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“The blind man is the human race”

A Scriptural Reflection on the Readings for Sunday, March 19, 2023, the Fourth Sunday of Lent

Detail from "Christ healing the blind man" (1560) by El Greco (Image:

• 1 Sam 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a
• Psa 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6
• Eph 5:8-14
• Jn 9:1-41

Scripture refers many times to the contrast between darkness and light. The first mention of this division is in the opening chapter of Genesis, in which God speaks light into being. “God saw how good the light was. God then separated the light from the darkness” (Gen 1:3). Light, of course, is essential for the existence of living things, who rely upon it for everything from heat to energy to sight.

The opening of the Gospel of John intentionally echoes the opening chapter of Genesis in describing how the Word of God—Who created all things—came into the world in order to bring about a new creation. “What came to be through him was life,” the Apostle John wrote, “and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (Jn 1:3b-5). The intertwining themes of life and light, death and darkness, set the stage for many of the narratives and discourses in the Fourth Gospel, including today’s Gospel reading, which is the story of the man born blind.

At the heart of this fascinating narrative is a simple but powerful contrast: the man who is blind from birth knows little, but upon encountering the healing Savior learns much. The Pharisees, who present themselves as knowing everything of importance, expose themselves as men who can be taught nothing, even though they speak directly to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word (cf. Jn 9:39). Part of the initial discussion is focused on the disciples’ question about who is to blame for the man’s blindness. Jesus’ response might seem flippant—indeed, would be flippant—if He weren’t God. But it also points out that the disciples, like the Pharisees, are more interested in assigning blame than in extending mercy and healing.

Saint Augustine, commenting on the spiritual sense or meaning of the man’s blindness, simply stated, “This blind man is the human race.” Although the man’s physical blindness was not due to his sin, all of mankind is stricken with spiritual blindness, passed on to us by our father Adam due to his prideful desire to find fulfillment apart from God. That act of rebellion resulted in man’s expulsion from the Garden, into the desert of a world deformed and darkened by sin. All of us, like the blind man, are unable to heal ourselves; desiring to see, we stumble about in darkness and misery.

Blindness in first-century Palestine meant being almost entirely cut off from the ordinary life of society. Analogously, spiritual blindness consists of being separated from the life and grace of God—that divine “society” of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The key question for every man is simply this: Do you really want to see? The Evangelist, in depicting the various responses to Jesus’ word and actions, reveals the clear divisions created by Christ and that His words and deeds demand an honest response. Upon having spittle applied to eyes and being told to go wash in the pool of Siloam, the blind man obeys. But that is just the beginning of the miracle of sight, for he will soon recognize, through spiritual eyes, that the man called Jesus (Jn 9:11) is also a prophet (Jn. 9:17)—and not just any prophet, but one sent from God (Jn 9:33).

But the full splendor of spiritual light is shown forth when he says, “I do believe, Lord” and worships Jesus (Jn 9:38).

In talking to the Pharisees, the blind man used simple but unsettling logic: the man who healed him must be from God since only God can perform such a miracle. The Pharisees, in response, throw him out—most likely excommunicating him from the life of the Temple and synagogue. They would rather speak for Moses than listen to God; they preferred to slumber in sin than actually be saved. But those who desire to see and to live will heed the words of Saint Paul: “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

(This “Opening the Word” column originally appeared in the March 2, 2008, issue of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper.)

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About Carl E. Olson 1200 Articles
Carl E. Olson is editor of Catholic World Report and Ignatius Insight. He is the author of Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?, Will Catholics Be "Left Behind"?, co-editor/contributor to Called To Be the Children of God, co-author of The Da Vinci Hoax (Ignatius), and author of the "Catholicism" and "Priest Prophet King" Study Guides for Bishop Robert Barron/Word on Fire. His recent books on Lent and Advent—Praying the Our Father in Lent (2021) and Prepare the Way of the Lord (2021)—are published by Catholic Truth Society. He is also a contributor to "Our Sunday Visitor" newspaper, "The Catholic Answer" magazine, "The Imaginative Conservative", "The Catholic Herald", "National Catholic Register", "Chronicles", and other publications. Follow him on Twitter @carleolson.


