New Insights on the Gospels

March for Life 2012

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing - Edmund Burke

Friday, August 6, 2010

Religious commitment - Pope John Paul II

Religious commitment

Religion: this is not hot news, sensational today and forgotten tomorrow. The Faith is not some teaching to be adapted to one's needs, as occasion dictates. It was neither invented by us nor created by us. The Faith is the great divine gift which Jesus Christ has given to the Church. St Paul says in his Letter to the Romans: 'The faith comes from preaching, and the preaching in turn comes from the word of Christ' (Romans 10:17). Believers find their foundation in Jesus Christ, who lives on in his Church through the centuries till Judgement Day.

The Faith draws its life from the traditions of the Church. Only in her can we be sure of finding the truth of Jesus Christ. Only a living branch of that tree, the Church community, can draw strength from her roots.

Today I exhort you to hold fast to the Church's Faith. This is what your mothers and fathers did before you. Keep the Faith yourselves and hand it on in turn to your children. This is the reason for my pastoral journey to you here: 'I want to make clear to you, brothers, what the message of the Gospel that I preached to you and that you accepted is, in which you stand firm' (1 Corinthians 15:1)

Without a firm faith, you will have no standards, and you will be a prey to the varying teachings of the day. Admittedly, today there are indeed some environments where the true doctrine is no longer accepted, and where new teachers to suit every taste are always being run after; but these will beguile you, as St Paul foretold. Do not let yourselves be deceived. Pay no heed to the prophets of egotism who put a distorted interpretation on the development of the individual,who offer an earthly doctrine of salvation and who want to build a world without God.

To be able to say 'Credo' - 'I believe' - we must be ready to deny ourselves, to give ourselves; we must also be ready to make sacrifices, to renounce Ourselves and to have a generous heart. For those who are brave enough for this, the darkness dissolves. Those who believe have found the beacon assuring them of a safe journey. Those who believe know which way to go and can get their bearings. Those who believe have found the right way, and no folly of whatever false teacher can ever mislead
them any more. Believers, having a sure foundation, are prepared to live their lives in a way which is worthy of a human being and pleasing to God. Aware that their lives are drawing to a close, believers can assent when God calls them to himself.

True, it must be admitted that life in the Church today is not the most comfortable way of living. It is less trouble to adapt to circumstance and take cover. Nowadays accepting the Faith and living it means going against the stream, To opt for this needs strength and courage.

Ignorance, religion's worst enemy - Popr John Paul II

Ignorance, religion's worst enemy

Each of us needs an integral and integrating training - cultural, professional, doctrinal, spiritual and apostolic -equipping us to live in a consistent inner unity
with ourselves and also, whenever necessary, to give reasons for our hope to anyone who asks us.

Our Christian identity requires us to make constant efforts to train ourselves more and more thoroughly, since ignorance is the worst enemy of our religion, How can one claim truly to love Christ if one is not committed to knowing him better?

Training and spiritual life! These two things are inseparable for anyone who aspires to lead a Christian life which is truly committed to forming and building a more just and more brotherly society. If you wish to be faithful in your daily lives to the demands of God and to the expectations of humanity and history, you must constantly noursih yourselves on the word of God and the sacraments, 'so that Christ's word may dwell in you abundantly' (Colossians 3:16)."

Faith in the Holy Spirit - Pope John Paul II

Faith in the Holy Spirit

The Church unceasingly professes her faith that there exists in our created world a Spirit who is an uncreated gift. He is the Spirit of the Father and of the Son; like the Father and Son, he is uncreated, without limit, eternal, omnipotent, God, Lord. This Spirit of God 'fills the universe', and all that is created recognizes in him the source of its own identity, finds in him its own transcendent expression, turns to him and awaits him, invokes him with its own being.

Humankind turns to him as to the Paraclete, the Spirit of truth and of love; human beings live by truth and by love and without the source of truth and love cannot live. To him turns the Church, which is the heart of humanity, to implore for all and dispense to all these gifts of the love which through him 'have beenpoured into our hearts'. To him turns the Church, along the intricate paths of humankind's pilgrimage on earth she implores, she unceasingly implores uprightness of human acts, as the Spirit's work she implores the joy and consolation that only he, the true Counsellor, can bring by coming down into people's inmost hearts; the Church implores the grace of the virtues that merit heavenly glory, implores eternal salvation, in the full communication of the divine life, to which the Father has eternally 'predestined'human beings, created through love in the image and likeness of the Most Holy Trinity.

Yes, we groan, but in expectation filled with unflagging hope, because it is precisely this human being that God has drawn near to, God who is Spirit. God the Father, 'sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.' At the culmination of the Paschal Mystery, the Son of God, made man and crucified for the sins of the world, appeared in the midst of his Apostles after the Resurrection, breathed on them and said: 'Receive the Holy Spirit.' This breath continues for ever, for 'the Spirit helps us in our weakness'.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Dedication of St Mary of the Snows - 5th August 2010

There are in Rome three patriarchal churches in which, on different feast days, the Pope officiates. These are the Basilicas of Saint Peter on the Vatican Hill, Saint John Lateran, and Saint Mary Major on the Esquiline Hill. The last-named, the Liberian Basilica, was founded in the time of Pope Liberius, in the fourth century; it was consecrated to the Virgin Mary by Sixtus III in the year 435, under the title of Saint Mary ad Nives, or at the snow, because the Mother of God Herself chose, and indicated by a miracle, its site to be that of Her first church in Rome.

In the fourth century a patrician by the name of John and his pious spouse had no children; already advanced in age and without heirs, they resolved to consecrate their wealth to the Most Blessed Virgin. They prayed in order to know how the Queen of Heaven would like them to use their fortune. On August 5, 366, She appeared to each of them in a dream and told them that Her Divine Son’s and Her own will was that their wealth be employed in the construction of a church on Mount Esquiline, at a place which in the morning they would find covered with snow. They consulted together when the dawn broke, and went to the Pope at once to tell him what God had made known to them. He himself had had a similar dream and could not doubt that this was a celestial prodigy. He assembled the clergy and people, and all went in procession towards the indicated place, to verify the reality of the marvel. When they arrived on the hilltop, they saw an area covered with snow, extending over a space sufficient to build a vast church. It was built at the expense of the noble couple with great magnificence, and given the name of Saint Mary of the Snows.

The same Basilica is sometimes entitled Saint Mary ad Praesepe, of the Manger, from the holy crib or manger of Bethlehem, in which the Infant Jesus was laid at His birth. It was transported to Rome and kept in a sumptuous subterranean chapel of the church. Today this Basilica bears the name of Saint Mary Major, because it is, both by its beauty and its antiquity, the first of the numerous Roman churches dedicated to Mary.

Christ's Cross - a message of sorrow and salvation - Pope John Paul II

Christ's Cross - a message of sorrow and salvation

Although he was the light to enlighten all nations, Jesus was destined in his own day and in every age to be a sign disparaged, a sign opposed, a sign of contradiction.

This had been true for the prophets of Israel before him. It was true for John the Baptist and would be true for the lives of his future followers. He performed great signs and miracles: he healed the sick, multiplied the loaves and fishes, calmed tempests, restored the dead to life. Crowds flocked to him from everywhere and listened to him carefully because he spoke with authority. And yet he met harsh opposition from those who refused to open their hearts and minds to him. Finally we find the most tangible expression of this contradiction in his suffering and death on the Cross. Simeon's prophecy came true - true regarding the life of Jesus, and true regarding the lives of those who follow him, in every land and in every age. So the Cross becomes light; the Cross becomes salvation. Isn't this perhaps the Good News for the poor and for all who know the bitter taste of suffering?

The cross of poverty, the cross of hunger, the cross of every other sort of suffering can be transformed, since Christ's Cross has become a light in our world. It is a light of hope and salvation. It gives meaning to all human suffering. It brings with it the promise of an eternal life, free from sorrow, free from sin.

The Cross was followed by the Resurrection. Death was vanquished by life. And all who are united to the crucified and risen Lord can look forward to sharing in this selfsame victory.

Jesus, the way that leads us to the Father - Pope John Paul II

Jesus, the way that leads us to the Father

We 'reach' God through the truth about God and through the truth about everything outside God: about the creation, the macrocosm, and about human nature, the microcosm. We 'reach' God through the truth proclaimed by Christ, through the truth that Christ actually is. We reach God in Christ, who continually assures us: 'I am the truth.' And this 'reaching' God through the truth which is Christ is the source of life. It is the source of eternal life, which begins on earth in 'the darkness of faith' to reach its fullness in the vision of God 'face to face' - in the light of the glory where he abides for ever.

Christ gives us this life, for he is life, exactly as he says: 'I am the life.' 'I am the way, the truth and the life.'

Jesus is the Son of God and he is of the same substance as the Father. God from God and Light from Light, he became a human being to be the way which would lead us to the Father. During his earthly life he spoke ceaselessly about the Father. To him, to the Father, he directed the thoughts and hearts of all who listened to him. In a sense, he shared God's Fatherhood with them, and this appears particularly in the prayer he taught to his own disciples: the Our Father.

At the end of his messanic mission on earth, the day before his passion and death, Jesus said to the Apostles: 'In my Father's house there are many places to live in; otherwise I would have told you. I am going now to prepare a place for you' (John 14:2).

If the Gospel is a revelation of the truth that human life is a pilgrimage towards the Father's house, it is also a summons to the faith by which we journey as pilgrims: a call to pilgrim faith. Christ says: 'I am the way, the truth and the life.'

The human being, 'a pilgrim of the Absolute' - Pope John Paul II

The human being, 'a pilgrim of the Absolute'

Human life on earth is a pilgrimage. We are all aware of being in transit in this world. Our lives begin and end, they start at birth and go on till the moment of death. We are transitory beings. And on life's pilgrimage religion helps us to live in such a way as to reach our true destination. We are constantly kept aware of the transitory nature of this life, which we know to be extremely important as the preparation for life eternal. Our pilgrim faith directs us towards God and guides us in discharging those choices which will help us to win eternal life. So, every moment of our earthly pilgrimage is important - important as to its challenges, as to the choices we make.

In the Revelation of the Old and New Covenants,we who live in the visible world amid temporal things are also deeply aware of God's presence penetrating every aspect of our lives. This living God is in fact our last and absolute bulwark amid all the trials and sufferings of earthly existence. We yearn to possess this God once and for all, the moment we experience his presence. We strive to attain the vision of his face. In the words of the psalmist 'As the heart longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you O God.'

While we strive to know God, to see his face and experience his presence, God turns to us to reveal his own life to us. The Second Vatican Council dwelt at length on the importance of God's activities in the world, explaining that 'with the divine revelation God wished to manifest and communicate himself and his will's eternal decrees with regard to the salvation of mankind.'
This notwithstanding, this merciful and loving God who communicates himself through Revelation still remains an inscrutable mystery to us. And we, pilgrims of the Absolute, keep seeking the face of God throughout our lives. But, at the end of the pilgrimage of faith, we reach 'the Father's house', and being in this house' means seeing God face to face' (1 Corinthians 13:12)."

From the very beginning the human race has been called by God 'to subdue the earth and master it' (Genesis 1:28). We have received this earth from the Lord as a gift and as a responsibility. Made in his image and likeness, we have a special dignity. We are master and lord of the good things placed by the Creator in what he has made. We are collaborators with our Creator.

This being so, we for our part must never forget that all the good things that fill the created world are the Creator's gift. For so Holy Scripture advises us: 'Beware of thinking for yourself, "My own strength and the might of my own hand have given me the power to act like this." Remember the Lord your God; he was the one who gave you the strength to acquire riches, so as to keep, as he does today, the covenant which he swore to your ancestors' (Deuteronomy 8:17-18).

How apposite this advice has been in the course of human history! How especially apposite it is at the present day, with our progress in science and technology! For as we contemplate our brilliant achievements, the works of our mind and of our hands, we seem to grow more and more forgetful of him who is the author of all these works and of all the good things which the earth and the created world contain. The more we subdue the earth and master it, the more we seem to forget the Lord who has given us the earth and all the good things it contains.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

love of truth is love of Christ - Pope John Paul II

Love of truth is love of Christ

There is a pollution of ideas and manners that can lead to human destruction. The pollution is sin, which generates falsehood.
Truth and falsehood. We must realize that falsehood very often presents itself to us under the garb of truth. Our discernment has to be the sharper, therefore, so that we can recognize the truth, the word that comes from God, and shun the temptations that come from the Father of Lies. I have in mind that sin which consists in denying God, in rejecting the light. As it says in St. John's Gospel, ' the true light' was in the world: the Word 'by whom the world was made but whom the world did not acknowledge (cf John 1:9 - 10).
' The truth contained in the Father's word. ' Yes, that is what we ought to say when we recognize Jesus Christ as the Truth. 'What is Truth?' Pilate asked Him. Pilate's tragedy was that he had the Truth in front of him in the person of Jesus Christ and couldn't recognize it.
This tragedy must not be repeated in our own lives. Christ is the centre of the Christian faith which the Church proclaims today as she has always done, to every man and woman. God was made man. 'The Word became flesh and dwelt among us' (John 1:14). In Jesus Christ the eye of faith beholds the human being as it can be and as God wishes it to be. At the same time Jesus reveals the Father's love for us. But the Truth is Jesus Christ. Love the Truth! live in the Truth! Carry the Truth to the world! Be witnessed to the Truth. Jesus is the Truth that saves; he is the whole Truth to which the Spirit of Truth will leads us (cf. John 16:13).

