Faith & Reason: April 2013 Archives

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It seems the only possible means to process the Boston tragedy which is being lived today gives voice to man's desire to speaking with the Infinite,  speaking with the Triune. 

The heart is deeply moved by the power of music notes. Indeed, music has the power of the heart because it has the ability "to sense infallibly the true and the genuine."

Some of my thinking on music recently has been informed by the thinking of Pope Benedict XVI who had a profound appreciation for music as reaching the inner depths of the souls. In his book, A New Song for the Lord, then Cardinal Ratzinger said, "faith becoming music is part of the process of the Word becoming flesh" (p.122 ). And in his book Salt of the Earth, he answers a statement about Mozart:

You are a great lover of Mozart.

Yes! Although we moved around a very great deal in my childhood, the family basically always remained in the area between the Inn and the Salzach. And the largest and most important and best parts of my youth I spent in Traunstein, which very much reflects the influence of Salzburg. You might say that there Mozart thoroughly penetrated our souls, and his music still touches me very deeply, because it is so luminous and yet at the same time so deep. His music is by no means just entertainment; it contains the whole tragedy of human existence.

There aren't too many experiences in life that you can claim to experience a "thoroughly penetrated our souls" which also illumines the soul. Hence, what we experience in music is not mere entertainment.

In response to an email I sent about my friend Paul J. Murray's this Sunday's program, "A Concert for Peace," a friend of mine, Jane, sent me this article because like many of us, she has been moved by the beauty of music. Like Jane, I, too, was moved by parts of this article this regard, and I recommend that you consider the author's expertise.

The US Department of Defense has now listed Catholics and Evangelical Christians as religious extremists, that is, religious terrorists. Catholics and Evangelicals are now lumped in the same list as are the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Qaeda, the KKK and Hamas.

The slide presentation, in the context of talking about the rise of extremism, gives the impression that religious belief, whatever it is, and however it frames its claims for truth and how these truth claims are applied, are the same and to be rejected. Religious tenets can be widely different from another but that doesn't mean they lead to violent actions. Ideas are not intolerant, people can be; faith is a way of knowing the world, a way of perceiving reality, faith relates to matters of salvation. It is true that we need "religious types" need to make sure that the faithful are properly taught what is held by the Church body. If you are interested, here is the offending presentation:  Extremism Presentation & Extremist Organizations.pdf

When I saw this news item the other day I had to say to myself that secularism has now gone to a new level of intolerance and ignorance.
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La Civiltà Cattolica is one of the Church's most important journals of informed opinion. It was founded on 6 April 1850 by a group of Jesuits from Naples and therefore Italy's longest running journals. It now has a new look and approach through new efforts at renewal motivated by Pope Benedict when he spoke with the Journal staff in 2006 when he said, 

Here then, is where the mission of a cultural journal such as La Civiltà Cattolica fits in: active participation int he contemporary cultural debate, both to propose and at the same time to spread the Christian faith in a serious way. Its purpose is both to present it clearly and in fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church, and to defend without polemics the truth that is sometimes distorted by unfounded accusation directed at the Ecclesial Community. I would like to point out the Second Vatican Council as a beacon on the path that La Civiltà Cattolica is called to take.

The current pontificate of Francis will look to the Journal "to collect and express the expectations and needs of our time" and "to provide the elements for a reading of reality" that has "a particular attention to the truth, to goodness and to beauty."

There are seven Jesuits full time work at La Civiltà Cattolica, plus another seven senior Jesuits who assist in the publication but it has an increasing international group of thinkers and writers. The journal has a print edition plus a digital presence.

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Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, 47, is the editor-in-chief of La Civiltà Cattolica and he serves as a consultor to several Church organizations. Father Spadaro also writes a well-received blog, CyberTeologia.

La Civiltà Cattolica can be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

In defense of the Pope, La Civiltà Cattolica's is understood to be supportive of the Church by following the indications of the Second Vatican Council. As a journal of the Society of Jesuit and the Church its work to show a relationship faith and reason, faith and culture, faith and science, faith and the public order;to understand the world in which we live in light of the Incarnation. The Journal cuts across the various sectors of the intellectual, spiritual and cultural ambits showing a particular attentiveness with the Catholic Church through the Secretary of State;  La Civiltà Cattolica is considered to be not official but authoritative.

Vatican Radio's piece on the new edition can be read here.

An interview with Father Antonio Spadaro and Philippa Hitchen of Vatican Radio is here.
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Crossroads Cultural Center AND the American Bible Society are hosting a presentation on the latest discoveries in particle physics at an event open to the public and free of charge.

Saturday, April 13


American Bible Society (at 61st & Broadway)

Dr. Giorgio Ambrosio, Applied Scientist, Fermilab, and Dr. Stephen Barr, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Delaware.

The announcement reads,

The recent announcement of the discovery of a Higgs-like particle at the Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest and most powerful particle accelerator, has generated enormous shockwaves in the press. Some people call it The God Particle.

Why such an awesome name? Can it really be the key for unlocking some of the mysteries of the universe? Can it help us understand the origin of mass, for instance? Can it tell us anything about ourselves and our place in the universe? 

In their talks, the two speakers will address these and other related questions. The talk is geared to the general public and will include a "virtual" tour of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Switzerland.

More information

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]



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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Faith & Reason category from April 2013.

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