- 151 pages
- Level: high school and above
Despite the title, the stars are not really a central feature in this collection of short essays by Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete, who had a background in physics and worked as a research scientist for the Naval Ordnance Laboratory prior to becoming a priest. One essay, “Only Wonder Knows: On Being a Scientist and a Believer”, addresses “Faith and Science” in a fairly direct manner. The other essays are much more indirect but can offer remarkably frank assessments of science. For example, Albacete offers this on psychology:
Modern psychology developed in a culture that rejected the transcendent dimension of human existence, that is, the relation between a human being and a God that is totally beyond what we can think, imagine, or desire—the God who lives in “unapproachable light” and can only be approached if he gives us the capacity as a gift, a grace which in no way depends on our powers to accomplish what it does accomplish. The modern world rejected that and made the human being and human capacities and needs, the measure of what is real. Modern psychology has its roots in that rejection. The results of all its experiments and its speculations are necessarily affected by that rejection; they are the fruits of that prejudice. They are not objective scientific results; they are prejudiced results.
From the publisher, Slant Books (which also features videos related to the book):
From Popes to television personalities to high school students, everyone who encountered Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete knew there was no one like him. He could engage you with a joke about a New Yorker cartoon, move on to a keen commentary on the state of the culture, and finish off with a meditation on the Gospel of John. In his talks and essays, Albacete made profound theological and philosophical insights accessible without ever losing their depth and breadth.
But with the exception of a single book published in his lifetime, much of Albacete’s wisdom has been scattered and hard to find. The Relevance of the Stars fills this vacuum. With his characteristic wit and ease, Albacete engages the thorniest questions—the relation of faith and reason, the problem of modernity, the possibility of a Christian culture—as they play out in science and politics, money and love, law and finance. He speaks to families, youth, and his friends in the media.
The New Yorker cartoons feature here, of course, alongside Dostoevsky, Flannery O’Connor, and Elie Wiesel. Albacete masterfully engages the thought of John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Father Luigi Giussani, the founder of the international lay movement Communion and Liberation, whose passion for the infinite Albacete made his own.
Click here for a preview, courtesy of Google Books.
Click here for an excerpt, courtesy of the publisher.