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PicturePictureFrom time to time we discuss how the supernatural seems periodically to "inflect" itself into our paradigm -- onto physical objects, or in luminosity. The most famous examples are the Shroud of Turin and the image of Mary at Guadalupe.

If Heaven has done that, why not also -- and more frequently -- on a smaller scale?

Here, of course, we get to the area where secularists like to have a field day with those who -- undaunted -- are "fools for Christ": more willing to believe than take a route that is hyper-skeptical. It's tough to find a balance, but it is usually better to believe than not believe, one Pope reportedly said centuries ago. Many argue that "miraculous" images are in the eye of the beholder -- that we see things as we want to see them. But one may ask: isn't that also true of science and politics and many perceptions? Despite the tones of certainty in textbooks, scientists argue over just about everything.

One of countless recent examples of "inflections" is at the left of a heart-shaped stain that appeared on a purificator cloth at Ascension Church in Hurricane, West Virginia, on the Feast of the Epiphany, as reported by the pastor, Neil Buchlein. It is a church of only four hundred and is able to support 24-hour Adoration. Father Buchlein said he immediately felt it was a sign and after Mass discretely alerted Mass-goers to the shape, watching as they reacted as he had.

PictureNoted a woman named Mart Cetera on father's blog: "I wash purificators and other Mass linens at my church. Never has there been any stain even close to this. Jesus in the Eucharist is pure Love, and this helps us to see that and believe. What a gift to the people!" Commented another, Jean Ernster: "This is truly amazing. The upper right part of the heart appears to contain an image of a baby. It almost appears to be that of an ultrasound image of a child in utero. I feel like it is a message that God is with us as we continue to speak and live the truth on the moral issues of our time. Priests must not be afraid to preach the moral truths from the pulpit and the laity must live according to moral truths and not be afraid to stand up for these truths in the face of moral relativism. Praise be to God!"

Added Patricia Ballentine [to Father Buchlein] : "I heard you speak today on Relevant Radio [a network, especially the Drew Mariani Show, well worth listening to] and I humbly submit that God sends us these signs for a simple reason. We sinful humans sometimes need these events to shake us up to really see Him. This purificator is a visible gift of God's love and by sharing this gift you have insured that many of us will treasure the Eucharist so much more. We are often too wrapped up in daily 'stuff' that He has to sometimes be more obvious. I will be forever grateful for your part in being an instrument of His peace.

At left another man, this time in Boston, sees the Madonna on a pole at North Station in Boston. Do we? Do you? Do you see a hand in a picture of the sun [bottom] taken in Upstate New York? Down below on the left is a photo taken by Marissa S. Reyes from California on September 15, 2009, at Scala Sancta in Rome that looks a lot like a dove inside the otherwise dark Chapel of the Popes.

"Here is my story," adds  Tim Hennelly of Arkansas. "It was 1995 and I finally answered Mary’s call to Medjugorje. My dad (a retired Marine lieutenant colonel) asked if he could go with me….awesome! We are in Medjugorje during the latter part of June 1995 (one could hear the artillery firing towards Mostar). Before we left home, my Mom gave me a throwaway camera and asked for pictures. 

"So, as we are in Medjugorje during the anniversary of the apparitions, the crowds are rather large and at daily Mass Dad and I take 'seats' in the center aisle. One day, just prior to Communion, an elderly gentleman sitting in the pew on my right grabs my arm and asks if I can see Jesus. I first thought he meant the Eucharist but then realized by the look on his face that he meant something else. I asked him where Jesus was and he said 'in the tabernacle,' 

"Well, the ciboria had been removed and the tabernacle was empty with the doors open. It was dark and empty inside. This time, more emphatic, he asks in a louder whisper, 'Can you see Jesus?' I had the thought that he wanted someone else to confirm what he was seeing. I was about to disappoint him with my answer of 'no' when to my utter amazement my dad leaned around me and asked the man, 'Can you see Him too?' 

"Not only was I amazed that my former-artillery-officer-with-very-poor-hearing dad heard this gentleman but here I was between two mature adults, one of whom I utterly respect, trust, love and admire, who were seeing Jesus in the tabernacle where I only saw darkness!

"I was not ready for the next shock that occurred. My dad asked me for the camera. Here I was almost forty years old and I never recall having seen my dad take a picture in my life. It was always mom with the camera. He took two photos and gave the camera back to me. His lack of photographic skill showed as in one of the photos you can see the left side of my face in the shot. Yet, that shot confirms that I was looking right at the tabernacle where I was not seeing what those two men saw which clearly appears to be Jesus’ face inside the tabernacle [above, right]." 


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