Before you rush to judgement, please hear me out. I know the title can be misconstrued and it may seem like I am plunging into the Science vs Religion debate. I am not. I am peering at science from a different angle - a Faith-based angle. Last August (2015) an article was written in the Washington Post about the discovery of vessels which connect the brain to our immune system (Brain's missing Pipes). I recently read about this discovery two months ago on one of my feeds and it has nibbled away at the Faith/God component in my own brain. Science, nibbling away in a completely positive manner, reinforcing my own Faith!
The item that made me inspect the article closer was the first sentence: “Throw out the textbooks.” This was a new physical link found where one was not thought to exist. These vessels distribute immune cells and carry fluid away from tissues disposing of cellular waste. They are our bodies' own Navy Seal team. Virus comes (Foreign invader), wreaks havoc; to the rescue come these vessels, bringing the immune cell team, and then the very same vessels carry all the garbage out (like Drano).
Science knew this type of drainage takes place in nearly every other part of the human body, but not in the brain. One scientist who observed this said he was stunned to find an extensive complex network in the brain performing this function. The brain which has been physically taken apart over the last century via CAT scans, MRI, PET scan, EEG, needles, a scalpel and probably a dozen other methods.
Point is, science thought they had this organ nailed.
As one commenter put it – “Too bad God didn’t color code the wires.” I laughed when I read this. Great comment after a great scientific find.
A few days ago Allison Brown wrote a moving post about Faith (read it here). Knowing you have to have it but not physically seeing it is a difficult concept for many people. Even in our own families, we can get scorned about God, about Faith. We all have stories, we even have some of our own that shamefully we may have said.
“Come on, Peter, there is a being who came to earth, said he was Jesus and God and some Ghost, and he died for my sins. Riiiiiight, He can’t even help me find a husband!” To some in my family I cannot even mention God because all of a sudden I am the next Billy Graham speaking.
Depleted Faith from good people who are jaded, non-believers, or disenchanted. Here is where science can help. Where the article above can help.
The scientists knew the brain had to have something like these vessels but could never prove it. They postulated about a special brain ecosystem doing this. The great thing about science is it never stops, even when looking for a cure is overwhelming, impossible, viruses that keep morphing, years of meticulous research thrown out, having to be done again.
Thousands of man hours are “wasted” every year, millions of dollars. Yet, science still trudges on. Still believes, still tests hypotheses. Science even has its version of a miracle! The fluke discovery. That is how these vessels were found. By mistake! But now science has physical proof of a connection and all new doors open. New money, new potential possibilities to address brain diseases. Scientists are revitalized, excited.
This is our Faith.
We live our life and in own own way life is not easy. We may never feel happy, our job is not fulfilling, our kids are a disappointment, we are a letdown to our parents, never have enough money, can never lose weight, unhappy with our spouse, can’t break that addiction, we can’t live like the Jones’. Sin is our virus.
[Tweet "Every setback is not a waste; it’s a path."]
After reading the preceding paragraph things may seem overwhelming, negative, just like the scientists looking for that cure. With Faith, though, we keep praying, we collaborate with God, we go to Church regularly, we read the Bible, look at CatholicMom EVERY day. We put in the hours of sincere Faith, we work with others who have Faith and never stop. Every setback is not a waste; it’s a path. Sometimes an old path, sometimes a new path.
Like a determined scientist, keep trying, even if it looks as if God has deserted you. Your “miracle” will come. It may take years; it may be a small, seemingly insignificant win; it may be a big win; but like the scientist who cheers every minor win, you need to cheer your minor wins. You will be revitalized. Your Faith will be renewed.
To tie this back to our Faith, Jesus said it best, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."
Copyright 2016 Peter Serzo
About the Author
Peter Serzo, observer, listener, author, speaker, and blogger. He shares his experiences at different Catholic churches at Dotirome.com and on his popular Priest Podcast, with enlightening conversation with those that lead (not a theology conversation but a conversation on being a priest/leader/human). Peter travels, visiting different Catholic churches satiating his curiosity and desire to spread each parish's uniqueness though his blog and presentations.