Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Beauty, Science, and a Crazy Idea

I live in a world full of wonders. Many were hidden from human sight until very recently - some, because they were too big or too small for us to notice easily; others, because they make their presence known in ways that don't directly affect our senses.

We're not supposed to worship the physical world. That would be idolatry: and a very bad idea. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2097, 2112-2114)

But recognizing beauty in God's creation? The Catholic Church is okay with that.

The Beauty of the Universe - - -

"The beauty of the universe: The order and harmony of the created world results from the diversity of beings and from the relationships which exist among them. Man discovers them progressively as the laws of nature. They call forth the admiration of scholars. The beauty of creation reflects the infinite beauty of the Creator and ought to inspire the respect and submission of man's intellect and will."
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 341)

- - - And a Crazy Idea

Somewhere around the middle of the 19th century, someone got the idea that science was against religion, and religion was against science. The notion's nuts, but it caught on and a remarkable number of folks believe it to this day.

Here's what someone from the Vatican Observatory had to say about science and a crazy idea:

"Interview with Br. Guy Consolmagno"

catholicnewsagency, YouTube (March 8, 2012)
video, 2:49

I posted about that on Friday. Here's more, from the CNA article:
"Vatican astronomer: Science one of the best ways to know God"
Hillary Senour, CNA (Catholic News Agency) (March 8, 2012)

"...Despite people often having the 'crazy idea' that science and religion conflict, science is 'really one of our best principles for getting to know God,' he [astronomer for the Vatican Observatory, Brother Guy Consolmagno, S.J.] told CNA....

"...Those who believe in God should not be afraid of science, but should see it as a an opportunity that God gave humanity to get to know him better.

"Br. Consolmagno said that he believes in God, 'not because he is at the end of some logical chain of calculations' but because he 'experienced what physics and logic can show me but cannot explain: beauty and reason and love.'...

"...He spoke of the faith needed to embrace Christianity and said that although other world religions and philosophies can give us a rational view of the universe, 'only the Gospel could tell us that Reason itself became flesh and dwelt among us' in the form of Jesus Christ.

"The Incarnation is remarkable because it happened, Br. Consolmagno said, and also due to the way it occurred. In coming into the world as an infant, God 'exercised a kind of supernatural restraint' which still respected the laws of nature...."

Science, Faith, and Getting a Grip

I've been over this before - quite a bit. Science and technology won't solve all our problems. But they're okay, and ignorance of this astonishing creation isn't a virtue. (March 5, 2012)
"The heavens declare the glory of God; the sky proclaims its builder's craft."
(Psalms 19:2)

"Beyond these, many things lie hid; only a few of his works have we seen.

"It is the LORD who has made all things, and to those who fear him he gives wisdom."
(Sirach 43:34-35)

"...the things of the world
and the things of faith
derive from the same God...
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 159)

"...Science and technology are ordered to man, from whom they take their origin and development; hence they find in the person and in his moral values both evidence of their purpose and awareness of their limits."
(Catechism, 2293)
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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.