In today’s newspapers (front page news even!), there is a bit about a nun who wrote down the Pope John Paul II’s name and was cured of Parkinson’s disease. The Catholic church is using this as one of the miracles towards JP’s saint hood. When I read it, I had to do a quick calendar check to make sure it wasn’t 1 April yet – phew. (It will be when this gets posted but never mind) I am not for one second going to doubt she had Parkinsons, nor will I doubt she is now cured.
Now, while I am glad that this nun was cured I think it is remarkably selfish of her to have asked for the cure – surely the fact she had Parkinson’s was part of God’s great plan? Is it not arrogant of her to ask to be “cured” of the same ailment John Paul II was suffering from? Is the suffering not the way God “tests” his followers?
When I read this, I couldn’t help but think of the “Why Wont God Heal Amputees?” web site. What is so special about this nun that JP2s powers were spent healing her? This is especially strange when he could have been doing so much more. 2005 was a harsh year, and surely there were millions of the faithful begging for help in one way or another. I mean, it is not as if he isn’t capable:
On June 2 2005, two months after the pontiff’s death, Marie-Simon-Pierre accepted her condition was so bad that she would have to resign from work. It was a difficult decision, being from a deeply observant Catholic family of five in northern France she had always felt a calling to serve in maternity. Her superior told her not to give up hope. “She asked me to write Jean Paul II on a piece of paper to give me strength. I didn’t want to write in front of anyone because I had such difficulties, and if someone was watching me, it would be even harder. But I wrote Jean Paul II. It was almost illegible.” Later the nun was “seized by a need to write”. It was such an unusual urge that she couldn’t even find a pen to hand. She wrote a few lines. “I looked at my writing and thought that’s funny, your writing is very readable.”
In the morning she was aware of a lack of the usual stiffness and pain. She said she felt an “inner strength”. She went to the chapel at 4am, with none of her usual difficulty walking. “I realised that my body was no longer the same. I was convinced that I was cured.
Seriously, if you were a saint, would you waste time healing nun’s in the backwaters or would you be putting paid to hunger, disease and the like all over the world?
Are saints limited in what they can do? (And if so, why and how much?). Is God a bit jealous about what powers he lets them have – if so, can some one in the Church have a word with God and tell him to unclench a little. How about the millions of people who died during that time – why couldn’t JP2 have saved them?
Maybe, just maybe, we are in fact slipping back to the eleventh century. The Catholic Church is indeed favoured by God and it’s workforce get special privileges. Time to get down to church, hand over some money and ask for a few indulgences. Obviously these guys and gals have the hotline to God and his saints, which no body else does.