Thursday, May 28, 2020

Science--Revelation of God's Handiwork

    I am beside myself every time I hear someone say something like "I don't care what the scientists are saying I rely on God."  People are using this as a justification for not wearing masks and ignoring stay at home directives.

   Science, my friends, is not opposed to religious belief.  Science merely tells us what the Creator has given us. Many theologians tell us that creation or nature  is the first book of the Bible.  The catechism of the Catholic Church tells us basically the same.

  So what does this mean in terms of the present situation?  For me the good Lord created viruses. He also gave us intelligence.  That intelligence has lead people to learn about viruses and how they spread.  As an intelligent human being I accept that in order to be safe I need to take certain measures. Wearing a mask in public and social distancing is not a political statement, it is following the advice of expert scientists.

   On a deeper level listening to scientists ought to lead to a deepening of our religious convictions.  Understanding evolution and the 13+billion years of the history of the universe for me deepens my faith in a Creator. It also leads me to deepen my understanding of the Christ mystery. The letter to the Colossians tells us "For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on the earth, visible and invisible. . .He is before all things,and in Him all things hold together." (Colossians 1, 16-17). WOW. I look at the images from the Hubble telescope which show the vastness of the universe, the galaxies, stars, planets, the Quasars and the black holes and it challenges me to believe that all this is created in Him.

   I could go on and on but the point of this reflection is to ask people, to challenge then not to think that advances in science that seemingly toss faith out the window actually do so.  If one probes deeper one finds that faith is enhanced




Monday, May 18, 2020

Emmanuel, God With Us

   As the pandemic continues and churches re-open slowly I believe that there are lessons to be learned. I am not speaking of lessons to be learned about the virus and restrictions although I do think that too many people failed to understand that federal and state governments were not simply trying to control us. They were, and in some cases, are, trying to protect us. As Catholics we balance the common good with individual rights.  Too many folks left out the common good part of the equation.

   I am writing this piece to suggest that there are some things we can learn about being Church. Since the Second Vatican Council we have been giving lip service to the fact that WE are the Church, the Body of Christ, the People of God. Do we really believe that if we start making statements about government taking away our right to worship.  Granted, the Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life for us Catholics.  That doesn't mean that when we can't have the Eucharist and the other Sacraments that we are not connected with our God.  Scripture teaches us that where two or three are gathered the Lord is in our midst. It also tells us that when we feed the hungry, help the sick, etc. we are doing it for Christ. Then there is the fact that when the Lord at the Last Supper said, "Do This in Memory of Me" He also meant to wash one anothers feet just as He did for us.  The Sacraments are not just rituals that we participate in, they are mysteries that we live.  We can be a Eucharistic people even if we cannot go to Mass.

   To some extent we priests have failed to educate the laity and empower them into living the priesthood of all the faithful.  Likewise in helping families to see that they are indeed a domestic church.  These are not just words but indeed are the realities of our faith.

    When the virus has passed, which won't be for a while yet, I pray that we grow in realizing that Church is not a building but a great mystery that we live every day.

Moving Out and Moving Ahead Cautiosly