“You won’t find faith and hope in a telescope.”

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Catholic-link.com – “You won’t find faith or hope down a telescope. You won’t find heart and soul in the stars. You can break everything, down to chemicals, but you can’t explain a love like ours.”

We all need to “find some meaning in the things that we believe.” This search for meaning, for something that explains what we experience beyond just the material things, is nothing new in the drama of every human life; yet, many today tend to doubt that authentic answers exists or can be reached. Even those of good faith, those determined to live a good life, aren’t so convinced that genuinely solid answers are within our grasp.


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Understanding this is vital for our apostolate, both for others and ourselves. We are all sons and daughters of our times and are affected by it in a significant way. Now, very little of our environment speaks to us of “stability” or “security.” No truth seems to be able to resist the power of doubt and the promise of novelty. This situation of constant and fluid change, whether we realize it or now, effect us in in all sorts of ways: our emotions, our way of our thinking and knowing, our relationships, etc.


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Faith without science?


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Now some might be tempted to say, “I have my faith and that’s enough, that’s my source of security.” And, while faith is truly the ultimate source of our security, the Catholic Faith always rejected opposing faith and science, faith and the search for meaning. Just because things aren’t as clear as we would like sometimes, doesn’t mean that we can stop searching or that answers can’t be found. In fact, the Church’s conviction of the existence of truth in creation and man’s ability to discover has played an absolutely essential role in the development of the modern sciences (a fact largely undervalued or ignored).

It is for this reason – or, at least, one of them – that I believe that our Holy Father speaks so often about the subject of “Faith and Science.” In our secularized world, He says, faith often seems difficult to justify; we are faced with a “practical” atheism, a tendency to think and live “as if God did not exist”. Yet once God is removed from our lives, we become diminished, for our greatest human dignity consists in being created by God and called to live in communion with him.  As believers, we need to offer convincing reasons for our faith and hope.

 Let’s take a moment to analyze at this last phrase.

  1. Being a believer doesn’t imply living in a passive state of acceptance. Every believer experiences doubt (non-believers do as well). The key, however, is that we actively welcome our faith as a source of confidence and trust in both revelations: God’s creation and God’s Incarnation. Both complement one another and both speak of the same God, although in different ways.
  2. We need to offer “convincing reason.” Convincing here doesn’t simply mean that we need to write pretty speeches, poetic homilies, or make emotional videos. A reason is convincing in so far as it is founded in reality and transmitted in an original and authentic way– get rid of the clichés and typically packaged phrases. Among the infinite number of information and facts, the truths that are most convincing are those that speaks to the interior demands planted in the heart of each person. What we seek are keys and lights that help us to understand and respond in some way to our desires, worries, dreams, to our own mystery… Don’t give discourses; speak to the person in front in a way that they can understand and apply to their own life, whether he or she be a scientist, a doctor, a philosopher, a poet, an adolescent, an adult, etc…
  3. “For faith and hope.” Our world is full of truths; still we need more than just a stockpile of scientific data. We desire freedom and happiness… More than comfort and utility, we hope for the reasons and knowledge that lead us to salvation.

The Holy Father continues, “We can find such reasons in the order and beauty of creation itself, which speaks of its Creator; in the longing for the infinite present in the human heart, which finds satisfaction in God alone; and in faith, which illumines and transforms our lives through our daily union with the Lord.  By the witness of our living faith, may we lead others to know and love the God who reveals himself in Christ.”

The wonders of science and technology are by no means to be ignored or disdained. In fact, the things that we see and perceive all around us, the intelligence of their design, their complexity, their beauty, all provide evidence of a world made intrinsically good and curiously respond to many of our needs (physical, biological, esthetic, etc.) Still, as the song says, “You won’t find faith and hope in a telescope.” The stars have stirred the imagination of some of brightest minds through history, –yet as it was for the those three men who set off to find the promised one– their role is, and always will be, that of hope’s voice, calling us out of our lands and pointing us towards only source of true hope, the foundation of our faith: Jesus of Nazareth, true man and true God.

This “Science and Faith” album was released by Irish band called Script in 2010.

Also, I will leave a brief video done by Rome Reports of the Pope’s discourse. I also would suggest reading the Pope’s audience from last week about the paths to discover God.

About Garrett Johnson

Garrett Johnson has written 371 post in this blog.

Born in Texas, I fell in love with evangelization when I was 18. A former NET member and a Franciscan University of Steubenville Alumnus, I am now living in Rome and studying for the priesthood.

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