Friday, 13 January 2017

The Catholic Doctrine Of The Eucharist. Part 17.



If nothing is to be admitted but what reason comprehends, boasted science herself must fall a blind victim. Who will attempt to explain the mysteries which present themselves in optics, magnetism, electricity, &c. How will the chemist demonstrate the transubstantiation or change of substance which takes place in every chemical union ? He knows, as a matter of fact, that two highly corrosive substances by their union become mild and harmless—two harmless substances when united deadly poison—two colourless substances may present us with a brilliant complexion—and the union of two fluids a solid mass. By the atomic theory he has learned, that bodies unite in certain proportions, that there is a maximum and a minimum, above or below which there is no chemical union. But where is the philosopher capable of explaining a plan which could be conceived only by infinite wisdom and executed by unbounded power? Hence if the opposers of the infinite mercy and love of the Divine Redeemer be consistent, they must refuse to make use of the results of chemical operations—they cannot use glass, salt, porcelain, metals, spirits, wine, sugar, &c. If they be travelling by sea and experience a storm, they must throw the compass overboard, because they do not understand the polarity of the needle. If, finally, they be sick and at the point of death, they ought not to take medicine, because they cannot comprehend its nature, formation, or mode of operation. The contrary, however, is their practice, when there be question of the health and comforts of their bodies. Should they be less solicitous for the safety and happiness of their immortal souls? Can they be justified in rejecting the bread of Angels offered on our altars because their limited reason does not understand the operation of infinite power and infinite goodness? Should they not rather acknowledge with a modern writer on chemistry, and rationally confess, " That this study enlarges the mind, and gives it a more exalted idea of the infinite wisdom, power, and goodness of God? "— Hence this material world becomes a more intelligent book, in every part of which the Divinity presents itself to our view. The mysterious operations performed by the chemist, and the wonderful changes produced in the essence of bodies, teach him to believe mysteries in the order of grace.