- Friday, 01 April 2011 10:33
The transcript for the talk on whether a scientist can be a believer that was given at a lecture hosted by the New York Encounter in January has just been released by the Crossroads Cultural Center. Faith and reason is being explored here. It is a great question to ask if a believer in Christ –or perhaps a Jew or Muslim adherent– can be credible, true to his or her being given a certain intellectual formation. Does belief in God forfeit our true search for the Divine? Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete’s portion of the discussion is the most interesting to me and it is noted below (emphasis mine). A believer sometime has to work overtime to convince him or herself that faith and science are compatible. The other day my attention was drawn to what a little girl said about Lent: her view of life and the simplicity by which we have to look everything realizing that we don’t make ourselves; everything is given. Albacete answers the question of the compatibility of faith and science: The answer, I propose, is not only yes he can, but, in fact, it is faith that will sustain his or her passion for investigating nature, and prevent the process itself and its results from becoming enslaved to political, economic, and religious ideology.Let me know what you think.
In such a case, is awe, wonder, and joy at scientific
discoveries possible? When I was thinking about this, a friend sent me the text
of a speech given by Msgr. Luigi Giussani about the “love of being” that is
remarkably appropriate to this reflection. Giussani’s argument is that the truth of Christianity can be
verified by a proper consideration of the evidence for it. Evidence, he says,
is the correct word, even if the evidence for the Christian claim is given to
us through signs. Signs are things that can be touched, seen, and experienced. The Apostles had Jesus in front of them and this presence was a sign of His
victory over death, and therefore of His mysterious identity. But what about
us? What happens with the passage of time? What signs are there for us as
evidence of the truth of the Christian claim, of the reasonableness of the
The interpretation of the signs available to us engages our
liberty, he says. In this drama, our liberty is a manifestation of our love for
being. Without this love for being we are not truly free and we will never
grasp the evidence of the signs given to us. At this point, as an example of
this love for being, Giussani invokes the Magi.
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- Friday, 25 February 2011 10:53
On Wednesday I joined my friend Suzanne Tanzi, a
fellow traveler among friends in the lay ecclesial movement, Communion and Liberation, to an in-service billed as “Gendercide, Sex Trafficking and Violence Against Women” given in light of the Christian perspective as a way to give an alternate voice to the ideology of the United Nations Commission of the Status of Women. By the Way, Suzanne is also the editor of Traces magazine (you ought to subscribe!!!!).
The presentations were heavy and some of them need refining. The content was stimulating and possibly burdensome for the weak of heart. The truth of the violence against women around the world is devastating. I sat listening mourning the presence of evil actions in our society today. We are never very far from human frailty! On the train ride home last evening I stumbled upon a New York Post article about a Wednesday bust on drug use and mid-afternoon sex acts on a bench dedicated to Katharine Hepburn in the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza on East 47th Street, got me thinking. This presentation was being given at Holy Family Parish a few steps away from these heinous acts! You see, wanton sexual behavior and drug are not very far from us. The human dignity is at being trampled. But hope enlightened the heart
and mind where one would be tempted to despair. I walked way from the afternoon having been received salt and light, thanks in part, from meeting Reggie Littlejohn.
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- Thursday, 27 January 2011 07:07
Last weekend the New York Encounter was “a success” for the second year in a row. Lots of people, friends and guests came together for a public meeting to hear presentations, to engage in discussion, to share friendly meals and to be caught up in beautiful music. Several significant speakers addressed the crowds. People like Cardinal Seán O’Malley, OFM Cap., Father Julián Carrón, Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete, John Garvey, Carla Hendra, Charles, Townes, Clara Gaymard and others.
is a faith and cultural festival in the heart of the New York City sponsored by Communion and Liberation and Crossroads Cultural Center and several other organizations.
Let me bring together several key events by providing essays in review:
Sharon Mollerus writes about the address given by the new President of the Catholic University of America John Garvey who spoke on freedom in the university context and what it means to be at a Catholic institution and the work of freedom. Nothing gets the “goat” of university professors, especially the pampered and self-appointed intellectuals, more than questions of freedom in university life. Mollerus’ essay “CUA President John Garvey Defends Freedom in the University
Dino D’Agata writes “Claudel’s ‘The Tidings Brought to Mary
.'” Paul Claudel is estimated to the most significant poet of the 20th century and THE most quoted poet by Pope Benedict XVI. Dino D’Agata is a consecrated lay-member of Memores Domini teaching high school in Washignton, DC.
Fred Kaffenberger also reviews Claudel’s play in an essay, “A French House in New York City
” where he reflects on what this play may say to a post-modern American audience.
The New York Encounter is about being with others to see how I can face life differently. If we want change in life, to have a different way of living in society we to engage our own human flourishing with points of compassion, facing the situations presented to us in life with hope, courage, compassion, What do I believe? Who do I rely on for companionship, intellectual wonder and cultural fun?
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