Sunday, December 05, 2004

A religious experience

There was a visiting priest at Saints Peter & Paul this morning, and I instantly knew it'd be an interesting mass. Firstly, the priest bore more than a passing resemblance to SF author Samuel R. Delany, complete with a thick white beard. He wore one of those black knit cuffy skull caps, and had an enthusiastic personality, literally bubbling over with energy.

When he began his homily, he caught my attention right away by discussing the creation of the universe during the Big Bang "13 billion years ago," and how the evolution of the universe is evidence of God's majesty. Rather than viewing science as an enemy of theology, he embraced it and used it as an ally. Then he did something I never expected to hear in church: He invoked Max Planck:
"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particles of an atom to vibration and holds this minute solar system of the atom together....We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. The mind is the matrix of all matter." --Max Planck

He finished his homily with a wonderful metaphore. If God is present in the subatomic, quantum physics level of matter (and the point of his arguement is that He is) then we are suffused and awash in God's presence as a fish is awash in water. Of course, his conveyance of these ideas were far more elegant and poetic than my feeble retelling.

Sadly, I did not get catch his name. But I would be more than happy were he to become a regular at my church. Max Planck! Whoda thunk it?

Now Playing: Brian Wilson Smile

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