Are Signs from Heaven Real?
One of the most famous purposed signs form heaven is a grilled cheese that supposedly bears the face of the Virgin Mary. The woman who made the sandwich immediately viewed it as divine connection and stated that it strengthened her faith. A few years later, she sold it on eBay for $28,000 (source:nbcnews.com). This is merely one of thousands of objects which reportedly have been touched by God and therefore represent a holy figure. There is no scientific way to prove these are of celestial doing and it therefore must be asked, why do people see faces in inanimate objects? Little was known about this phenomenon until a recent study, conducted by the University of Toronto was published.
The Science & Tech section of dailymail.co.uk summarizes the key components of the study's results. According to them, seeing faces in objects is actually hardwired into our brains. It is known as Pareidolia and describes the tendency to structure patterns into a recognizable shape. Researchers in Canada conducted brain scans that show that the frontal and visual cortexes in the brain automatically associate patterns with facial features, such as eyes, nose, and mouth. Because most people aren't aware that this is a natural occurrence, they are quick to attribute it so the supernatural.
Not only can signs from heaven be explained by a simple psychological phenomenon but many also believe that such signs can be dangerous as they often become a means of making money through taking advantage of people's deepest beliefs. The case that best represents this exploitation is that of Little Audrey from 1988-2007. The late Audrey Santo, who was comatose for nearly twenty years after suffering from a near-drowning incident at the age of three, became a money-making miracle business. After her mother reported that statues of Jesus within her home began shedding tears, Audrey was put on display and the family home's garage was converted into a chapel.
People from all over the country came to her house to pay the parents so that they may look upon the bedridden, unresponsive girl and believe the idea that she has healing powers. Guests are also asked to buy merchandise such as mouse pads and T-shirts from the Little Audrey gift shop (source:Penn & Teller episode 38 signs from heaven). Audrey's parents made a small fortune by exploiting their daughter's medical condition and taking advantage of religious people who would believe in what they called a miracle. The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry attributes this case and others like it to greedy miracle makers who have a twisted sense of righteousness. They state that even the most powerful religious institution, the Catholic Church, separates itself from these non-canonic miracles and state that their supposed exchanges with God are not recognized by the church (source:csicop.org).
The beliefs in an omnipotent, celestial being called God necessitates faith. If people truly believed, they would not require miracles to substantiate their faith. However, many people interpret signs as heavenly despite the research that shows it is a result of pareidolia. These signs are also too often turned into a means of making money off of other people's beliefs. Selling the Virgin Mary grilled cheese and Little Audrey merchandise is a modern form of selling indulgences and people who sell or buy miracles need to re-evaluate their moral standings on exploitation.
A personal story of Signs from Heaven do you believe this?
Written By: Kimeko Neil, United States
Useful books on Amazon
How To Go On Living When Someone You Love Dies
This book will be helpful to someone going through a tough time after losing someone dear to them
Heaven is for Real: A Little Boys Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back : more than 8000 copies sold.
Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeons Journey into the Afterlife
Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )