In other news, I just went to a lecture on the Shroud of Turin and, guys, this thing is AMAZING. I took some notes that I’ll share with you all. They’re not very detailed, but there are definitely books and DVDs and other things out there that are full of information on the Shroud.
On the authenticity of the Shroud:
- The burial style is consistent with Jewish burial customs of the time.
- The image is a negative image (which is why the negative looks more life-like) which contains distance information (i.e. how far away the skin was from the cloth when the image was made).
- There are no substances on the cloth to account for the image. Period.
- The image does not penetrate through the cloth (unlike the blood stains and water stains). In fact, the image only penetrates the top 2 microfibers of the threads!
- The weave of the shroud is unique: a 3-to-1 herringbone pattern twill. This cloth would have been very rare and therefore very expensive. (Bought by Joseph of Arimathea, a rich man??)
- The blood stains are confirmed to indeed be human blood, blood type AB, not whole blood but “blood clot exudates” (so basically blood/fluid seeping from clotting wounds) consistent with the injuries of a man who was killed upright.
- Using pollen samples found in the shroud, experts estimate that the cloth originated in Israel within “10-20 km east and west of Jerusalem.”
- Dirt samples from the shroud (only located in the knee and feet areas) are consistent only with soil from the Damascus gate of Jerusalem!
- The carbon-dating controversy: the sample taken for C-14 analysis was not art of the original shroud! It was part of a repair job done in the middle ages. (The repair cloth contains cotton fibers, whereas the original cloth does not.)
So it’s pretty clear that the Shroud is authentic—but how do we know that it’s Jesus??
- Crown of thorns on his head
- Severe scourging, from neck to ankles
- Crucified (Note: it was uncommon to be scourged and crucified. Usually sentences would be one or the other.)
- Legs of the crucified man were not broken
- Blood stain from a wound in his side
- No stains of decomposition on the fabric
- It would have been quite unusual for a crucified man to have an individual burial (usually they would be thrown into a common grave), much less with a very expensive cloth.
So… I’m convinced. How about you?
Not to oppose error is to approve it; and not to defend truth is to suppress it; and indeed to neglect to confound evil men, when we can do it, is no less a sin than to encourage them.
Monday, September 23 is the feast of Saint Padre Pio:
"The person who meditates and directs his thoughts to God, Who is the mirror of his soul, tries to know his faults, attempts to correct them, moderates his impulses, and puts his conscience in order."
"Never complain about offenses no matter where they come from; remember Jesus was overwhelmed by the infamy and malice of the people whom He, Himself, had helped."
"Doesn’t the Holy Spirit tell us that as a soul approaches God he must expect temptations? Well then, my dear child, have courage, fight well and you will have the prize reserved for the strong-hearted."
"When I speak of gentleness, I don’t mean permissiveness. That, never! I simply mean that discipline, which should never be neglected, should be rendered kindly."
From the “Daily thoughts of Padre Pio”: http://www.padrepiogroup.org/
The human spirit without the flame of divine love tends to reach the level of the beast, while on the other hand, charity, the love of God, raises it up so high that it can reach even to the throne of God. Give thanks without ever growing weary for the liberality of such a good Father and ask Him to increase holy charity more and more in your heart.
- St. Padre Pio (Letters II, p. 77)
Great love can change small things into great ones, and it is only love which lends value to our actions.
Our Lord loves you, and He loves you tenderly.