This past weekend a man was sharing with me an excerpt from a news article written about a Catholic woman selling her home in Black Hawk, which is a very upscale community to live in that is east of Danville and north of San Ramon (California). It chronicled a practice that I had never heard of when I was Catholic. Besides finding the practice laughable, I was also dumbfounded that anyone would believe in, let alone actually act on, such a practice.
What I am referring to is a well-documented prayer that Catholics are told to make to ensure selling their homes speedily.
Here are three links as proof:
And in this article, the supposed history of this practice is discussed. So what is this practice and why am I so appalled by it? Essentially, the Catholic home seller acquires a small statue of Joseph (the step-father of Jesus) and sticks it upside-down in the ground facing the For Sale sign. Then the seller says a prayer that is essentially extortion—I’ll dig you up when you get the house sold for me—and make sure it sells quickly.
Besides the outright extortion, this is wrong on so many other levels. For starters, let’s assume that St. (Saint) Joseph is in heaven and looking down. He sees someone take a plastic figurine of him, stick it in the ground head first, then pray “I’ll dig you up when you sell the house.” If I were Joseph, I’d be incensed at the extortion attempt. I’d also be laughing heartily knowing that a piece of plastic in the ground has no effect on me. To “put the fear of God in them,” I’d probably remove the plastic figure and place it on their dinner table with a note: “How would you like it if I stuck you in the ground upside-down?”
Now consider the instruction that the figurine must not only be buried head first, but also with the body facing the For Sale sign. Really?! Come on now, you can’t be serious. Do you mean to tell me that Joseph (up in heaven) cannot see the sign unless the plastic figurine is facing it? Does he only see through the statue? Logic and simple reasoning show how utterly ridiculous this is.
According to some websites on this practice, it is claimed this extortion actually works. How would one, how could one possibly measure such a thing? If it did work, does that mean that St. Joseph was afraid of having a plastic statue of himself in the ground? If I were in heaven and someone stuck a statue of me in the ground I would find it laughable to think that such a thing could or would have any effect on me personally. If I didn't put it on the seller’s table, I’d say to myself, “I am not doing anything for such a rude, thoughtless person. Let that plastic statue rot for all I care.”
But amazingly, some continue to be duped by this practice. It is no wonder that God, the Bible, faith, and yes, even life itself, were so confusing to me when I was Catholic. After making an intelligent research of the Bible and leaving the unscriptural, amoral practices of my former religion behind, everything started making so much sense that I felt as if I were having my eyes opened for the first time. Now, when I hear things like the practice mentioned above, I shake my head and wonder how otherwise reasonable people could actually believe things of this sort.