A reader asks if I have heard of “Miryam van Nazareth”

…says, “She claims to be channeling the Blessed Virgin” and passes along a few quotes from her that sound like a bunch of gnostic quackery. She concludes: “If you have thoughts, I’d welcome them. I know you don’t chase after visions, but you also wrote a really good book about Mary (which I recommend to lots of people).”

First off, thanks on the books. The one volume version of Mary, Mother of the Son is going through the typesetting phase and will be available in a few months. As to “Miryam” and such claims, the basic rule of thumb I use is “The burden of proof is on the ‘visionary’ to show he or she is not a quack, not on you to waste time trying to analyze her babbling and parsing through the pile of doo on the off chance there might be a diamond in it.” There are plenty of approved private revelations, stick with them. There are far more quacks and cranks than there are real private revelations from Mary.

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  • Gustave

    I’m having some serious trouble reading the phrase “quacks and cranks”. I keep reading “cracks and quanks.” Thanks, Mark.

  • James H, London

    Given that ‘van’ is Dutch for ‘of’ or ‘from’, the name indicates a fruitcake.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    Any time someone claims they are “channeling,” a big red flag ought to go up. Unless they are digging a ditch between two bodies of water that is.

    • TheRealAaron

      That’s exactly what I was thinking. God works with people as people, not simply as objects taking dictation.