  1. Perusing this article [I love outsmarting the dangling participle sin] ‘I’ was taken by light darkness contrast. Vision and blindness good and evil. A man born blind, handicapped was often thought inflicted by a parent’s sin as indicated. Jesus in turn seizes this darkness to reveal the Father’s glory. A devotee of John of the Cross The Living Flame of Love leans heavily on this contrast used by Christ. For the contemplative darkness not Darkness is the place to find Christ. Darkness understood as shrouding the world, distancing from the sensual. Even our normal thought processes [Quietism a heresy is a form of spiritual physical languish in guise of contemplation]. Contemplation the very conscious search for God begins with charity arrives at a deep silence in the dark of interior night. A place where God speaks to the soul in language the intellect cannot comprehend. What is said comes to light in the person’s wisdom, Christlike works of charity. Augustine, I believe Pope Leo the Great speak of this interior Light given to all in one form or other [we’re all called to contemplation and most practice it without knowing]. Darkness what we experience now is a moment to seize for greater good.

  2. Thank you, brother Carl, for your article and the all-important, life and death spiritual distinction between darkness and light, blindness and sight. Given my strong belief and also personal experience that True Catholic Faith infuses EVERYTHING, this article reminded me of the old horror TV show, “The Twilight Zone”. To illuminate this, the Bible says, “Or what fellowship does light have with darkness?”, which is a question that answers itself: ABSOLUTELY NONE!!

    There’s only light and darkness, and the Compromise Zone, the Moderate Zone, the Inclusiveness Zone, the Twilight Zone, infinitely more than in the TV show, carries a lot of REAL LIFE and Eternal Life horror. In Lent and every time, we need to remember this Absolute Truth, and for that I also highly recommend this article that expands it way much better than I ever could: “God and Hell (Part Two)”, in The Catholic Thing by Father Thomas Weinandy. I did my little “copy and paste” of that article because it is worth reading again and again to keep us in the LIGHT of Christ with His Holy 20/20 VISION, with eyes, heart and mind wide open!! Yes, it’s that powerful, check it out!

  3. And yet, where today do we see the power of Christ? Where is he healing blindness today? Where is he raising the dead today? Where is he providing living water, welling up from within? His Church has withdrawn, His power is nowhere noticeable. The Church and the world cry out to no avail. The people who walk in darkness are still walking in darkness. Or today, rather, they are staying home in darkness because the government has ordered them to stay at home and the churches aren’t celebrating Mass. The only light in their lives is from their phone and computer screens. Where is Christ’s light? Someone point it out to me, where it is unmistakably present and powerful and active with results as transforming and obvious as giving sight to the blind man and raising Lazarus from the dead. I want to see, but I don’t know of anyone, not even in the Church, who appears able to be a guide. The whole Church seems impotent and false in these days.

    • Dear Henry, yours is a legitimate remark. Thank you for your honesty and your heart-rending but respectful expression. I come from a long spiritual journey that in a nutshell went like this: Catholic, atheistic, agnostic, New Age, Eastern Religions, Occultism, Protestant, Catholic. If I’m so strongly Catholic now is because I see the danger in all these other “spiritualities” as I experienced them directly and strongly as I do nothing half-way. Where was God for me in all these “lands of Egypt” I traveled and even when later I was attacked by some corrupt Clergy for standing for what was right while also losing some very dear friends? It looked like I went from bad to worse!

      I also had to carry for a very long time the deep wound from childhood that the person who initiated me into the Catholic Church was also very abusive of me. Imagine that!! I had to separate the merely human side of the formal INSTITUTION of the Catholic Church from the MYSTICAL BODY of Christ that the Church is at its very Core. When I did that, that Power of God that you, me and we all crave, started to slowly manifest in my life in small ways that grew with time. Even when Church doors were closed or the hearts of the people inside could be closed or semi-closed to me in some ways, JESUS Heart was and is always OPEN. His Heart Speaks To Our Heart!

      You see those two sides even when you check Church History, where the INSTITUTION shows the whole spectrum of dark human garbage (remember Judas Iscariot?) BUT also the Epic, Magnificent Power, Love, Mercy and Redemption of God. You say: “… but I don’t know of anyone, not even in the Church, who appears able to be a guide. The whole Church seems impotent and false in these days”. You are talking about the INSTITUTION, my friend, and that’s a good picture of it so far, but the Church has found itself THERE hundreds of times throughout History and has come out of it and flourished and thrived again and again and again for 2,000 years and will do so at any time and in the future because it IS the Body of Christ!!

