13 September 2007

Still time to get your lottery tickets

Have bible study this morning, so not much time to post. Thought this was an interesting take on Creation vs. Evolution. It's from an old book we inherited from my husband's great-grandmother. She was a very devout Catholic who raised her family in the woods of Northern Minnesota without any running water or electricity; no heat, no lights. Her son, my husband's grandfather, fell away from the Catholic Church and the rest of the family is what I would describe as Agnostic Lutheran or LINO. Almost like a Cafeteria Catholic, they cling to the faith they were raised in (in name only), even though they disagree with it.

The family described Great-Grandma as a "Holy Roller." Although I never met her, I think she was a saint. So much like St. Monica; abusive husband, wayward son, etc. Since we are the only Catholics in that branch of the family, we inherited the Catholic items. Not that there are too many, since the family was very poor, but there are some relics I have been trying to get my hands on for over five years now. When my husband's great-uncle was put in a nursing home, and he didn't marry or have children, this branch of the family looked after him and his material goods. When my husband's aunt asked us to come over and help her go through his things, I explained to her then what the relics were. Told her they were very important to a Catholic, but wouldn't mean much to anyone else. Aunt said she would set them aside for us and we would get them when Great Uncle died.

After Great Uncle passed, the relics suddenly were missing. Aunt couldn't remember anything about them. No recollection. I asked her about every six months if she had come across them in Great Uncle's things, but she always acted like she had no clue what I was talking about. Oddly, when I asked her more recently, she said that she had given them to my MIL (even though I had been asking for them repeatedly). A few weekends ago, I asked my MIL about the relics and she didn't know what I was talking about. Finally, after I described them numerous times and was at the point of drawing her a picture, she finally exclaimed, "OH, the disks!" I really don't care what she called them at this stage, I just wanted to get my hands on them. Ah, they were in a box of things from Great Uncle. Except a search didn't uncover them. MIL then searched in the basement. Still no relics. I told hubby that since we have a key to their place, my next move is to go over there and find them myself!!! Actually, I think I'm going to say a few prayers to which ever saints the relics are of and ask them to intercede. I am also going to ask my Guardian Angel to help me find them.

Hubby's family thinks I'm weird with my persistence in finding these relics. Let them think I'm weird. They don't even know what they are (disks?), but since I called them "relics" they act like they are some great archaeological find and get weird about me having them or something. I don't want to leave you with the idea that I don't get along with these folks. Actually, I have been quite close to hubby's aunt and get along well with my MIL. However, like it so often happens when someone dies and there are items to inherit, people get grabby and territorial. The relics mean nothing to them and they don't understand them, but if someone else wants them, then they must be valuable, so they resist in giving them to me. Hubby's family...they will turn me into St. Monica.

Sorry, I've digressed way off topic. Here's the clip from the book.

"Let us give chance its due and recognise that it plays a much greater part than we formerly though in the mechanism of natural happenings. The sun, for example, has been there a very long time; but we now believe that chance is involved in the mechanism of his shining, and that he might by chance radiate all away in a flash before tomorrow morning. Chance, in its proper appreciation, is a most important element in the functioning of nature.

Nevertheless, it is a purely negative condition. What happens by chance, happens without order; but mere lack of order does not explain a positive happening, any more than the lack of anything else. One may eat cake because there is no bread, but it is not the lack of bread that provides the cake. Hence, the advocates of chance as the explanation of the universe are compelled to grant a positive force of some kind. They mean, because they cannot mean anything else, that something has produced the universe, by chance instead of with intention. Accordingly, we may accept their forced admission that there is some positive force at work, and then use the present argument to show that that force must be intelligent and not working blindly.

We see all about us, and science shows us, things that are both unities in themselves and also component parts of greater unities. From tiny electrons to the entire universe, all is a hierarchy of beings, each attaining its own proper end and each serving a function as part of the harmonious whole. We ourselves, microcosms, are conscious to ourselves of being unities, to the satisfactory functioning of which our eyes and all our organs contribute, each organ being itself a unity, to the satisfactory functioning of which still smaller unities contribute. All is a wondrous harmony of wholes that are parts of greater wholes, each adapted to its own ends and to the ends of the greater wholes and of the greatest whole. Now, there is an efficient cause of the existence of the universe, as reluctantly conceded by the adversary.

But it is impossible that all the things that are should constitute a harmonious unity, each attaining its end and each contributing to the ends of the whole, if that efficient cause acted at random; because then each being might, with equal probability, have been other than it is, in a strictly infinite number of ways, and it is not merely highly improbable but absolutely impossible that they should constitute a unity. Such a universe would not be a universe but a mere multitude of unlike things, without law or order. Therefore, not at random but by design did the First Cause work; therefore He is an intelligent Being and we call Him God."

The God of Reason, by J. K. Heydon, pp. 128-130.


gemoftheocean said...

I'd just pray hubby's aunt didn't sell them on ebay:

"For sale - some relics, I don't know what they are, but since my nephew's wife would like them, they must be really important and I can get something for them rather than give them to someone who actually cares about them."

Or aunt "really-has-no-clue-what
to MIL."

I'll ask Tony to work on the case. He and I are "tight."

Frustrating. I know the feeling, most of my dad's side is protestant too.


swissmiss said...

I have looked on eBay. I have about four relics currently and don't remember even paying attention to what saints the relics were of, but just trying to ensure that Aunt didn't toss them since she was madly tossing things she deemed worthless. It is really starting to annoy me (hey, it's been over five years, I must be growing in the virtue of patience to have held out this long!).

First, Aunt said she didn't know what we were talking about, then she said to come over and look myself, but didn't make herself available when I could come over (starting to sound fishy, eh?), then remembered what they were and said she thought she had given them to us, then said she knew they were in the Great Uncle's things, now the story is that MIL had them.

MIL did acknowledge having them and that they are DEFINITELY somewhere in her house, garage or on the property SOMEWHERE!!! When she couldn't find them, I was really frustrated and I think she didn't understand why I wasn't in such a good mood after searching and finding nothing!! UGH!!

It galls me to think that these relics are just floating around in a box somewhere, unknown and unappreciated, especially when I took such care to illuminate everyone on what they were and kept asking about them. Guess my interest may be what is keeping them in limbo somewhere. Argh!!! One must've been a first class relics (assumption on my part) because I remember it being in a monstrance type container instead of the usual "disk" containers. Even my husband's cousins, Aunt's kids, thought the relics were cool despite having NO freakin' idea what they are. It's Psychology 101, show an interest in something and suddenly everyone else wants it too!

gemoftheocean said...

Meanwhile, the damn family fruitcake ALWAYS returns to you.... ;-D