teacher, let me tell you.

cattiekit said...

Too bad for you, jen.

Aren't there enough reality TV shows for you to watch and mock out?

Since you're looking for something to laugh at.

It's a poor sort of person who feels the need to mock another person's religious belief.

I can't even think of what God Himself must think of such a *Christian* as you.

Unknown said...

wait a minute. isn't this whole BLOG a spoof of the ridiculousness of some of the wackier traditions of the r.c. church? i am just joining in on the fun. i do see people leaving comments that make it seem like they take some of these discussions pretty seriously. this is the blog version of the christopher durang play, sister mary ignatius explains it all to you.

cattiekit said...

Y'know, I don't see 'Ster as some kind of comic genius spoofing the Catholic faith as such.

She definitely has a comic gift, but her beliefs are solid and sound.

So, no gag blog here. Sorry.

Arkanabar Ilarsadin said...

My own take of dear Sr. Mary Martha is that she is legit, and funny, and able to poke fun at the things she loves. I can't help but see a deep and abiding affection for the things she discusses, even as she makes me smile and laugh out loud.

"I have never made but one prayer to god, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And god granted it." - Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire, French author, humanist, rationalist, & satirist (1694 - 1778)

Voltaire (an atheist, btw) was right, we are ridiculous. But we're still right.

Anonymous said...

dear sister Mary Martha, it happens that I have insomnia so I read this entry months after you post it (btw. I love your blog). It also happens that I have a good link dealing with Resurrection evidence:


I used this material with some agnostic and atheist people who said they do not believe in the Resurrection. I was first an atheist then an agnostic myself for years.

God bless