      Because of our Free Will, that does not happen in those that out of wounds, pain, resentment, pride or whatever decide to focus only on the sinful human side of the Church. I INDEED was there and did that! BUT GOD… (my favorite phrase in the Bible)… decided to show me the right way to Him and I surrendered and I no longer live in total dismay at the Church’s sins which are a reflection of my very own and everybody else’s and which should make us to daily repent, seek Him and hold on to HIM much tighter and much deeper every day! Once you do that, the TRUE “guides” will show up, just like God provided me a spiritual mother in a humble, unassuming neighbor lady that guided me to the CORE of the TRUE CATHOLIC FAITH! Beware of the false ones! God bless you very mightily and all you hold dear!!

    • Thank you for such an honest statement of your experiences, dear Henry.

      Anyone who seeks for, listens to, obeys, and lovingly follows The LORD Jesus Christ (“Behold, I am always with you!”) WILL experience miracles on a weekly basis; mostly small but sometimes really big and totally lifechanging.

      The classic modern Catholic example is shown in the video: ‘Viva Christus Rei’, concerning a prayer group from El Paso who minister to the dump workers & their families in Juarez.

      Catholic Priest, Fr Tommy Lane has a nice homily online about the ‘Miracles at Juarez’:

      As a widely experienced, much published, & frequently cited international scientist, my colleagues find it incredible that I believe in every miracle described in The New Testament. Not only that, but I often witness to them about the numerous miracles our beloved Jesus Christ has worked in my life. Those include seeing Rezwanul Hoque, a Moslem grad. student, dying of medically certified, incurable, uncontrollable diabetes healed instantly as we Catholics responded to his tears & cry for help with our humble prayers.

      Read the astonishing miracle of May Lemke’s many years of faithful care & prayer for severely brain damaged, adopted baby, Leslie. Year after year, May’s Catholic faith rested in her firm belief: “Jesus Christ is the best doctor!”. Blind Leslie became a famous concert pianist! Shirlee Monty wrote a great account in: “May’s Boy.”

      Why don’t most Catholic parishes see frequent miracles? I’m not an expert but I suspect it’s because the Holy Spirit has been well & truly grieved & quenched by the unbelief & ungodly allegiances among their clergy and laity.

      Yet, like the prodigal’s Dad, Father God is always longing for us to come home.

      Never give up Henry! Hunger for all that Jesus Christ has for you. Passionately long to be filled with His Holy Spirit. You don’t need to be an expert – just a simple believer who never stops asking for all Christ has won for you on The Cross.

      Please meditate on Romans 8:31-39.

      With much love in The LORD; blessings from marty

  4. Thank you , for also helping many to focus on these readings more .
    One month ago, 2/22 , was The Feast of Chair of Peter ..
    we , in the midst of a pandemic that is said to have originated with bats , bats that are noted for their blindness and in a culture that has been blind , esp. of the dignity of life , for many reasons .. rest of the world too, often having turned a blind eye to same , having missed many occasions for evangelisation , in the related lands ,may be from missing out on the Oneness , which The Lord often yearned for – the 2, to be of oneness , in mind and heart , in The Spirit , as in good marriages .. and often also looking for whom to blame – with the echoes of that lie from The Garden – ‘ is it The Father ..’ ;
    yes , it is often the father – of lies , who come to steal , kill and destroy , as the kingdom of death spirits ..
    and The Father , who respects the freedom of His creatures, may be allowing same , when called in at such massive levels … by choosing the blood thirsty bats , instead of The Spirit and the light and image of The Father that He wants to bestow ..
    there are also those mysterious words of The Lord in the above -‘ the night comes , when no one can work ..’
    would it be a night of the hardness of hearts ,that like bats have chosen to go for the sounds of the world filled with carnal voices of contempt and pride against the sacred ..
    Spring breaks as an example , often filled with young people at the beach , sleeping all day , waking up in the evening for a night of music and revelry , at home ..

    Let us hope that , enough hearts are calling on The Spirit , to drive away the blood thirsty bats from the caves of the eyes and ears , with the help of holy angels too , that His voice and the spittle of the Water of Life undo the death spirits all around ..

  5. Sin is like a contagion and it affects us all. Adam gave us death, Jesus gives us life. Adam yielded to created. By means of God’s Holy Spirit we yield to the Creator. We are born anew of the Spirit. Astounding, amazing that God loves us so.

    We are to be obedient, yet when we are not, we confess our sins and the Lord restores us. The blood of Jesus is pure and undefiled and is the propitiation for our sins. Astonishing, wonderful is our Triune God of creation. We do well to remind ourselves of His mercy, that He understands what sin does to us and He is faithful and just to forgive us as we confess our sins. This is a work of grace, given freely by the Lord to all who believe in His word and deeds.

    Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

    Acts 2:38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    Acts 3:19 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,

    Colossians 3:13 Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

    Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.

    Luke 17:3-4 Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”

    Let all praise the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

    • Oh dear, dear Brian, again.

      Many of the verses you’ve piled up have a different exegesis when viewed in the context of the complete New Testament revelation). Texts out of context are a pretext, we were taught.

      Dear brother Brian, in future please do not simply list strings of scriptures. It will be more helpful if, in each case, you say what you believe and precisely how each scripture cited subtends your belief.

      Blunderbussing one another with miscellaneous texts does not properly honor God’s Word.

      The freedom one has, once one is saved into The LORD Jesus Christ is not freedom to sin but freedom to live as: “. . imitators of God, as beloved children, living lovingly as Christ loved us and gave himself for us, as a fragrant offering & sacrifice to God. But fornication & impurity of any kind, or greed, must not even be mentioned among you, as is proper among saints.” Ephesians 5:1-3.

      Please carefully read The Holy Gospel according to Saint John, chapter 10, verses 27 to 30. As appointed by The Father: King Jesus Christ alone is the One who gives eternal life to all those who pay attention to His words, faithfully following Him.

      How sad that so many souls joyously confess Jesus as LORD and then are lost (see, e.g. Matthew 7:21-24). Think of the multitudes who confessed Christ at Kathryn Kuhlman’s and Billy Graham’s rallies; the millions who flocked to Papal masses and to Medjugorje, etc.

      In Matthew 13:1-9 Jesus specifically overturns the common Protestant claim of ‘once saved, always saved’; and the Catholic misconception of ‘every church member saved’. James 2:14-26 emphasizes the tragic misunderstanding of presuming that faith alone saves. As James tells us in verse 19, even the demons (shudderingly) believe.

      Not every church member is saved, as witnessed by many New Testament texts, such as the vomiting out of lukewarm believers in Revelation 3:16.

      How many Catholics, Anglicans, Orthodox, & Protestants in our churches think they belong to Jesus Christ by affirmation or membership but actually are disqualified by the ungodly works of their multiple allegiances to pagan superstitions, luck, astrology, satanism, witchcraft, freemasonry, Buddhism, fortune-telling, and so on.

      How few clergy preach the absolute exclusiveness of true faith in The LORD Jesus Christ (see, e.g., Matthew 10:34-39). Because of their erroneous understanding too many of the clergy & the laity are throwing away their eternal life in Christ because of their divided loyalties.

      Addressing this gaping wound should be the core business of church synods; not the abominable proposition of including unrepentant sinners in the Body of Christ.

      Dear Brian, stay strong in the LORD Jesus Christ – the only One who can save us on Judgment Day.

      In the unmerited, indescribable joy of serving The Lamb of God; love & blessings from marty

  6. The author blesses us with enlightenment. We have a problem which is darkness, more commonly referred to as sin.
    God is light and wants to bring us out of darkness into His eternal light. His touch is healing just as His word.

    God’s word is living and active. It is His love note to creation. Do we not care to hear from one who loves us? When God speaks to us there is direct application for particular circumstances Yet, because He is God there can be a broader reach to the verses. Studying, contemplating, praying and listening to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit gives us discernment. It increases our usefulness and love for His singular gesture of going to the cross on our behalf.

    We are told there is one name under heaven by which men may be saved. That is Jesus Christ. It is not the church nor the sacraments, dogma, rituals, or the Blessed Virgin. These can be a help to worship and insight to salvation. While an aid, we must stand on Christ alone. It is so simple that we can miss the gift of Christ.