Dear young people, let us seek the truth about Christ and about his Church! but we must be consistent: let us love the Truth, live in the Truth, proclaim the Truth! O Christ, show us the Truth. Be the only Truth for us!'

Christian Faith and courage in life - Pope John Paul II

Christian Faith and courage in life

We have to make a conscious decision that we mean to be professing Christians, and we must have the courage to be different, if need be, from other members of our social group. Our decision to bear Christian witness presupposes that we perceive and understand the faith as a precious opportunity in life, transcending the views and manners of our environment. We must take every opportunity to experience how the Faith can enrich our existence, make us genuinely steadfast in the struggle for life, strengthen our hope against attacks of every kind of pessimism and despair, and prompt us to avoid all extremism and to commit ourselves thoughtfully to furthering justice and peace in the world; lastly, the Faith can console and cheer us in sorrow. And so it is our task and opportunity in this diaspora situation to experience more consciously how the Faith can helps us to live more fully and more deeply.

The first thing i want to offer you is an invitation to optimism, hope and trust. Certainly, the human race is going through a difficult patch, and we often have a painful impression that the forces of evil, in many manifestations of social life, have got the upper hand. All too often honesty, justice and respect for human dignity have to mark time or seem to be on their last legs. And yet, we are called to overcome the world by our faith (cf John 5:4), since we belong to him who by his death and resurrection obtained for every one of us the victory over sin and death, and so has made us able to affirm humbly, serenely but certainly, that good will triumph over evil.

We belong to Christ and it is he who conquers in us. We must believe this deeply; we must live this certainty. If we do not, through the problems which are constantly arising those insidious beasts called discouragement at, tolerance of , and supine adaptation to the arrogance of evil will worm their way into our souls.

The subtlest temptation afflicting Christians today, and especially young people, is precisely that of giving up hope in Christ's affirmation of victory. The author of all guile, the Evil One, has long been fiercely committed to dowsing the light of this hope in each individual heart. It is no easy path - that of the Christian soldier. But we must follow it, knowing that we possess an inner strength for transformation, communicated to us with the divine life that we have been given in Christ the Lord. BY your witness, you will make others understand that the highest of human values are taken up in a Christianity lived consistently, and that the Gospel faith not only offers a new vision of humanity and the world, but more important still, makes it possible to bring this renewal about.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Encounter with God in Jesus Christ in the Church - Pope John Paul II

Encounter with God in Jesus Christ in the Church

Opinions, private points of view and speculations no longer suffice for anyone weighing up their effect on the course of human life, and whose respect for humanity is awake. They certainly do not satisfy anyone who is conscious of being able to arrive by means of theological responses at the first cause of truth. God has manifested his word to us. We cannot find it and grasp it unaided by the power of our intellect alone, however much may be conceded to our diligence in illuminating the credibility of this word and how it corresponds to our questions and to out various forms of human knowledge. It is in the inner logic of Revelation that the defence and interpretation of this word require the special gift of the Spirit. It follows, then, that the study of Catholic theology must always be subject to a willingness to listen to the binding testimony of the Church and to accept the decisions of those who, in their capacity as pastors of the Church, are responsible before God for protecting the deposit of faith.

Without the church, the word of God would not have been handed down and preserved; one cannot want God's word without the Church. Intellectual comprehension of the faith must of course be integrated with another aspect: the faith, besides being known, must be lived. In the New Testament itself a faith based uniquely on knowing would be rejected as a perversion. For example, according to the Letter of St James, the demonic forces know the One God but, since they do not accept this knowledge with their inner nature, all that remains for them is to tremble before this God. For them punishment not salvation is in store (Cf James 2:19)
When God addresses his word to us, he does not tell us some fact about things or other people; he does not communicate something - he communicates himself. Thus God's word demands a response, which ought to be given with our entire person. The reality of God eludes those who confine themselves to thinking of his word and of his truth only as objects of impartial research. On the contrary, the way to draw near to God as God is by worship alone. One of the great mystics, Meister Eckhart, used to urge his listeners ' to get rid of the imaged God'. If God remains purely and simply 'he', we remain alone and empty. god gives himself to us as 'you'. We only find him when we too say 'you'. It follows, as Eckhart used to say, that we ought to have God present 'in our heart, in our search and in our love'.

Learn to know Christ and make yourselves known to him! he knows each one of you individually. this is no knowledge giving rise to opposition and rebellion, a knowledge from which one needs to flee in order to safeguard one's own personal mystery. This is no knowledge composed of hypotheses which reduce human being to socio-utilitarin dimensions. His is a knowledge full of simple truth about human nature and, above all, full of love. Submit to being known by the Good Shepherd, his knowledge is simple and full of love. Be sure, he knows each of you better than you know yourselves. He knows because he has given his life for you (John 15:13) Allow him to find you. At times people, young people, lose their bearing in the world surrounding them, in the vast network of human affairs enveloping them. Allow Christ to find you. Let him know all about you, let him guide you. True, in order to follow someone, you must at the same time make demands on yourself; such is the law of friendship. If we wish to travel together, we shall have to give thought to the road we are taking. if it leads up into the mountains, we shall have to follow the signposts. If we have to climb a mountain, we must not leave the rope behind. And besides, we must keep in contact with our divine Friend whose name is Jesus Christ. We have to co-operate with him.

Worshippers at Malad church attacked (India)

Worshippers at Malad church attacked, 2 detained
TNN, Aug 2, 2010, 01.44am IST

MUMBAI: Eight persons allegedly ransacked St Emmanuel in Orlem, Malad (W) on Sunday evening. Joseph Dias, secretary, Catholic Secular Forum, said that the men, who were drunk, barged into the church when a prayer meeting was on.

The accused allegedly started molesting the women in the congregation. When the women objected, the accused beat up the worshippers.

Ponkumar Nadar, who sustained serious injuries, was taken to Bhagwati Hospital. The others were undergoing treatment at a private hospital.

The Malwani police has detained two persons. Abraham Mathai, vice-chairman, state minorities commission, said the police should carry out an impartial probe.

The crisis in Catholic Christian faith - Pope John Paul II

The crisis in Catholic Christian faith

Even among many Catholics who still identify themselves as such, there is a remarkable weakening of faith in God as a person, and consequently of faith in Christ as Son of God. They also fail to see the Church as a sacrament, an objective, not-to-be- manipulated gift from him. This is why, all too often, interior life or spirituality is equated with philanthropy and socio-political action in the cause of peace, justice, ecology and so forth, and why some people regard prayer, meditation and lectio divina as lacking particular importance.
Some lay people too, engaged in parochial, diocesan and national church structures, exhibit this secularized forma mentis, as also do some males and female religious who get more and more involved in social mission, which they often identify with their actual work as missionaries.
The publication of the new Cathecism of the Catholic Church cannot fail to reassure and strengthen those of the faithful who have lost their bearings in the theological fragment of these latter years, and to bring back to the genuine sources of the faith those who have gone astray after false prophets.
In point of fact, studying theology, being a believer and feeling onself to be an active member of the Church are three components which students sometimes find hard to integrate into their lives. We must not over dramatize this: to go through crisis can even be salutary and positive, inasmuch as it can make one's faith more mature and foster responsible Church membership. For this to happen, however, there must be careful pastoral support.

Rejecting the truth - Pope John Paul II

Rejecting the truth

The mystery of iniquity, the forsaking of God, has, according to the words of St. Paul's letter, a well- defined inner structure and dynamic sequence: ' the wicked one will appear, who raises himself above every so called God or object of worship to enthrone himself in God's sanctuary and flaunts the claim that he is God' (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)
Here we find an inner structure of negation, of the uprooting of God from people's hearts and the forsaking of God by human society: and all this with the aim, as is commonly said, of a full 'humanization' of the human being - that is to say, of making the human person human in the full sense and , in a certain way, putting the human being in the place of God, thus 'deifying' humanity. this structure, of course, is very ancient; it has been known since the beginning of the world, from the first chapter of Genesis; I mean the temptation to confer the Creator's 'divinity' on human beings (made in God's image and likeness), to take God's place, with the 'divinization' of humanity against God or without God, as is clear from the atheistic statements of many of today's systems.
Those who reject the fundamental truth of things, who set themselves up as a yardstick for everything, and thus put themselves in God's place; who more or less consciously think they can do without God, the Creator of the world or without Christ, the Redeemer of the human race; who instead of seeking God run back to idols, will always turn their backs on the one supreme and fundamental truth.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Pope John Paul II - Faith and Reason

