"True science to an ever increasing degree discovers God as though God were waiting behind each door opened by science." Pope Pius XII
As reported in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 8 (1952), 143-146, Pope Pius XII while marveling at the advances of modern science commented, “True science to an ever increasing degree discovers God as though God were waiting behind each door opened by science.”
Our Lady of Guadalupe is one incredible example of how God (who created science) and his handiwork (as explained by science) interact in a synergeia that mirrors the life of Our Blessed Mother.
The touching story of St. Juan Diego and the plight of the Aztec people reveal how our Almighty God and Father desires all his children to know, love and serve Him. He seeks us out, and through the intercessory work of his angels and saints, he finds us...but only if we are open to His Spirit. The parables of the Good Shepherd and Prodigal Son ring so true, we must accept the hand that invites us to be picked up and carried, we must return home to our True Father after we throw away our eternal inheritance and fall into the pit of despair.
The tilma image defies scientific explanation, and it functions as a doorway to God who remains hidden to those who do not see with the eyes of faith. Mary leads the lost to her saving Son, that is her mission. And the Native-Americans were moved by this truthful icon of a Mother (of all the living) who loves her Son (and all His little brothers and sisters, anawim).
Little Girl (Nińa) paints (Pinta) Holy Mary (Santa Maria). Is it mere coincidence that Christopher (Christ-bearer) Columbus (Dove) christened his three vessels with these now famous names and that they foreshadow the 1531 event by serving as a declarative sentence, a statement of fact that speaks to the miraculous image of the “Woman Clothed with the Sun.” (Rev. 12). The tilma image is a self-portrait of the Blessed Virgin Mary—with heavenly grace as pigment, and a once thorny cactus cloth as the incorruptible canvas. Mary's universality, her humility, her motherhood all supernaturally expressed as a gift of God's grace for all. Try to find this explanation in any science book!
The same can be said for the mysterious of the Shroud of Turin, it defies scientific explanation. This supernatural work of the Spiritual Sun is caused by the "radiation" of the His Resurrection on Easter morning, at that singular moment when He made all things new…yes another Creation moment, another “Big Bang” if you prefer to couch it in colloquial jargon. (Strange how science dumbs down the verbiage of concepts that point to God. Singularity is the best they can come up with, ABSOLUTE ONENESS). This singular gift of grace that opened heaven to all believers.
When you add the modern image of Divine Mercy to these two more seasoned icons, you begin to see that we Catholics have a treasure trove of visual symbolism that should buoy up our faith. Not that faith is dependent upon these, but rather, that a more abundant life flows from prayerful meditation upon these gifts from the Divine. Mercy is available for those who trust in Jesus…Jezu ufam tobie. I should know, because I received this gift of His saving grace in the Ark of the Covenant on April 16, 1998. I came away from that experience with the unshakable understanding that “IT IS ALL TRUE.”
As we complete this composite picture with the icon of the Trinity by Andre Rublev, one begin to truly appreciate the “eastern lung” and how this witness of the Divine and Eternal Council leads from contemplation into action. We came from the relatonship of the Three Persons of the Most Holy Trinity and are destined to return there, for all eternity.
It is a most important work for Catholics to take back and use the very words which the ancients employed to describe key elements of our faith. Just because energy sounds scientific/technological doesn’t mean that it has no place in our Catholic walk of faith. On the contrary, if we fail to use what has been passed down to us from the Church Fathers, we run the danger of losing the heritage that has sustained us for these past 1,977 years.
Sincerely yours in Jesus and Mary,
Mike Rizzio, SOLT
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* - J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R. stands for: Jesus, Mary and Joseph;
O Beata Trinitas; St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael