Jesus, Mary, and Joseph Ministries in Tucson, AZ offers a regular Catholic newsletter to its volunteers, donors, and the community it serves. We send them out to our subscribers, and post it here in our website for your convenience. The latest newsletter will always be available directly on the website. On the other hand, archived newsletters will be kept as downloadable PDF files. Feel free to read our most recent newsletter below!
Spiritual reflections are good sources of inspirational thoughts and stories that can help you learn more about God and strengthen your faith. Read through the monthly reflections posted by Jesus, Mary, and Joseph Ministries in Tucson, AZ. We hope that these thoughts will bring awakening and enlightenment to your spiritual life.
A number of writers propose that the Christian belief in God and living a religious life in today’s world is naïve and simplistic. Writers such as Richard Dawkins, a biologist, The God Delusion, Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation, Daniel Dennett, Breaking the Spell, and Seth MacFarlane, producer of the new TV Show, Cosmos, argue that a secular and atheistic belief produces a more ethical and better functioning society. They praise the superiority of atheism through the process of science. It is science, they maintain, that gives “Man” his significance and power. Michael Novak, in his book, No One Sees God: the Dark Night of Atheists and Believers, writes the atheist’s purpose is to “demolish the intellectual and moral pretensions of Christianity”. Frequently, they assert that the Christian Church actively blocked the march of science and the understanding of our world. But is this realistic?
The first question to ask is what is science? Science epitomizes a construct or way of thinking. It represents a useful tool for analysis and if rigidly followed is helpful. Science is “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment”. Science can only focus on what is observable and only those observable “things” which can be quantified or counted. Science, using statistical-mathematical concepts based on probabilities, determines if the “event” has a greater statistical chance of occurring other than as random event. (Gambling in Las Vegas is based on probabilities.) Science describes the process of “how” but it cannot explain the “why”. Why has its origins in Philosophy; why coupled with “non-material” or non-observable concepts aligns with Theology, a branch of Philosophy. In short, science is only a tool that can help us to develop some ideas or theories about how material and observable “things” function. It cannot, due to its limitations, answer all questions.
Secondly, secularists and atheists attack Christianity and the Catholic Church, in particular, as unscientific and as a barrier to science. Fr. Robert Barron, in the website, Strange Notions and in his Word on Fire website, argues that many of the prominent scientists were religious. Fr. Barron writes, “The great founders of modern science—Copernicus, Galileo, Tycho Brahe, Descartes, Pascal, etc.—were formed in church-sponsored universities where they learned their mathematics, astronomy, and physics. Numerous other priests and religious such as Fr. Gregor Mendel, the father of modern genetics, Fr. Teilhard de Chardin, a Jesuit priest who wrote extensively on paleontology, and Fr. Georges Lemaître, the formulator of the Big Bang theory of cosmic origins represent a small sampling of Christians expanding the sciences. I would dare to say that the concept of science and scientific inquiry stem from Christianity. It is Christianity that affirms the intelligibility of the natural world. Fr. Barron, writes in the Strange Notions website, The Cosmos and One More Telling of a Tired Myth, “all of the founders (of science) would have imbibed the two fundamentally theological assumptions that made the modern sciences possible, namely, that the world is not divine—and hence can be experimented upon rather than worshiped—and that the world is imbued with intelligibility—and hence can be understood. I say that these are theological presumptions, for they are both corollaries of the doctrine of creation”.
So, what are we as Christians to do? The first thing to do is what not to do. We cannot ignore the secular culture and we cannot ignore those who denigrate the Christian Faith. We must evangelize and share our faith. We must pray for those who do not believe and for those who are “weak” in their faith. Secondly, we must be better informed of our faith and willing to share it. As St. Francis of Assisi is reported to have said, “preach the Gospel by our actions and when necessary use words”. Our faith, our love of God, the Father in the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ demands to be shared with others. This sharing must be done with courage and mercy, with love and generosity. Finally, as previously stated, we must pray and allow the Lord to use us in proclaiming the Gospel.”
Are you starting a spiritual journey? Monthly reflections from our ministry can help you create a better connection with Our Lady. We would like to be part of your journey and play a role in bringing you closer to The Holy Family. If you have further inquiries about our Catholic ministry, please give us a call today.