Faith and Reason

Between a reason which, in conformity with its own nature that comes to it from God, is directed to the truth and is accustomed to know what is true, and a faith which reinforces itself at the selfsame divine source of every truth, no basic conflict can arise. for rather, faith confirms the rights which are proper to natural reason. it presupposes them. For its acceptance presupposes that freedom which is proper only to a rational being. that said, it is nonetheless true that faith and science belong to two different orders of knowledge, which cannot be superimposed the one on the other. And here, furthermore, it becomes plain that reason cannot do everything of itself; it is finite. It has to be embodied in a multiplicity of partial types of knowledge and is expressed in a plurality of individual sciences. It can grasp the unity binding the world and truth to their origins only within partial modes of knowledge. In so far as they are sciences, even philosophy and theology are limited attempts that can only grasp the complex unity of truth in its diversity - that is, within a latticework of open and complementary kinds of knowledge.
The 'learned' and the 'clever' have worked out their own view of God and the world, and they are disinclined to change it. They believe that they know all there is to know about God , that they have the final answer, that they have nothing more to learn. And This is why they reject 'the good news', for its strikes them as quite alien and conflicting with the main tenets of their Weltanschauung. The Gospel message proposes certain paradoxical reversals which their 'common sense' cannot accept.
As it was in the day of Jesus, so it is today, and yet today in perhaps a very particular way. We live in a culture which subjects everything to critical analysis, and which does this while often regarding partial criteria as absolute. By their very nature these criteria are unsuitable for perceiving the world of realities and values which eludes verification by the senses.
Christ didn't ask us to give up our reason. How indeed could he, since it as he who gave it to us? What He does ask is that we should not give in to the Tempter's old suggestion that we can be 'like God' (cf Genesis 3:5)
Only those who accept their intellectual and moral limitations and recognize their need for salvation can make themselves once more open to faith and in faith encounter, in Christ, their redeemer.

The Galileo case: science and faith - Pope John Paul II

The Galileo case: science and faith

From the century of the Enlightenment down to our own today, the Galileo case has been a kind of myth in which the account of what happened has been very remote from the facts. Seen like this, the Galileo case was a symbol of the alleged rejection of scientific progress by the Church, or of 'dogmatic' obscurantism opposed to the free quest for truth. Culturally speaking, this myth has played a considerable role; it has helped to wed many scientist, acting in good faith, to the idea that the scientific spirit and its research ethic are incompatible with the Christian religion. A tragic mutual incomprehension has been construed as reflecting a constitutive opposition between science and faith. Clarifications afforded by recent historical studies allow us to state that this unhappy misunderstanding is now a thing of the past.
Galileo, who virtually invented the experimental method, had understood, through his brilliant physicist's intuition and by relying on various lines of reasoning, why only the sun could act as the centre of the world as it was then known, or as we should say, of the planetary system. The error of the theologians of the day in upholding the centrality of the earth was that of the thinking that our knowledge of the structure of the physical world is in some way imposed by the literal sense of Holy Scripture. But we should remember the famous quip attributed to Baronius: ' Spiritui Sancto mentem fuisse nos docere quomodo ad coelum eatur, non quomodo coelum gradiatur.' For the fact is, Scpriture is not concerned with the details of the physical world, knowledge of which is entrusted to human experience and reasoning. There are two fields of knowledge: that which has its source in Revelation, and that which reason can discover by its own efforts. To this last belong the experimental sciences and philosophy. The distinction between the two fields of knowledge must not be understood as opposition. The two sectors are not at all aligned to one another, but have points in contact. The methodologies proper to each allow different aspect of reality to be brought to light.
I am Happy to take as the starting point for my reflection one of the bronze inscriptions unveiled here today: " Science and faith are both gifts of God". This synthesizing statement not only precludes science and faith from regarding each other with mutual suspicion, but points out the deeper reason summoning them to establish a constructive and cordial relationship: God, the common foundation of both... In God therefore, despite their different paths, science and faith find their unifying principle.
If human life incurs enormous dangers today, this is not because of the truth discovered by scientific research; rather, it is due to the deadly application of technology. ' As in the time of spears and swords, so in the age of missiles,' the Holy Father said, quoting another inscription in the Centro Majorana: 'First to perish by these weapons if the human heart."