Einstein once said that “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” Since the controversy surrounding the case of Galileo, many people have believed that there is a rift or conflict between science and religion. Such warfare is nonsensical. Yet the Catholic religion has many fascinating challenges to those who have placed the wrong emphasis on science. This article recognizes the importance and value of science, but challenges those who believe that it is the only credibility to be followed.
John Paul II challenged the philosophy of scientism in his encyclical, Fides et Ratio. This is the philosophical notion that refuses to admit the validity of forms of knowledge other than those of the positive sciences: it relegates religious, theological, ethical and ascetical knowledge to the realm of mere fantasy. Scientism consigns all that has to do with the question of the meaning of life to the realm of irrational or imaginary. This leads to the impoverishment of human thought because the ultimate questions are no longer asked. Nowhere does it say the scientific method is the only method that is self evidently correct.
Throughout history, many Catholic saints have appeared to have incorruptible bodies. Few appear to be as outwardly perfect as Saint Bernadette, fresh from the grave with a body whole and intact – apparently resistant to the decay reserved for ordinary humans. Why do the bodies of incorruptibles like her remain untouched by time? How has their flesh defied the laws of nature?
The Incorruptibles are saints whose bodies are miraculously preserved after death, defying the normal process of decomposition. Modern science relegates the incorruptibles to the status of mummies, pretending it understands and can comfortably categorize these saints. How do scientists explain the fact that a year and a half after the death of St. Francis Xavier, a medical examiner placed a finger into one of the saint’s wounds and found fresh blood on his finger when he withdrew it? Or that when a finger was aputated from St John of the Cross several months after his death, it was immediately observed that blood began to flow from the wound? Or St Nicholas of Tolentino, whose arms have frequently bled over the last 400 years?
A. J. Herbert in ‘raised from the dead‘ describes throughout history how saints have helped 400 people to come back to life. The magnificent book covers Saints who raised from the dead persons who drowned, persons with mutilated bodies, person who had been hanged, whose bodies had already decayed, been reduced to skeletons, or been buried for several years. They include children, unbaptized infants, unborn babies still in their mother’s womb who needed to be baptized, persons executed for crimes, persons raised to testify in criminal cases or to testify to some religious truth, and person who would have been condemned to Hell had they not been called back to earth for another chance. The book also describes other bodily wonders of the Saints, such as levitation, bilocation and total abstinence from natural food or drink.
described how, “Before the astonished eyes of the crowd, whose aspect was biblical as they stood bare-headed, eagerly searching the sky, the sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws – the sun ‘danced’ according to the typical expression of the people.” It seems highly unlikely that so many people would be deluded. The movie the 13th day is a wonderful depiction of the events of Fatima.
Eucharistic miracles throughout history have seen consecrated Hosts literally turn into human flesh and blood. Jesus, through miracles, manifests His Presence in a more tangible way. All approval Eucharistic miracles have received full approval by the Church. The miracle of Lanciano happened when a monk who doubted the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist was celebrating mass, and the consecrated bread and wine turned into real flesh and blood. In conclusion, it may be said that Science, when called upon to testify, has given a certain and thorough response as regards the authenticity of the Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano. In 1730, consecrated Host remain perfectly preserved for over 250 years. Rigorous scientific experiments have not been able to explain this phenomena. In 1345, a consecrated Host thrown into a fire overnight was miraculously unscathed. In 1331 in Blanot, France, the Eucharist falls out of a woman’s mouth onto an altar rail cloth. The priest tried to recover the Host but all that remains is a large spot of blood the same size as dimensions as the wafer.
The blood miracle of Saint Januarius is a miracle of the Church that is still occurring today. The liquefaction of the blood of St Januarius has been occurring up to 18 times each year for the past 600 years. It is scientifically known that blood once removed from the body soon coagulates and eventually spoils. The specimens are still active are no less scientifically inexplicable than they were centuries ago.
Almost 7,000 cures have been documented thanks to the waters at Lourdes. The Church has thoroughly investigated them and found 69 undeniable miracles. Danila Castelli started having sever blood pressure hypertensive crisis. In May 1989, she got out of the baths at Lourdes and experienced an instantaneous cure. The Lourdes International Medical Committee in 2011 has certified that the cure remains unexplained according to current scientific knowledge. The committee is made up of 20 members, respected in their own particular area. This is small matter compared to the alleged hundreds of miracles you can watch that have happened through the Cor et Lumen community in England throughout the world where 40,000 have been healed in 7 years.
Apparitions of the Virgin Mary have happened around the world, and there are 9 major approved miracles in modern times. The image of our Lady of Guadalupe has no rational explanation with regards to its origin. The miraculous image has been preserved in Mexico now for over four and a half centuries, although such fibre garments usually disintegrate within twenty years. It has defied all attempts to give it a natural explanation.
In John 14:12 Jesus said that, “Whoever believes in me will perform the same works as I do myself, and will perform even greater works.” These greater works carry on today through miracles and the witness of many Christians.