For if they so far succeeded in knowledge that they could speculate about the world, how did they not more quickly find its Lord?

Sarah and I attended a lecture at the seminary Thursday night.  The topic was Science and Religion – The Myth of Conflict and was given by Dr. Steven Barr, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Delaware.  My wife, who has been around science her entire life, has dedicated her professional career to teaching science in both high school and now grade school.  She is a firm believer that the study of science only supports her deep faith in God and has always incorporated the religious aspect of science in her classroom.  She sat on the edge of her seat the entire lecture.  I, on the other hand, have a strong belief in Thursday night football and reluctantly went with my wife to this lecture.  Neither of us were disappointed with the lecture.  Dr. Barr didn’t talk over our heads – well, my head anyway – and was able to make his point rather clearly about how science and all of its wonderful discoveries only further unlocks the wonders of our Creator.

A couple of comments he made really hit home with me, but the most poignant one he gave relates back to the book of Wisdom, which we have been reading from all week in our “First Readings” at Mass.  The passage he referred to in his lecture Thursday night was from the 13th Chapter of Wisdom.  The point he stressed to us was that this was written to chastise the Greek philosophers (the scientists) of that time – about 50 years before the birth of Christ.  They, the Greek philosophers considered gods as “fire, or wind, or the swift air, or the circuit of the stars, or the mighty water, or the luminaries of heaven, the governors* of the world...” Wisdom 13:2.  Wisdom goes on to tell them – us – that these phenomena they consider gods are merely works of the true author – our Creator – God himself.  Dr. Barr stressed that all works, all science leads back to one source – God the Creator.  He was very clear that faith, science and religion are all in harmony with each other, as they well should be.

Using faith, science, religion as a guide – take another look at yesterday’s reading from the 13th chapter of Wisdom…

All men were by nature foolish who were in ignorance of God,
and who from the good things seen did not succeed in knowing him who is,
and from studying the works did not discern the artisan;
But either fire, or wind, or the swift air,
or the circuit of the stars, or the mighty water,
or the luminaries of heaven, the governors of the world, they considered gods.
Now if out of joy in their beauty they thought them gods,
let them know how far more excellent is the Lord than these;
for the original source of beauty fashioned them.
Or if they were struck by their might and energy,
let them from these things realize how much more powerful is he who made them.
For from the greatness and the beauty of created things
their original author, by analogy, is seen.
But yet, for these the blame is less;
For they indeed have gone astray perhaps,
though they seek God and wish to find him.
For they search busily among his works,
but are distracted by what they see, because the things seen are fair.
But again, not even these are pardonable.
For if they so far succeeded in knowledge
that they could speculate about the world,
how did they not more quickly find its Lord?

For from the greatness and the beauty of created things
their original author, by analogy, is seen.

What a beautiful statement!  What a beautiful fact!  How can that not be incorporated into every curriculum taught in our Catholic schools.  Looking for more support?  Turn to our Psalm from yesterday…Psalm 19.

R.(2a) The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day pours out the word to day,
and night to night imparts knowledge.
R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
Not a word nor a discourse
whose voice is not heard;
Through all the earth their voice resounds,
and to the ends of the world, their message.
R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

Alleluia

So if the heavens proclaim the glory of God – what is keeping us from doing the same?  Day pours out the word to day and night to night imparts knowledge.  Thank you Dr. Barr for a beautiful evening of proclaiming the glory of God.  And thank you Sarah and any other teacher, who proclaims the glory of God in all that you teach to our children.

Do something great for our Lord today – get outside and enjoy the great works of God.  Our life is a great read because the author of our life, our world, is the perfect Creator.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

But you man of God, chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness.  Compete well for the faith.

One thought on “For if they so far succeeded in knowledge that they could speculate about the world, how did they not more quickly find its Lord?

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