Saturday, June 26, 2010

Opus origins, obedience...

Today marks the 35th anniversary of the death of 'the most recently deceased Saint': Josemaría Escrivá, founder of Opus Dei. Forgive my cynicism but he was probably made a saint purely out of gratitude that he kept up the Catholic Church's 'way of God' popularity by maintaining that "ordinary human life is a path to sanctity", or by 'Finding God in daily life' (*see below). And by empathising with those he spoke to, being enthusiastic and, in the words of John L. Allen, "his effervescence, his keen sense of humor. He cracks jokes, makes faces, roams the stage, and generally leaves his audience in stitches in off-the-cuff responses to questions from people in the crowd"...bit of showmanship then? Bit of pathos? Well, all that and blind obedience. Opus Dei has a dubious histroy in politics and is not without it's critics:
"Early Opus Dei flourished in the atmosphere of religious fervor within the winning side of the Spanish Civil War. Its founder, Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, was a strong supporter of the "Crusade" as the Spanish bishops labeled the war."
The reason that this year may be different is that hopefully we will finally see the release of There Be Dragons, starring amongst others the lovely Olga, which of course means that even if the film is crap (though I doubt it), I won't care; hey, with that attitude I could be in OD!

* What I mean is that the Catholic Church would always be grateful to anyone for 'normalising' their religion. Decades and decades of scientific advances go hand in hand with falling numbers of church members so anyone that convinces others that all the simple, daily things (a falling leaf, a new flower, being with friends, a drop of rain, cooking a meal blah, blah, blah) are really God's work must be a saint, right? OK, I'm waffling now but a simple anedote of how warped all this shite is - to me - was a church in Ecuador with a small chapel inside with those gawky bright coloured murals with an eye in a star with the painted 'rays shining down', dedicated to God because he had saved the village by sending them the cure...of a raging plague that had lasted weeks and killed most of them. Nice.

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Paul said...

Did you see Olga in Max Payne? She certainly knows how to almost wear a pair of knickers.

I find the whole modern Saints thing a bit baffling but then I suppose Mother Theresa and the Dali Lama are really modern saints in a way.

The power of religion on a philosophical level does make sense but ultimately it strikes me as a form of subjugation rather than freedom from the banalities of everyday existence. To beat somebody with the stick of religion, on the grounds that the afterlife will somehow make the crap you've had to endure whilst alive all worthwhile, is morally wrong in my opinion.

Les Paul Junior said...

Religion is, as far as I can see, what people make of it. It can be used for great good or great harm depending on who is practising it.

Span Ows said...

Exactly right Shytalk but it carries so much baggage with. And to amke matters worse, look at the Pope today, decrying the raids against child abusers in belgium. Jeez. What would that Jesus fellow have said (or done) about that!

Paul..that red dress ooooh! I know she was killed off after 5 minutes but it's still wonderful! Clearly unbelievable fiction: I mean he'd NEVER have really kicked her out!

Mother Teresa has been beatified so canonisation COULD come along in our lifetimes...that's the stupidity, arguing about miracles FFS.

I think relgion needs to wind its neck in. It was all-powerful for centuries using a darn sight more than a stick at times but as scienc emoved on and populations became educated the less fear there was.

Span Ows said...

Just seen you posted after the football Shy, were you praying for understanding of the English defence?