    Under no circumstances should we have indifference for God’s word. It is always to our benefit whether addressing a specific problem or spreading His love in a general sense.

    The article speaks the dark sin problem in man. Scripture declares fully the remedy. Jesus Christ is to be exalted over all assists to worship. Helpers are not the Lamb of God nor are they intended to be.

    John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

    Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

    1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

    Romans 10:9 Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

    Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

    2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

    God’s richest blessings to all who call upon the name of Jesus.

  7. If the blind man represents the human race, then yes, our parents (Adam and Eve) DID sin thereby causing the blindness the rest of us have inherited from them. But since Jesus specifically rejected that causation, the analogy fails. Sorry, Augustine.

    • Original sin does descend from our first parents. Sin causes a darkening or a blindness of the intellect and will. The man’s bodily blindness is used as a metaphor for the inability to understand or “to see” or to know. We want to accomplish something, but we are weak and we cannot. We desire to know, to understand, to learn, to become wise, and we struggle.

      Mankind, until Christ and the founding of His Church, had no remedy to assist it in easing or forgiving or ‘lightening’ the effects of original and personal sin.

      Now do you see how the analogy works?
      Sin does cause a darkening or a blindness or a warping of the intellect and the will.

  8. Currently I’m reading Journet’s “What Is Dogma?” Journet (1892-1975) was a Swiss professor of dogmatic theology, founder of the journal Nova et Vetera, Cardinal, contributor to VCII, prolific writer and weekend priest and spiritual advisor. His works are delights to read.

    Journet describes faith as having two aspects, two kinds of light. The first, the prophetic, is an objective, real presentation (in words) of what God has revealed as the object of belief, what is to be believed; that is dogma. A response to the prophetic light is sanctifying light, that which enables assent; this sanctifying light of faith becomes “the foundation and source of all justification”.

    In a mere 120 pages, Journet also covers loss of faith and mysticism. He describes mysticism beautifully, likening it to one’s loss and wonder amidst dark stars which are simply veils during the light of the midday sun. With the movement of the sun, the light of the stars dazzles. The stars he likes to dogmatic statements based of course on the real objectively known by man. Why? The bestowal of His Own prophetic light, the revelation of Himself, in and through His creation, is man’s Life, and all this is shadowed in the words, the language, the light of dogma. There are intimations of faith and works here and there in the tome, but a bit deep for me to discern on first reading. (Journet also worked on VCII religious freedom idea.)

    What a joy is faith, and knowledge and intellect–gifts God shares with men! Praise God for His Holy Church, the vehicle through which His Light is shown. May He forgive men who aim to extinguish Her light.

  9. Wondering if the scientific mystery of the dual nature of light as both particle and wave might be viewed as a metaphor for the dual nature of Christ Jesus, the Light of the World, as both truly human and truly Divine.
    Certainly this can’t be an original observation!

    • That’s a nice analogy, dear Tom.

      One could add that, unlike the particles/wave duality, The Son of God/The Son of Man Union makes personal, free, moral choices of such divine perfection as to create space-time/energy-matter, containing all the non-moral choosing particles & waves!

      “He (Christ Jesus) is the Image of the unseen God and the First Born of all creation, for in Him were created all things in Heaven & on Earth: everything invisible – thrones, dominations, sovereignties, powers – all things were created through Him and for Him. Before anything was created, He existed, and He holds all things in unity.”
      Colossians 1:15-17.

      “. . for The Father judges no one, He has entrusted all judgment to The Son, . .”
      John 5:22. This (with many other of Jesus’ instructions) indicates that neither our affirmation of belief in Him, nor our church membership is judged. It is simply our obedience to His commands that King Jesus Christ will judge, as demonstrating whether our belief affirmations & church membership have been single-hearted & sincere.

      We pray not to be among those, who at Judgment hear King Jesus Christ say: “Why do you call Me: ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do what I say!” Luke 6:46. Verses 47-49 make Jesus’ stern warning to everyone who claims to have faith shockingly clear.

      ‘Saving faith’ is faith that genuinely resolves to seek to live life in obedience to all of Christ’s commands. In that there’s no duality.

