Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Science and Religion, not Science VS Religion

1. A marine biologist is a special type of scientist who finds interest in exploring underwater organisms, as well as someone who is fascinated by ocean creatures such as sharks, whales, crabs, corals, etc. Depending on what type of branch of marine biology one wants to get into, the work varies. However all branches include teamwork, whether it be with members from your specific branch, a business manger, technicians, and scientists from other disciplines. Marine biologists also look at the complex chemical makeup of marine toxins, as well as the effects of weather and environmental changes on marine life. Many marine biologists work at large aquariums, as caretakers for the creatures that live there. They can also work at environmental agencies. The type of education required to become a marine biologist includes the following; a graduate degree, and those with a masters degree can work as laboratory technicians, and research assistants. A PhD is needed for most independent research and administrative positions.

2. In order to accomplish this job both as a good Catholic and a good scientist it is important to keep the pillars of discipleship and Gospel values in mind. One of the pillars of discipleship that is vital is service. Helping those in need, or in this case sea creatures who are in need, is a perfect example on how being a good Catholic and being a good scientist go hand and hand. Without previous knowledge of how Jesus helps others, some people may be blindsided to knowing the difference between serving others and serving yourself. Having a Catholic mindset can overall improve someones job performance, because you are looking at a situation with compassion alongside the knowledge you have within that particular field. Another important pillar of discipleship that serves as a foundation for someone in the marine biology discipline is sacraments. In the Catholic faith, sacraments show the commitment we have to Christ. We partake in reconciliation, which mends out relationship with God, as well as taking the body of Christ every mass, and accepting God's grace. If someone doesn't partake in the sacraments, it becomes more of a challenge to become the salt and light of the Earth, like Jesus wants us to be. How can you be the salt and light of the earth when you don't take part in the body of Christ, communal prayer or the sacraments? We can also look at the fact of  if you're not using the knowledge of marine biology to improve things like ocean pollution or harm to animals, then how are you apart of the marine biology discipline? If you're not serving God, how can you serve others? This question can also work in reverse, because if you cannot serve others, how are you serving God? We need to be constantly reminded of what God teaches us and what he wants from us, so that we can apply that knowledge in our everyday lives, including our career paths.

3. If I were to be working as a Marine Biologist, and I was faced with a situation where I could see that the marine life within my working facility were in distress do to lack of space in their tanks, I would try and approach the issue to the best of my ability. A section from the Youcat that is a good teaching to keep in mind when confronted with an issue such as this one is the dignity of the human person as well as how one acts justly. We must always be sure to give God and one's neighbor what is due to them. In this situation, sea creatures aren't getting the space they need to live happily and comfortably, causing them to live in distress. Using these teachings as a lens when making a decision, I would hold a type of fundraiser or gala in support of a new place in which has ample space and resources so that the animals may live carefree. Especially because as a marine biologist, you have the best interest of the creatures at heart. If the first idea doesn't work, maybe the best option at that point would be to let the creature go back into the environment it was taken from. Although this may mean losing money and time, as long as the happiness of the animal is not effected it should be an easy decision to make. "Justice without mercy is unloving; mercy without justice is degrading." -Freiedrich Von Bodelschwingh

Monday, March 6, 2017

He Plans to Give Us Hope, and A Future

1. Elie Wiesel's relationship with God goes from being fairly steady, to faltering in the face of extreme adversity. At the young age of 15, Elie is propelled into a situation much greater than himself when he is forced to be apart of the horrific events that made up the Holocaust in 1944. When Elie and his family are pushed to leave their house, Elie has his first obstacle involving his faith. "I looked in my house of which I spent years seeking my God, fasting to hasten the coming of the Messiah, imagining what my life would be like later. Yet I felt a little sadness. My mind was empty," (Wiesel, 25). It is evident that he abandoned some of his religious pursuits whilst leaving for the concentration camp. Later on in the novel when situations worsen for Elie, we see him in a state of which the religious aspects of his life are no longer as strong. "For the first time I felt anger rising within me. Why should I sanctify His name? The Almighty, the eternal and terrible Master of the Universe, chose to be silent. What was there to thank Him for?" (Wiesel, 35). It becomes very hard for Elie to keep his faith, especially when his faith is the thing he is being tormented for. He believes that God is turning his back to him, and questions why he should glorify Him.

2. I feel as though when presented with a situation I have no control over, such as someone getting sick in my family, or something bad is happening around the world, I turn to God for reassurance in hopes that things will miraculously go back to how they were. However, although it is important to turn to God in times of hardship, it is just as important to turn to him in times of happiness and triumph. We should reach out to God all the time, not just when it's in our own personal interest.

3. There are many instances in which cause me to question the existence or goodness of God because I don't understand how he could allow something so evil and callous to take place. When I was around 11, my grandfather was diagnosed with Stage 2 prostate cancer, and my family and I took it pretty hard. Often times I found myself asking, "If there was really a God, why would he let this happen to me and my family?" I had trouble understanding, since my grandfather had never done anything to cause such hardship upon himself. He cared for his family, went to work, and always appreciated everything he received no matter how big or small. What did he do that was so bad? Fortunately, he got the cancer removed and has been healthy ever since. I was thankful, and that was the first time I truly got a sense of what a real obstacle felt like. It was then that my family and I understood that God works in mysterious ways, because my grandfather getting sick opened our eyes to everything we have to be grateful for; family, friends, our health, etc. It brought us closer together, as we each leaned on each other and tried to face it together. In my opinion, the best way to overcome these challenges is to understand that there is a reason behind all of it, and God has a plan for us all. "'For I know the plans I have for you', declares the Lord. 'I do not plan to harm you, I plan to give you hope, and a future,'" (Jeremiah, 29:11).

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Is Holden as Hopeless as We Think?

 Holden Caulfield can be defined as a self-destructive teen who is fascinated with the trappings of the adult world. Holden struggles to make personal connections, as he uses alienation as a form of self-preservation. Despite being completely turned off by the idea of "phonies", readers often find Holden  to be quite hypocritical due to the fact that he is a phony himself. "It was very phony- I mean him being such a big snob and all," (Chapter 12). While at Ernie's, a popular bar in New York, Holden witnesses the owner of the bar, Ernie, play a few pieces on the piano for the customers. As the piece comes to an end and people clap for Ernie, Holden began to get very agitated because apparently people always clap for the wrong thing. He then goes onto say how after the performance, he felt pessimistic, and just wanted to leave. In a comical way, a part of him felt sorry for Ernie, however it is evident that Holden envies the recognition that Ernie receives and when he realizes that, he is quick to add his disapproving opinion.

To help Holden be rid of his jealousy, I would share the story of Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). I would do so in hopes that it will unveil to Holden that sometimes those who are considered to be 'rich' on Earth, Ernie being rich with talent and success, those who are 'poor', Holden being poor in spirit, will live in eternity with God, as long as they adhere to the expectations of the Church. This would then benefit him in the sense that he could form healthy relationships without being envious of the other person and their possessions, whether they be physical or emotional possessions, and truly get to know them for who they are. It wold give him hope that he's not going to feel by his lonesome and defeated all the time, because there is a light at the end of his dark tunnel that will remain there if he stays faithful and has a firm positive outlook on life.