A few notes, as we do every so often (or is it “spasmodically”?).
There is the “Church,” and the “anti-Church.”
Most often, anti-Church is used to categorize radicals and some simply those of a bent that a person might define as liberal.
But what if the “Church” and “anti-Church” pertain to something more foundational?
What if the Church is the mystical Body and the anti-Church is the anti-mystical Church (including all too many of the Church “intelligentsia”)?
We have mentioned before the great irony of Saint Thomas Aquinas, who with Saint Augustine is the theologian most often quoted by theologians.
Somehow they cite thousands of quotes from those two brilliant Church fathers, without mentioning the perhaps inconvenient fact that toward the very end of his life, Aquinas apparently had a vision of the afterlife (perhaps what we now call a “near-death experience”) while celebrating Mass.
After that vision, he said that everything he had written was “as straw” in comparison to the truths made evident in the glimpse of eternity.
“Thomas was not done writing his Summa Theologiae, his definitive work,” notes a biography. ” Though he was used to producing at a furious pace, on December 6, 1272, Thomas just stopped. When his friend Reginald urged him to keep dictating, Thomas replied: ‘I cannot, for everything I have written seems to me like straw.’”
In short, he became a mystic.
He told his secretary: “The end of my labors has come. All I have written appears to be as so much straw after the things that have been revealed to me.” When his friend begged him to finish writing, Thomas insisted: “I can write no more. I have seen things that make my writings like straw.” The saint died three months later.
At the far fringes of mysticism is the question of animals. Do they have a spiritual side?
Countless are the stories of dogs that howl when their owners die — even if the owner is a distance away, in a hospital — or won’t leave their gravesites for weeks. Others claim to have seen pets — dogs, cats, birds — in apparitions after the pets die.
As we said: the fringe of mysticism. But interesting it is the things animals can do that seems all but paranormal (like birds that wing thousands of miles to the exact spot where they roosted for winter a year before), and the notion that, from time to time, spirits not only inhabit or better said infest people but also animals, especially snakes, crows, bats, owls, frogs, swarms of insects, and, for reasons unclear, cats.
In regard to the latter was a recent tabloid-like story of a cat that seemingly became possessed. One has to admit: a photo of it is a bit spooky. And — hold tight — we do mean a bit unnerving.
It’s owned by a “psychic in the Baltimore area who sells real estate and certifies whether not a place is “haunted.”
Her own home, it turned out, seem to have a spirit, especially one corner of her home. Her cat “Killer” yowled oddly anytime it passed the spot. When her beloved Killer died last May, she told the London Mail, “the bumps in the night that had so often startled her awake suddenly stopped completely. There was no more opening or closing of doors all night long, it was the strangest thing,’ she said. ‘The coincidence of it all made me a believer [in ghosts], it’s like Killer took the ghost with him.’”
We’re fairly open-minded here — though also aware that there is “straw” in mysticism also.
Then again, there’s Scripture — and Baalam’s donkey (Numers 22), through which the Lord spoke to him.
If an animal is to be taken over, that’s the spirit you want doing the “possession”!
[resources: The Spirits Around Us]