Friday, May 17, 2013

Statues, Magic, and Juggling Plutonium

There are folks who ring the changes on 'prosperity gospel' goofiness. The idea that faith, and giving to the 'right' spiritual outfit, guarantees wealth is a bad idea.1

There's also the persistent notion that burying a statue of St. Joseph will magically make your house sell faster or for more money. has a pretty good backgrounder on that bit of folklore. And that's almost another topic.

Despite what you may have heard, Catholics don't worship statues. That's idolatry, and a very bad idea. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2097, 2112-2114)

As for burying a statue, or doing anything else 'magical:' the best-case scenario would be that nothing much happens. The 'pulling a rabbit out of a hat' variety of magic is harmless entertainment. The sort of magic that actually works is not safe. I'd much rather try juggling plutonium in my skivvies. (March 13, 2013)

What the Church says about doing the 'practical' sort of magic is, basically: Don't. (Catechism, 2115-2117)

Driving back from seeing an industrial robot demonstration this week, I let my mind wander: a little. Driving and daydreaming mix about as well as driving and drinking, and that's yet another topic.

Related posts:

1 Individual Catholics can, and have, believed stuff that the Church says is a bad idea. The prosperity gospel is one of them. Bottom line, it's a bad idea. Here's some background:
"...The Renaissance and the Reformation have shaped the modern western individual, who is not weighed down by external burdens like merely extrinsic authority and tradition; people feel the need to 'belong' to institutions less and less (and yet loneliness is very much a scourge of modern life), and are not inclined to rank 'official' judgements above their own. With this cult of humanity, religion is internalised in a way which prepares the ground for a celebration of the sacredness of the self. This is why New Age shares many of the values espoused by enterprise culture and the 'prosperity Gospel' (of which more will be said later: section 2.4), ..."
("Jesus Christ The Bearer Of The Water Of Life," 1.1) [emphasis mine]

"...In a New Age perspective, illness and suffering come from working against nature; when one is in tune with nature, one can expect a much healthier life, and even material prosperity; for some New Age healers, there should actually be no need for us to die...."
("Jesus Christ The Bearer Of The Water Of Life," 2.2.3)

"...New Age training courses (what used to be known as 'Erhard seminar trainings' [EST] etc.) marry counter-cultural values with the mainstream need to succeed, inner satisfaction with outer success; ... some New Age devotees are involved not only to become more authentic and spontaneous, but also in order to become more prosperous (through magic etc.). 'What makes things even more appealing to the enterprise-minded businessperson is that New Age trainings also resonate with somewhat more humanistic ideas abroad in the world of business....they are likely to appeal to those businesspeople who have already been involved with more (secular) humanistic trainings and who want to take things further: at one and the same time for the sake of personal growth, happiness and enthusiasm, as well as for commercial productivity.(46)"
("Jesus Christ The Bearer Of The Water Of Life," 2.4) [emphasis mine]

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.