Saturday, September 10, 2016

Contemplating the Particles of Faith

I recently had the opportunity to review a new book before its release. The book is called Particles of Faith by Stacy A. Trasancos; it’s an ideal stocking stuffer (and it’s not too early to think about stocking stuffers) for the college student who just left home for the very first time to study the sciences, and perhaps, stopped going to church for the very first time as well. Many struggle with how to reconcile faith and science. This book will show you how science can only be properly understood in the light of faith.

The author is a Catholic scientist herself, so who better to write on the topic. Read it and learn all about…

  • The chasm that faces every scientist
  • How scientists know very much about very little
  • The “System of Wills” and the interlocking system of reality
  • The Battleship of Scientism: Can you trust a ship that does not know where it is going or where it came from?
  • How the story of evolution is itself evolving
  • How to answer that question that annoys so many, especially in a big election year. “When does human life begin?”
  • How leaves on a tree, flapping mindlessly in the wind, helped bring a scientist to faith
This book reminded me a lot of something mentioned a few times on this blog called “The Weak Eye”1. It’s an allegory I often elaborate on from lay apologist Frank Sheed. It goes like this…

We have two physical eyes. There are also “two eyes” when looking at life; a secular eye and a spiritual eye. Our secular eye can refer to not only our bodily senses, but also all the practical things we study and learn about to help us function in our communities, homes, and jobs. This would include all the sciences as well. The spiritual eye is about how we all ponder things like the Good, the Beautiful, the True and the meaning behind it all. This eye is focused on spiritual reality. Many Catholics end up with a weak spiritual eye simply because they don’t know or exercise their faith.

What happens if we have one weak eye? There is lack of focus; we cannot see reality clearly. This can explain how those who are highly trained and educated in science can lack spiritual common sense. We can even be educated out of our faith as the secular eye gets stronger and stronger, while the spiritual eye is ignored and grows weaker and weaker. No exercise.

Once we find that reality seems unclear, what can we do? We can either close the weak eye and forget it entirely or exercise it and build its strength. But how? Think of a child that has a condition sometimes called “lazy eye”2. A doctor might recommend a way for the weak eye to start working harder. If this isn’t done, there is a good chance one eye will always be weaker than the other eye. As a result, the brain favors the stronger eye. The weaker eye tends to wander. Eventually, the brain may ignore the signals received from the weaker eye. One eye will always be blurry, one always sharp.

It’s the same thing in the spiritual life as the author alludes to in her book. She began to follow what the Church teaches (as an act of the will) by attending Mass, praying daily, consciously pursuing virtue and avoiding sin, all of which gave her spiritual eye the opportunity for exercise. If we don’t do these things, we will always favor the secular eye due to poor vision in the other spiritual eye. The weaker eye will tend to wander (spiritual wandering). Eventually, you may ignore the signals received from the weaker eye. One eye will always be blurry, one always sharp. “Whoever has ears ought to hear.” (Mt 13:9)

In terms of proof, the author tested the principles of the faith in the laboratory of her life and found them to be true, but in the end aren’t all proofs like a glass of water?

“You can purify that water and set it down in all the fine crystal you want, but you cannot force a person to drink it.”
—Stacy Transancos
Particles of Faith, page 69

Released date Oct. 10th

1.     Frank Sheed, Theology for Beginners (Cincinnati: Servant Books, 1981) p. 185.

2.     Mayo Clinic Staff, Mayo Clinic [Website], “Diseases and Conditions Lazy eye (amblyopia) Definition” (3 July 2013), Site address:

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