The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Saturday, August 31, 2019

round two in the supermarket

"So James. You Catholics say that Mary had no other children after Jesus. The Bible says Jesus had brothers."
"The Catholic Church doesn't teach that Mary had no other children."
"It does. I hear you Catholics saying Mary had no other children all the time. It's part of your Church's teaching."
"Look. I'm telling you the Catholic Church does not teach that Mary had no other children. It is a simple assertion of fact. If I'm wrong you'll very easily be able to prove me wrong and I will fall silent and never argue with you about anything again. It's true there are individuals in our church and in other churches who because of what I might deem a certain delicatesse and without the Church's endorsement, insist she had no other children. But it's not church teaching and it's not Biblically based. Maybe they don't like the thought of the Blessed Mother having marital relations. Maybe they think they're being respectful. Yes, they might feel they were being reverent in insisting that Mary had no other children. They might even be correct. I don't know. I wasn't there. But I can tell you, it is not formal church teaching."
"So you agree with us that Mary had other children and that Jesus had brothers."
"I didn't say that. You might be right. You might be wrong. Those who think she had no other children may be correct. I just said if they are correct it's not because of direct instruction from the Church or because the Bible gives a clear ruling."
"You're wrong again James. The Bible does give a clear ruling. The Bible says Jesus had brothers. There's one called James. Then Joset. And Simon. And Jude."
"Yes but the Hebrew word for brothers can mean cousins, kinsmen, close friends, and what have you."
"Oh come on James. Pull the other one."
"Again we're dealing with matters of fact. I'm saying to you without evasion or hedging my words, that a substantial coterie of the best scholars, not me, but the credentialled geniuses of international Academe, Catholic, non Catholic and atheist, maintain that the Hebrews used the word 'brother' to indicate not just blood brothers but kinsmen, cousins, fellows of the same tribe or village or nation, and all sorts of other associates. You know a Muslim once called me his brother. I don't think he was claiming that Lil and Tom had ever dropped a few sprogs in Arabia during a previously unknown visit in the 1950s, and that there's a lost tribe of curiously good looking argumentative Healy Arabs engaging in furious political discourse about the proper interpretation of the Quran right this moment in downtown Riyadh. At no point have scholars been able to determine whether the brothers of Jesus mentioned in the Bible are his cousins or close friends or something else. This is a living discussion and it has gone on among believers for more than a thousand years. It is an open question within the Catholic Church and among other Christians. You know, it's possible for me to see Mary like an old Irish woman who allows half the town to consider themselves her children. I've known such people in my own town. There was a woman in County Laois I knew of who had about a dozen adopted kids as well as four of her own. There's a lawyer in the West of Ireland who always called my parents her Mammy and Daddy. She was mad as a brush but that's not the point. My own rolling of the eyes in this particular case notwithstanding, there is no diminution of the brothers and sisters who are not blood brothers or sisters. The Bible may have been perfectly specific in talking about Jesus' brothers, but it may not have meant specifically what you want it to have meant. The brotherhood is true even if it's not by birth. There are also serious enough scholars who think Josesph might have been an old man and that he might have had other children before he married Mary who were then raised as brothers of Jesus in the same household. You and I may have feelings on this matter, perhaps feelings based on scholarship, even spiritual feelings, even feelings that approach certainty about whether Mary had other children or not. The truth is we don't know."

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Attention Richard Andrews Australian Ambassador To Ireland

----- Forwarded Message -----

To: Austremb dublin <>
Sent: Tue, 27 Aug 2019 23:37:47 +0100 (IST)
Subject: Attention Richard Andrews Ambassador

Strewth Your Bloke-cellency.
I'm at the Speewah in Kilcullen, frying up a few shrimps on the barbie and sending you a line as only a good mate would.
The illegal incarceration and trumped up court proceedings against Cardinal George Pell have disgraced you and your nation in the eyes of the world and before all eternity, Cobber.
James Healy

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

a dose of cold water

One of the neighbours has returned from a visit to Lourdes.
"Did you see any miracles?" I asked her.
I always ask this.
I love the miracles.
They speak to me of the immediacy of God.
He's right here.
The kingdom of heaven is in our midst.
That old gag.
"No," she said.
"No miracles at all?"
"None. I didn't see them anyway."
"Well how about spiritual miracles? Children finding a sudden mysterious strength within themselves to cope with extraordinary difficulties? Enemies forgiving each other? Cripples triumphing over pain? Oul one's faces shining with an inner light that makes them more beautiful than anyone you've ever seen before?"
"I saw nothing James."
"It was all very nice. The army was there. Representatives from armies around Europe. They had a parade. The parade was really good. You'd have enjoyed it."
"I doubt I would. I don't generally enjoy things. But anyway, nothing beautiful of a heavenly, mystical, miraculous nature?"
"Sorry to disappoint you but no. Nothing like that. Oh. There was one thing. A funny little thing. It's not a miracle though. I bathed in the pool. You know the pool. You go into it naked. And when you come out you put your clothes back on straight away. I put mine on and I was completely dry. I mean I got out of the water drenched and I put my clothes on and the clothes weren't even wet. There was no towel to dry myself or anything. The clothes just went on smoothly. Didn't even stick to me. Not a trace of dampness on my skin."
"You just told me you didn't see a miracle."
"Well my husband said it was just atmospheric conditions. You know. That you dry real quick."
"Did you ever hear of anything like that before?"
"Actually I did. I've read of it happening to some visitors at Lourdes. But I've never met anyone who said it happened to them. I didn't want to tip you off when I was asking about miracles as to what I might be expecting."
"I'd never heard of it happening to anyone."

quantum of bowlocks

Today they said...

Richard Feynman (1918 - 1988): "If you think you understand Quantum Mechanics you don't understand Quantum Mechanics."

James Healy: "If Quantum Theory is not understandable, it is not a theory. If it does not fulfill the basic coherent postulatory narrative requirements to be a theory, it cannot represent a true understanding of the nature of reality. Scientists who identify, accept and endorse incomprehensibility as a hall mark of truth are removing from themselves and their theories and their purported examination of the universe, the basic requirements of coherency, logic, observation and truth. Quantum Theory is a hocus pocus novelisation of reality written in pure mathematics. It is a work of fiction."