Meditation is an ideal way to pray. Using God's word (Lectio Divina) allows me to hear, listen and reflect on what the Lord wants to say to me - to one of his disciples - just like He did two thousand years ago.
The best time to reflect is at the beginning of the day and for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
Prior to going to sleep, read the Mass readings for the next day and then, in the morning, reflect on the Meditation offered on this website.
I hope these daily meditations allow you to know, love and imitate the Lord in a more meaningful way.
God bless you!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

3Jn 5-8 The Scientific Method of Faith

Thirty-Second Week in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)


Beloved, you are faithful in all you do for the brothers and sisters, especially for strangers; they have testified to your love before the Church.  Please help them in a way worthy of God to continue their journey. For they have set out for the sake of the Name and are accepting nothing from the pagans. Therefore, we ought to support such persons, so that we may be co-workers in the truth.

Today, we celebrate the memorial of St. Albert the Great:  Universal Doctor of the Church, Bishop, and Patron Saint of Scientists.  I first learned about this brilliant German while pursuing my biology and chemistry degree at Texas A&M.  I adopted him as my career patron saint, mesmerized by his scientific genius.  While in college, I was in a "religious denomination hopping" phase.  Looking back I think St. Albert the Great influenced my final decision to become Catholic!

St. Albert believed science was an important avenue for God's creation, and the "experiment" an integral method for new discoveries.   As a Dominican, he became a co-worker in the Truth, blending together the truths of science and the Christian faith through logic and reason.

 In his treatise "The Compound of Compounds" Albert the Great wrote:

.....What worth is a concealed science; what worth is a hidden treasure? ....Every science and knowledge proceeds from God.  Saying it proceeds from the Holy Ghost is a simple way of expressing oneself.  No one can thus say Our Lord Jesus Christ without implying Son of God our Father, by work of the grace of the Holy Ghost.  In the same manner, this science cannot be separated from the One who has communicated it unto me.

St. Albert, as a prolific author, wrote over 38 volumes on a variety of subjects including physical geology, biology, zoology, chemistry, astronomy, botany and mineralogy. He proved the earth is round; classified many types of botanical material; and even dabbled in alchemy.  When he wasn't traveling as a preacher he taught at universities across Europe.  His most well-known pupil of all time is Saint Thomas Aquinas.  Interesting St. Albert outlived Thomas Aquinas way into his 80's. Toward the end of Albert's life, his genius suddenly failed.  Tradition describes how the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Albert as a youth, promising him vast intellectual expertise if he persevered in God's work.  However, she warned that such knowledge would vanish in old age.

The Scientific Method of Faith   How can we use the scientific method to grow spiritually?  Our faith development goes through a process similar to a lab experiment.  Spiritual growth involves questioning why faith in God is important; how we can remain steadfast in the faith; and by what means faith is best expressed. It involves trial and error to see what works and what does not in our spiritual journey. We analyze our fruits of contemplation, regularly examining the conscience, to see if we are living moral lives. We experience spurts of growth followed by periods of dryness; however, with each new "faith discovery" we bind intimately with Christ, more fully aware of his presence in our everyday lives.

 Here's a "scientific method of faith" we can use in response to our call to be Christian witnesses:

1. Question our faith and immediate threats to the faith.
2. Research our faith and become knowledgeable of holy scripture, the Catechism, andChurch teachings.
3.  Explain and propose sound reasoning behind our faith when challenged (i.e. apologetics).
4.  Test our faith and discover new ways we can better connect with God and others.
5.  Analyze our faith and recognize our strengths and weaknesses.
6.  Evangelize the faith!

Coworkers in the Truth When we evangelize, we become coworkers in the Truth.  We may think it's up to our priests, bishops, and the Vatican to keep Catholics spiritually nourished and satisfied.  But, the responsibility also lies within lay communities.  We work together for the glory of God using our talents to spread the message of the Truth.  It's vital we support one another.

Unfortunately, people always have some sort of "problem" with the Church.  They don't like an arrogant pastor.  They feel rejected because they are divorced or single with children.  Maybe they are simply tired of the Church "meddling" in their bedrooms. 

 Let's do a little experiment, shall we?  The next time we feel the desire to complain about the Church, her teachings, or even other parish members, take a moment to think about Jesus Christ hanging on the cross.  He died a painful and horrific death for our salvation.  Sometimes our own personal grievances against the Catholic Church are relatively minor compared to Christ's suffering and death

When we intelligently question Church teachings that confuse us, and research into why the Church believes things a certain way, we will better understand our faith.  Then, we can pass along the insight to others

Don't be afraid to be coworkers in the Truth despite the challenges religious faith presents.  

Saint Albert the Great, Pray for us! 

This meditation was written by Jennifer Burgin.  She is a Lay Dominican candidate associated with St. Albert the Great Dominican Priory in Irving, Texas. Please follow her blog:  Jennifer's Spectrum of Spirituality

No comments:

Post a Comment

Updated: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. Comments must be concise and to the point.Comments are no longer accepted for posts older than 7 days.