I want to thank you for your question. My husband and I have been having conversations about your question since before the weekend.
I very much like discussing strategy, as in how to present the faith to people who are outside the faith. When someone hears about Fatima and they do not want to hear more, are hostile to it, I then know their hearts are hard ground. So what's a good strategy? Know that you can try to take a swing at the hard ground, and then move on, knowing that God can work on their hearts, over decades if need be. Don't feel you have to win them over in a discussion that lasts a week.
I find folks that are hostile to anything Catholic, and are not Christian, usually find all other kinds of things fascinating. UFOs, paranormal activity, mysteries like the pyramids and ancient cultures, etc. If there was a documentary on tv, they would be interested to watch it. However, if scientists discuss the Shroud of Turin, let's say, they would call it brainwashing. Whatever science degree the testers might have, it doesn't count for anything in their mind.
One strategy we (husband and I) liked was to have a discussion just to highlight their own bias, to show themselves how very unscientific they really are.
Offer them this scenario. A meteor has come in a flaming ball landing in the desert. Scientists locate it, bring it to the research lab. The meteor was in 5 pieces, broken on impact, the 5 pieces being different sizes. They weigh each piece carefully and find that each piece weighs exactly the same as the other pieces, plus all 5 together weigh exactly the same as one piece. Regardless if they put 1 piece on the scale, or 3 pieces, the weight is the exact same weight. The scale must be broken. They bring another scale and have the same results. Then another scale is brought in. Somehow this meteor is breaking all the known rules of physics.
Would this situation be of interest to them?
If there was a tv documentary, would they want to watch it?
I would find this story very interesting. Would you?
You know what I am really referring to is the Eucharistic miracle of Lanciano. The blood properties have this characteristic. It's not a pretend meteor on some show like the X Files. It's real, studied by scientists.
- The diagram of this blood corresponds to that of human blood that would have been taken from a human body that very same day. The blood is real. It is made up of five-unequal clots, but each clot weighs exactly the weight of the five clots weighed together, be it 15.85 grams.
Are they still interested in looking into it further?
Of course there's more to the Eucharistic miracle story that is absolutely fascinating.
If all you do is show them how heavily biased they are, you've done something significant. It may open up other conversations, or make them harass you for being some fanatic. The answer is simply "You are not as scientific as you think you are." If they accuse you of being brain washed, the reply is simply that you could accuse them of the same thing, and here's why. You refuse to look at the Miracle of Lanciano for no other reason than that it's Catholic. If it was a meteor that was studied, you'd be all over that."
How do you like that strategy? Does it take a good swing at that hard earth of their heart?
Thanks for the topic. We enjoyed our conversation very much!