The next time someone accuses the Church of discouraging intellectual exploration that could benefit humanity, one would do well to bring the following thinkers to bear upon the discussion:
1) Louis Pasteur – Inventor of Pasteurization
Louis Pasteur, inventor of the process pasteurization (one of the biggest breakthroughs ever for preventing disease), was once praying the Rosary on a train when a young man criticized his devotion as a manifestation of scientific ignorance. Pasteur simply had to introduce himself to dispel this spurious charge of superstition.
Apocryphal or not, the anecdote is confirmed by Pasteur’s many quotes in favor of the life of faith:
“A little science takes you away from God but a lot of science takes you back to Him… Question your priorities often, make sure God always comes first… Posterity will one day laugh at the sublime foolishness of the modern materialistic philosophy. The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator.
“I pray while I am engaged at my work in the laboratory… Blessed is he who carries within himself a God, an ideal, and who obeys it: ideal of art, ideal of science, ideal of the gospel virtues, therein lie the springs of great thoughts and great actions; they all reflect light from the Infinite… Do not let yourself be tainted with a barren skepticism… Could I but know all, I would have the faith of a Breton peasant woman.”
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