So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Miracle Detective: An Investigation of Holy Visions. Randall Sullivan

Randall Sullivan spent eight years researching and examining the miraculous apparitions at Boardman Oregon, Scottsdale Arizona and Medjugorje in Bosnia. The results is one of the best books on the phenomenon of miraculous apparitions ever to be written. Although he starts locally with Boardman, he spends most of his time in Medjugorje and Rome.

Medjugorje is undeniably the most important miraculous appearance of our time and is often compared to those at Lourdes and Fatima. Sullivan provides wonderfully balanced reporting, while at the same time he is open enough to show how his interviews have personally influenced him. He does a wonderful job of presenting the many points of view on these events, yet is always reaching for the objective truth behind the presentations of the seers, the Church, the theologians, the believers, and the scientists.

My favorite chapter comes towards the end of the book when he interviews Father Benedict Groeschel. He quotes Groeschel as saying:

"If you no more than dismiss these things, you're simple an obscurantist. If you mindlessly embrace them, you're just a dope. we have to resist the obsessive-compulsive demand for a clear, definitive answer to these questions. This is a field for people who don't have to have it all figured out, who don't need it cast in black and white. There's a lotta gray mist around this stuff, and you have to be prepared to deal with that. Once in a while a bright, shining lightcomes through, and we should be grateful for it. Because the rest of the time we have to feel our way through the twilight."

If you have an open mind, I recommend this book. However, if you come to it to either prove or disprove a preconceived idea, you will probably feel upset with the author's approach.


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