The “Big Bang” and the Vast Universe

10/27/2015

Scientists and philosophers throughout the ages of recorded human history have debated the questions:

  • “How did the universe come to be formed?”
  • “Was there a beginning?”
  • “Will there be an end?”
  • “Is the universe spherical or flat?”
  • “Was The Big Bang really a BANG?”
  • “Is The Big Bang Theory at odds with Creationism?”

No way am I going to get into a discussion about all of that today, but maybe some day. Today, let’s consider the formation of the Universe and the Kingdom of God. And let’s stick with the basic essentials.

NASA has their own, scientifically dense, explanation of The Big Bang.

A site called (what else?) Big Bang Theory has a more layman-friendly discussion. They even pose the question about the existence of God and how that theological discussion integrates into the purely scientific theory.

The scientific theory rattles the mind. It can be confusing. It tends to overwhelm us in its complexity. Or its implications.

But does it have to?

Must we be confused and overwhelmed by the concepts?

Let’s consider one fact, mind-blowing though it is, about the universe.

We’re told the universe sprang into existence at a single moment in time. We’re told that at the beginning, the matter (particles, etc.) that make up everything we know was “infinitesimally small” and “infinitely hot.”

We’re told that the universe expanded and cooled to what we know today and that it is currently expanding every second with no signs of that expansion slowing.

Digest that for a moment.

The universe sprang forth from something very, very small.

–   And it is expanding.   –

2012-09-15_06-37-25_922

Did Jesus tell us this?

Today’s Gospel (Luke 13:18-21) gives us a clue.

Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden. When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.”

Again he said, “To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch of dough was leavened.”

Pretty cool, huh?


Thanks for taking some of your precious time today to read my thoughts. My intention is to post a brief, daily meditation based on the readings from the day’s Catholic liturgy. I would appreciate your help and encouragement. This is something I’ve been called to do for some time. I’m finally embracing it. Father, forgive me for procrastinating. And for still not posting daily.

This is where Kit Kat is buried. R.I.P. little buddy.

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The Big Dog and the Little Cat

10/23/2015

May I let you in on a little secret? I’m planning a children’s book series. I’d love to know what stories you, your kids, or grandchildren enjoy.

May I let you in on another little secret? Our cats are instigating the whole thing.

So when my friend, Staci Troilo, a talented author and editor, said she was looking for writers to guest on her blog, Lady Girl said “Daddy, I have something to say. You need to get on Staci’s schedule!”

Today, I’m thrilled and honored that Staci features my post — and Lady’s words — on her website. You can find it here at StaciTroilo.com.

Thank you, Staci.

And thanks for the push, Lady… I mean Lady Girl… I mean Jay… I mean…

This is Lady's "time to feed me" look, not her "you must write that blog post, Daddy" look.

This is Lady’s “time to feed me” look, not her “you must write that blog post, Daddy” look.


Brutality and The White Man

10/20/2015
Some controversy lately about scalping being an import of the Europeans to North America.
“The North American soil is hallowed by the blood of these unbelievably heroic martyrs. There were eight — all of French origin, all working in the mission area known as New France. Six were Jesuit priests and two were unpaid lay helpers. All were martyred from 1624 to 1649 — five of them in present Canada and three near Auriesville, N.Y. The priest Isaac Jogues had been tortured and mutilated but courageously returned to the missions. Jogues and La Lande, priest and layman, were tomahawked on October 18 and 19, 1646, by a Mohawk war party. A beautiful shrine at Auriesville (near Interstate 90) recalls their martyrdom. They were canonized as saints in 1930.”  – Excerpted from The Vatican II Weekday Missal, St. Paul Editions, p. 1796, October 19, “Sts. Isaac Jogues and John De Brebeuf, priests and martyrs, and Companions, martyrs.”
From AmericanCatholic.org:
“His letters and journals tell how he and his companions were led from village to village, how they were beaten, tortured and forced to watch as their Huron converts were mangled and killed.”
There is little doubt that Jogues and his companions were the first white men to live and move in the area.
Looking at the history of Catholicism, the movement and sacrifice of missionaries and other holy men and women (and not only Roman Catholics, but in later years Protestant Christians), it is jaw dropping to read about the love and peace that spread throughout a barbaric world.
And Christians are repeatedly targeted for persecution, prosecution, and discrimination.
God help us.

This is where Kit Kat is buried. R.I.P. little buddy.


Homosexuality, Divorce, Mortal Sin and Holy Communion

10/17/2015

Archbishop Blaise Cupich of the Archdiocese of Chicago recently suggested that conscience decides who can receive Holy Communion. Speaking specifically about divorced and civilly remarried Roman Catholics, Archbishop Cupich said they must “come to a decision in good conscience” and that the job of the Church is is to “help them move forward and to respect that.”

Quoting from the same article in the National Catholic Register referenced above:

Asked if he would likewise accompany homosexual couples into receiving the sacraments according to their conscience, Archbishop Cupich replied: “Gay people are human beings, too, they have a conscience and my role as a pastor is to help them to discern what the will of God is by looking at the objective moral teaching of the Church.”

But he added that “at the same time,” his role as a pastor is to help them “through a period of discernment, to understand what God is calling them to at that point, so it’s for everybody.”

His comments have touched off a firestorm among Roman Catholics. In the comments on this article, one reader suggested that this is heresy. Most of the comments I read were extremely critical of the Archbishop.

I’m not sure how a priest or bishop — or even Pope Francis — is supposed to police this. Their role is not to play God. Each of us, no matter our role in the church, ordained or laity, is to follow the teachings of the Church.

But we’re not supposed to judge each other.

Do we have a responsibility to point out faults or errors in thinking? Yes. But we’ve got to be careful that we don’t play God.

Our role is to exercise mercy.

I voiced my own opinion in the comments section of the National Catholic Register article.

May I take a slightly contrarian view of Archbishop Cupich’s comments? Is he welcoming these groups into full communion? Or is he suggesting that he will not refuse them Holy Communion if they come to the front of church to receive it?

The reception of Holy Communion does not relieve me of my responsibility for my actions. As a sinner who has ignorantly gone to Holy Communion while in mortal sin, thinking that this somehow brought me into grace with God the Father, I now understand that reception of Holy Communion at that time in my life only magnified my state of sinfulness and grievously profaned the Eucharist.

Receiving Holy Communion while in a state of mortal sin only enhances my immorality. Let’s face it, there’s no litmus test for any of us on our way to the altar to receive our Lord and Savior. Whether or not we are aware of the grave consequences of our actions, our reception of the Eucharist only magnifies our present state in the eyes of the Father.

Those of you who know me or put up with my (… shall we say…) musings on Facebook know that I have my differences of opinion with some of the things Pope Francis has had to say when he comments on most things political. And you also know that I am an apologist for Catholicism and faithfully believe in the infallibility of the Holy Catholic Church.

This is not the same.

Comments?

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