Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

     Of the thousands of saints whose feast days are celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church, just two are birthdays: the Blessed Virgin Mary (Sept. 8) and St. John the Baptist (June 24).
    So, it's quite interesting to me, that my friend, Jere, who is part atheist and part agnostic shares a birthday with the Blessed Virgin Mary.
    "I don't believe Jesus was anything like people say. It's common sense," said Jere, when I asked him the reason for his beliefs.  "The stuff they said he did people can't do. These were stories written by people and passed on. I think it's still fiction."
   Jere said that religion was made up by humans, who didn't know the answers to certain questions, so that people wouldn't be afraid or, in some cases, to keep them afraid. But, what about miracles? Jere said they just happen. It's not the doings of a higher power.
  Jere is an intelligent guy, has written successful mystery novel, and has one of the most popular Red Sox blogs in the world.
    "I do believe living things are connected," Jere noted. "Like all the life around us, trees, animals, etc, we're all part of the same system, all that bullshit. I think there's a better chance we can change things with the power of thought than that some invisible god can change things."
    Am I wrong for believing in the Blessed Virgin Mary? She was conceived without sin (Immaculate Conception) as a special grace from God who selected her to be the mother of his Son. Her parents were Joachim and Anna.
    The house where she was born in Nazareth is said to be where the Annunciation took place. And through legend we know that the house is now in Loreto, Italy, hence Our Lady of Loreto.
   To me, it is comforting to think of the Virgin Mary when I miss family members who have passed on. It provides hope.
   Jere explained that he has his own theories about death and that most people believe the same thing, but interpret it differently.
  "What they call a soul, I call a conscience," he added. "It's what you perceive. In your mind, as you're dying, life stretches into infinity. These religious people rely on a Heaven that is beautiful. Why can't my way be beautiful? The memories that you have of a person who dies stay here and I think that's a beautiful thing."

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