Oh, the feast day for the apparition of Our Blessed Mother at LaSalette. Mysticism, anyone?
Recently, when in Chicago, we met a devout Catholic with what appears to have a unique charism.
Pictures. Photographs. He gets unusual shots on a constant basis.
One you may have seen on our front page:
Now that’s the sun as we have not previously seen it. (Perhaps you have?)
On the official day for the Virgin’s birthday (September 8), this same fellow, who requests anonymity, took a couple cell shot of a Virgin statue and came up with this:It was not the product of a flash. But you are free to speculate on what is occurring.
No doubt there are those whose excogitation will include “photoshoppery.” That’s for your determination. He certainly isn’t try to draw attention to himself — and seems as baffled as anyone as to why such photos (they are endless) happen to him.
Most recently he wrote: “I was praying for the souls in purgatory, lying down in my dark room. After my prayer, I took a picture of the altar using my cellphone. The image appeared with a thick, cloudy smoke in the background as well as the face of a person on the drawer with a soul kneeling nearby. The souls may be appearing because it serves as a reminder that the month for them is coming. They will still need our prayers.”
Indeed they do!
As for images: are there also… imps?
Yes, we skate at the edge at the mountain with such things. Endlessly, we mention “pareidolia” — when the mind interprets something out of clouds and fog like above and so forth: forms images according to our preconceived notions.
At a retreat in Kansas recently one noted a pattern in the carpet that — if one really wanted to — one could fathom the image (top half of a face, in the middle whitish area) of singer John Lennon, with some not-so-nice faces beneath.
Or really, it is nothing? Do we not see what we’re programmed for?
Those are valid questions. But two points to be made:
Recently, we ran a photo from 9/11 that showed what even secular folks immediately said (many with a gasp) was a demonic face in the smoke of September 11.
In the comments below, over there at Facebook (where sometimes folks get off the wrong side of the bed), one woman declared with no evidence and no qualifier that it was, indeed, “photo-shopped.” She was very assure of that.
The only problem with her supposition: the photo was taken by journalists of television images that came over CNN live, as the event was occurring.
Let’s be careful not to disdain to quickly.
And whatever is or isn’t valid, one recalls that quote from the famous geneticist and philosopher J.B. S. Haldane, who once quipped that “the universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it’s stranger than we can imagine.”
In that aphorism, much truth. How great is our God! How great is He Who is so hidden to us but created all of it!