The Science of the Unseen
By Father Gerald Gawronski
“We do not lose heart… our inner man is being renewed every day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weigh of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen, for the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Cor. 4: 16-18)
We can actually see the Corona virus that currently is the source of turmoil around the world. We obviously can’t see it with the naked eye, but many of us have seen the enlarged images. And it is a very important thing to deal with. Sacred Scripture reminds us, however, that the things we can’t see are almost always more important: “the things that are unseen are eternal.”
Do you believe love exists? Love is unseen, it is invisible. We can see people performing loving acts but we don’t actually see love in and of itself. I wonder what our relationships would be if we could actually see how much love there is in a person’s heart. Read more.
How would life be if we could see a “love gauge” on someone’s forehead? When things are going well, that gauge would indicate “F” like a gas tank, and then there would be some times our love gauge may move toward “E” when we are tired and when our selfishness starts to surface. If we had a visible love gauge, the vast majority of us would try harder to love. If we had a love gauge on our forehead, I bet bandanas would be a popular fashion accessory! I know this is silly. But even if we had a love gauge, we would still not see love itself.
Love is invisible; forgiveness is invisible; the powerful interior forces, both good and bad, that move persons and our corporate destiny, are invisible. They are unseen.
The parish is a place where we worship God primarily, but in the service of our primary goal, we consider philosophical and theological truth. This is the place where we attempt to enter into the unseen things in the deepest way we can. It is possible then, that this is one of the most important places in the world.
The study of that which is unseen, that which is invisible is also scientific. The word “science” is the Latin word for knowledge and it is in reference to knowledge through causes. Philosophy and theology deal with the examination of forms and substances along with their features (things like unity, equality, opposites, and aspects of identity of a thing). We further maintain that these considerations are scientific because they employ a systematic logic and the capacity to experiment within certain boundaries. There is a scientific way of approaching spiritual reality.
The study of God and other things unseen is not only scientific, thankfully. It is also a personal odyssey (although the study of material science can also be a personal odyssey). In pursuing truth, we can also usually learn things about ourselves. The deeper the truth we pursue, the deeper the knowledge we can gain of ourselves.
Our pursuit of the knowledge of God opens up all kinds of treasures for us! It opens up the knowledge of all the attributes of God –attributes that God wants to share with us by grace. God is merciful, kind, patient, pure, self-controlled, and gentle. He wants us to manifest these traits. It is growing in our familiarity with God and then our practice of His goodness that makes us our best selves. This is how, as St. Paul says in the passage above, the “inner man” is renewed.
The daily grind of duties and the weight of persistent problems right in our face can sometimes cause us to become faint-of-heart. Part of the way that we are able to be more loving every day, is by giving a proportionate attention to our spiritual life. I am glad to be here with you to pursue these most real, unseen things.