Since starting this blog I’ve noted a few times (here’s an example) the amazing desire on the part of folks to see Mary in…anything at all. I imagine you could gather a weekly example of someone finding Mary in this, that, or the other thing, if you looked diligently enough. Yes, the Lord Jesus gets spotted a good bit as well, and while that is pretty silly (I saw an item on the news last week where the shadow from an otherhead spot going past a fake tree had become a vision of Jesus in a Protestant church), it is at least understandable because, after all, He is confessed to be divine. But Mary—well, let’s face it, Mary is divine for many faithful Roman Catholics, too. Put all the fine disctinctions aside, forget about hyperdulia and the like, many worship her. So it is not surprising when they manage to spot her hiding on stucco walls and on freeway underpasses or in the reconstituted water stains made by Palm trees on bank building windows or in yucca branches down on 16th Street.
   But someone may be onto something now. Here’s an AP story about a new twist: a chocolate Mary! Now, I’m sorry, but that’s…chocolate droppings. Nothing more. But hey, have these folks figured out the gold mine they have here? Start cranking those babies out! They’ll be rich before they know it. I remember all the creepy stuff they had at that Marian shrine down in Clearwater at the former Ugly Duckling Car building where Mary showed up in the window for a while, so I’m sure there would be a market for a chocolate Mary thing–especially since you don’t have to worry about actually making it look like anything in particular. Just get that basic drooping shape thing going and poofo, instant popularity.
   I feel badly for simple folks who fall into this idolatry, I really do. But I put the blame where it belongs: Rome. All of Rome’s intricate distinctions mean nothing when the simple fact is that she encourages idolatry. And as I have said many times before, I am so thankful that I am completely convinced that the real Mary has no idea whatsoever what is done in her name down here. Her heart would be broken.

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