Sunday, January 04, 2009

Sr. Cynthia Guza's article on black holes sets me to thinking...


This morning I finally sat down and read Pauline Sister Cynthia Guza's paper Evading the Black Hole: Can it be Done? Sr. Cynthia, thanks for the read. Your paper did its job and stimulated thought in this one reader, to whit:

"God may perform miracles by manipulating the probability allowed by physical laws."

I found that statement in an article called The String Theory and Miracles by Frank Lee. It reminded me of something my physicist friend Steve Barr explained in his excellent book, Modern Physics and Ancient Faith. In that book he argued that modern theories of quantum mechanics and indeterminacy provide an opening for free will to act; in other words modern physics, and not just religion and philosophy, provides a coherent basis on which to posit the existence of free will.

I've been thinking a lot about the nature of miracles since my grandson Owen's severe brain injury went away. I believe this to be a miracle of intercessory prayer worked by God to glorify His servant Blessed James Alberione, who in turn wanted nothing more in life than to glorify God.

The essence of miracle seems to be to be resurrection. I have experienced resurrection after resurrection in my own life, ie. situations in which severe problems in the real world, problems that caused me bleakness, grief, despair, discouragement and black emptiness have been transformed by actual events in the real world of such surprise and problem-solving wonderment that I can only receive them as Resurrection.

This has been my experience, time and again, since a night in 1973 when I told a God in Whom I did not believe that I would not take matters into my own hand and end my problems by taking my own life. I would instead trust that He existed, and could help me, and would wait on Him to do so.

Scripture says in a few different places that nobody who trusts in God has ever been put to shame. That's what I discovered after making that first act of trust as an adult. The resurrections have always come, never in the time that I wanted them to come, always with so much dragging feet (of wings?) that I was ready to believe that I would have to accept, forever, the mundane reality of whatever crucifixion I was undergoing. But then always, and ever, the miracle happened and the Unsolvable Bad Thing in Life dropped away and grace enfolded me. And the problem -- the situation, the sickness of soul or body or mind, the royal crapfest -- was gone.

And in the first flush of its disappearance, it seemed always like a Miracle. A Resurrection.

Then, time would try to have its way with me. What had seemed amazing and impossible became the done deed, the status quo.... the big yawn... Of course Bill wasn't lying in hospital at death's door for 8 months; of course Eric was not a vegetable or a monster; of course my marriage was not in hell; of course my child's OD was not fatal; of course I didn't lose my sanity or my faith when Simon died; of course my grandson Owen's brain is lacking injury.

It doesn't matter what it was, or how impossible the odds had been that the event would turn out okay, when a sufficient amount of time had passed, what is appeared to the world to be what always was. And insofar as I am of the world, I too began to take for granted the grace that had presented itself as Resurrection when it first descended on me.

I think about this stuff a lot when I meditate on the mysteries of the rosary. We see them from a distance, and take them for granted. Entering into them, we hope to return to the moment of grace and wonder (yes, even the sorrowful mysteries) when the Event was New.

The original Miracle.

And how did it come about?

"God may perform miracles by manipulating the probability allowed by physical laws."

One of my kids once said that the Staboszes ought to play the lottery, because so many improbable things have happened to us. Probability. Miracle. Resurrection.

It do give one pause to think.

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