      Always in the love of God; blessings from marty

  10. John 8:12
    Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

    Jesus Coming to earth is comparable to Creation. God first Created earth, but “the earth was without form or shape, with darkness over the abyss”. Then God said, “Let there be light, and there was light”.

    Many atheists try to deceive mankind into thinking that earth came later, in a ‘13.8 billion year’, ‘creation. In actuality God Created earth first, then later said, “Let there be light, and there was light”, then on the fourth day God put the sun, moon and stars over the earth, or in other words, put earth into our sun’s solar system.

    What is going to happen to the mass of pre-existing earth, when God pops the mass of one septillion stars into existence, on the head of needle, next to the mass of earth? The force of gravity will pull earth to near the speed of light. At the speed of light physical time stops elapsing. This is how God created billions of years of star formation, while on earth only six days had passed. God used ‘Time Dilation’ during Creation.

    So Jesus coming to earth to heal the blind man truly is similar to God creating light for a pre-existing, blind earth. Jesus Who is the ‘Light of the World’ is directly comparable to the light of the world.

    Genesis 1:1 The Story of Creation.

    Day One
    In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth and the earth was without form or shape, with darkness over the abyss and a mighty wind sweeping over the waters.
    Then God said: Let there be light, and there was light.
    God saw that the light was good. God then separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” Evening came, and morning followed—the first day.

    Day Four
    Then God said: Let there be lights in the dome of the sky, to separate day from night. Let them mark the seasons, the days and the years, and serve as lights in the dome of the sky, to illuminate the earth. And so it happened: God made the two great lights, the greater one to govern the day, and the lesser one to govern the night, and the stars.
    God set them in the dome of the sky, to illuminate the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw that it was good. Evening came, and morning followed—the fourth day.

    Time dilation and space flight​
    Time dilation would make it possible for passengers in a fast-moving vehicle to travel further into the future while aging very little, in that their great speed slows down the rate of passage of on-board time. That is, the ship’s clock (and according to relativity, any human traveling with it) shows less elapsed time than the clocks of observers on earth. For sufficiently high speeds the effect is dramatic. For example, one year of travel might correspond to ten years at home. Indeed, a constant 1 g acceleration would permit humans to travel through the entire known Universe in one human lifetime. The space travelers could return to Earth billions of years in the future. A scenario based on this idea was presented in the novel Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle.
    Quoted From: Wikipedia: Time Dilation

    • Pop Quiz!
      Solve for physical time since ‘Big Bang’ creation.

      Earth’s brightest cosmologists have been invited as guest speakers at a Creation convention, 13.8 billion light years from earth. Earth’s starships are fast and they get to the convention in six days. Earth’s brightest cosmologists start out their presentation by explaining that ‘Big Bang’ Creation happened 13.8 billion years ago. All the Aliens are laughing! Out of desperation, earth’s cosmologists call their colleagues back on earth for advice. The woman answering the phone back on earth explains to the cosmologists that their colleagues do not work there anymore, and that their colleagues had died 13.8 billion years ago.

      How many years from ‘Big Bang’ Creation is it now?

      • Dear Steven Merten,

        Many of your posts about Church matters seem accurate and useful.

        Your venture into Science is less convincing. Please note the physical limitations that are blithely ignored by SF movies, etc.:

        Whilst our universe has about 2 trillion observable galaxies, scattered through the vast space opened-up by an ever-expanding Big Bang that occurred about 13.8 thousand million years ago, non-scientists are surprised that telescopes can only detect radiant energy from a much smaller distance.

        We remain blind beyond a horizon equivalent to the distance light can travel in 13.8 billion years; yet there’s MUCH more beyond that since the universe kept expanding during the eons needed for that light to reach us.

        Things we now see as originating from 13.8 billion light years away have themselves moved to about 45 billion light years away from us, which is the current radius of the known universe. So, the ‘actual-universe’ has a diameter of at least 90 billion light years. That’s over twenty times larger than the ‘observable universe’ accessible to our telescopes. There’s likely to be more than 40 trillion galaxies, most of which are permanently unobservable by us.

        In fact, the small percentage of the universe that we can observe is constantly declining. Strange but true.

        Another stunning discovery is that our universe is almost completely flat but space-time itself is dimensional. The competing explanations of cosmic dimensionality are complex. Even though our most powerful telescopes access only a small part of the actuality that cosmologists know must exist, what we can see is so gigantic that this Earth, solar system, and galaxy appear as specks.

