Posts by: Stephanie

Bishop Barron on the Myth of Science vs. Religion

Bishop Barron on the Myth of Science vs. Religion

Bishop Robert Barron has spent a lot of time over the years discussing the relationship between science and religion – especially refuting New Atheists like Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens – to show that the war between science and religion is a myth. In a recent Los Angeles Times article, Bishop Barron explains why science and religion are not enemies, but allies that lead us on the path to truth. He writes:

The modern physical sciences were, in fact, made possible by the religious milieu out of which they emerged. It is no accident that modern science first appeared in Christian Europe, where a doctrine of creation held sway. To hold that the world is created is to accept, simultaneously, the two assumptions required for science: namely, that the universe is not divine and that it is intelligible.

If the world or nature were considered divine (as it is in many philosophies and mysticisms), then one would never allow oneself to analyze it, dissect it or perform experiments on it. But a created world, by definition, is other than God and, in that very otherness, open to inquiry.

Similarly, if the world were considered unintelligible, no science would get off the ground, because all science is based on the presumption that nature can be known. But the world, Christians agree, is thoroughly intelligible, and hence scientists have the confidence to seek, explore and experiment.

This is why thoughtful people — Christians and atheists alike — must battle the myth of the eternal warfare of science and religion. We must continually preach, as St. John Paul II did, that faith and reason are complementary and compatible paths toward the knowledge of truth.

Read the full article at the Los Angeles Times.

Pope Francis: Smartphones at the dinner table turn homes into hostels

Pope Francis: Smartphones at the dinner table turn homes into hostels

From Aleteia:

Pope Francis has advised parents not to allow smartphones at the dinner table, to help restore a sense of family togetherness and to teach their children about the importance of relationships.

In his weekly catechesis in St. Peter’s Square, the pope said that family togetherness is “a sure thermometer for measuring the health of relationships.”

“If something isn’t going well in a family, or if there’s some hidden wound, it immediately becomes clear at the dinner table. A family that almost never eats together or that, rather than talking at table, watches television or looks at the smartphone, is not much of a family. When the children are attached to the computer and the telephone at the table, and don’t listen to one another, this isn’t family, it’s a hostel!”

Read more, including the full transcript of the pope’s address at Aleteia.

Mary, Martha, and What’s Behind Your Holiday Season Stress

Mary, Martha, and What’s Behind Your Holiday Season Stress

This time of year our to-do lists grow longer, and our stress levels seem to grow higher with right along with it. With Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years in quick succession, the holiday season can be a time of hustle and bustle, not of time spent in the quiet enjoyment of family, friends, and Our Lord.

In an article that appeared last year in Crux, Kathleen Hirsch reflected on the Gospel account of Mary and Martha in light of our common approach to the holidays. She wrote:

The various faith communities in which I travel these days are busy places, too, and they seem to get busier every week. Committees, task forces, new outreach initiatives, newsletters, more and better enrichment opportunities. We take pride in the growing numbers in our pews and programs. It’s a sign of life, we say, of renewed vigor and purpose.

But I wonder. Why is it so hard for us to imagine behaving the way Mary does — either at home or in church?

Have we become convinced that it’s all up to us — to fix, solve, rescue, fulfill all of the laws? That in the end, God is a nice idea, but has no real agency in our world? Or this: Do we secretly believe that unless we are stressed out of our minds, we aren’t worthy of love — the love that passes all understanding (i.e., that has no justification)?

Our inner-Marthas are important. We need to tend the hearths of home, and put in the work of building communities of real value. This means showing up with the colored chalk and cookies at the inner-city after-school, tracking down the Christmas carol CDs, warming the apple cider, visiting the elderly aunt.

But our busyness, especially this time of year, can hide our personal and cultural demons. Over-involvement can camouflage inner emptiness, a sense of being fundamentally flawed — exactly that which we ought to be bringing to the feet of God. And we aren’t very good, either at home or in church, at shifting the dynamics so that this surrender and vulnerability can happen. Perhaps that day in Bethany, Jesus was attempting to teach those within hearing distance how to do this: to shift from drivenness and blame to invitation; from resentment to intimacy and grace.

Hirsch’s entire reflection is beautiful. Read the whole thing at Crux.