Real Science

In honor of the 733rd anniversary of the death of the great scientist, Bishop Albert, let’s recall paragraph 34 of Holy Father’s encyclical on our faith in divine love:

The light of love proper to faith can illumine the questions of our own time… One who believes may not be presumptuous; on the contrary, truth leads to humility, since believers know that, rather than ourselves possessing truth, it is truth which embraces and possesses us. Far from making us inflexible, the security of faith sets us on a journey; it enables witness and dialogue with all.

…The light of faith is an incarnate light radiating from the luminous life of Jesus. It illumines the material world, trusts its inherent order and knows that it calls us to an ever widening path of harmony and understanding. The gaze of science thus benefits from faith: faith encourages the scientist to remain constantly open to reality in all its inexhaustible richness. Faith awakens the critical sense by preventing research from being satisfied with its own formulae and helps it to realize that nature is always greater. By stimulating wonder before the profound mystery of creation, faith broadens the horizons of reason to shed greater light on the world which discloses itself to scientific investigation.

One thought to take from this paragraph: When we believe in God, we recognize that the material world is something He made according to His infinitely intelligent plan. We, too, possess intelligence. So we can harmonize ourselves with the intelligent order of the material world.

Albert the Great Septicentennial StampThis is what science really is: Not controlling the world, but harmonizing ourselves with it, in a reasonable way. This is what medicine really is: Not controlling our bodies, but harmonizing our minds with them, in a reasonable way. We can read in nature and in our own bodies the plan of the higher intelligence that made all of it, provided we are humble enough to admit that we need to learn in this way.

As St. Albert knew and taught, true science flows from this first step: Our humble acknowledgement that our intelligence is not the highest. Science = seeking to learn something about the much-higher intelligence with which the Creator ordered His creation.

Contraceptives, Medicine, and Conscience

Man has in his heart a law written by God. To obey it is the very dignity of man. According to it, he will be judged. (Vatican Council II)

[Rated PG-13]

Lately I have read somewhat widely regarding the federal-government mandate requiring free contraceptives. Forgive me, but B.S. alarms are ringing in every corner of my poor, little mind.

According to what law does the federal government have the authority to require this? I ask this in earnest, as I am no scholar of the “health-care debate.” Does it pertain to the vigilance of the federal government to control American medicine? Of course we must have laws prohibiting abuses.

But, in fact, contraceptives do not qualify as medicine. Being able to have a baby = healthy, not sick. To go to a doctor and say, “Doctor, I want to have sex and not get pregnant”—this does not qualify as a medical request.

An honest doctor would have to reply to such a request with a laugh and then a fatherly/motherly admonition: “My child, allow me to recommend better ways for you to spend your time…” (e.g. reading, hikes, frequenting church, frisbee golf, etc.)

Using artificial contraception is immoral because of the following fact: It is beneath the dignity of any human being to waste time masturbating.

Continue reading “Contraceptives, Medicine, and Conscience”

The Virgin on our Side

Four hundred seventy-seven years ago today, Our Lady came to our side of the world to let us know that she loves us just as much as she loves people in the eastern hemisphere.

Here is part of the account of what happened:

The image our Lady left on St. Juan Diego's cloak
The image our Lady left on St. Juan Diego's cloak

Juan Diego set out on his way, now content and sure of succeeding. [The Virgin had asked him to go to the Bishop and tell him that she wanted a church built in Tepeyac.] On arriving in the Bishop’s presence, he told him: “My lord, I did what you asked. The Heavenly Lady complied with your request and fulfilled it. [The Bishop had asked for a sign to prove the truth of Juan Diego’s message.] She sent me to the hilltop to cut some Castilian roses and told me to bring them to you in person. And this I am doing, so that you can see in them the sign you seek.”

He immediately opened up his white mantle, and as all the roses scattered to the ground, there was drawn on the cloak and suddenly appeared the precious image of the ever virgin Mary, Mother of God, in the same manner as it is today and is kept in her shrine of Tepeyac.

Also: Are you thinking about seeing a doctor who deals with fertility, conceptions, difficult pregnancies, etc.? Make sure to bring a copy of this Vatican summary with you. (Click on the line with “inglese” to get the English summary.)