        Cosmologists describe how the gigantic, unobservable ‘actual-universe’ surrounds the ‘observable universe’, itself only visible to us in terms of radiant energy from the far distant past. In its turn, the ‘observable universe’ surrounds our Milky Way galaxy, the context of our star, the Sun and its nine planets, including Earth.

        Yet, ignoring the gigantic scale of physical reality, a deceptive ‘cartoon’ vision of human conquest of the universe is propagated and has established itself as a commonplace global paradigm and inducement for sci-tech investment and vast public expenditure.

        Cartoon cosmology is the meat of SF novels and movies which grossly blur the difference between hard scientific truth and romantic, scientistic fakery. ‘Millenium Falcon’ bumping its way through asteroid belts is a parody of the incineration of any fast-moving space vehicle meeting ubiquitous clouds of abrasive space dust.

        Also, we now have data showing sub-terrestrial gravity seriously damages human body systems, so prohibiting long journeys in spaceships and making the colonizing of Mars, the Moon, etc. only possible for non-physiological robots.

        In outline: physical cosmologists understand reality as an incredibly vast and ancient universe, most of which we will never be able to observe. Our galaxy and solar system are but ephemeral specks in this stupendously large and ancient universe. To get the scale right, let’s bear in mind our galaxy, with 400 billion stars, is over 900,000 trillion kilometers in diameter.

        Sorry to be a killjoy, but even if one were able to do the impossible and travel at the speed of light, it would take you 100,000 years just to traverse the Milky Way galaxy alone (with no sightseeing along the way!).

        Yet, this humongous distance is less than 0.00004% of the known universe.

        Dear Steven: we gotta face it – Christ made us from earth, on Earth, for Earth, until He comes to inaugurate the new heavens & the new earth.

        In the meantime: “The heavens above continuously declare the glory of God!”

        Always in the love of The Lamb; blessings from marty

        • Hello Marty, Blessings!
          So what is your answer to the pop quiz?

          Our gps satellites need computers to counter their slower elapsing physical time at their faster velocity, Time Dilation. Otherwise they would put us in the ditch. I am so amazed at how physical time slows down, and even stops elapsing, the faster you go.

          So, for others reading these posts, how many years from ‘Big Bang’ Creation is it when earth’s cosmologists travel 13.8 billion light years from earth in six days?

          Peace in Christ

      • Does everyone understand that if you could put your starship at the speed of light, physical time would stop elapsing, and you would literally travel, even a trillion light years distance, in literally ‘no time at all’ (0 physical time elapsing)? For people on earth, at earth’s present day, far slower than the speed of light velocity, watching a starship traveling at the speed of light, we see the starship traveling at 299,792,458 metres per second. For people on earth at our present day earth velocity, we have to watch a starship, which is traveling at the speed of light, for 13.8 billion years, for the starship to travel 13.8 billion light years through space. For the people traveling in a starship at the speed of light, zero physical time is elapsing for it to travel 13.8 billion light years. This is Time Dilation. Note: science tells us we can only travel at near the speed of light, and not at the speed of light.

        Both scientists and God use earth as our clock for Creation. If earth has constantly maintained its present day velocity, from before God said ‘Let There Be Light’ to the present day, then Creation took 13.8 billion years to accomplish. If God put, His and our clock earth, at near the speed of light while Creating billions of years of star formation around earth, then Creation took only six days, and on the seventh day God rested.

        Seeing that no human was there to measure and record the speed of earth from before light was Created till today, we will just have to take God at His Word. If atheist scientists want to come up with some other concoction, fine, simply let Creation Christians be at peace with believing in seven day Creation, which is completely within the natural scientific laws of physical time.

        The speed of light at earth’s present day velocity
        299,792,458 metres per second
        kilometres per hour: 1.1B
        miles per hour: 671M
        miles per second: 186K

        • If you think about our Spiritual God in His Omni-Presence to all physical time, Eternal now, Spiritual realm, going to Create the passing of physical time in a brand new physical realm for man, slowing down the passing of physical time from the speed of light where no physical time is elapsing, to our earth’s present, 299,792,458 metres per second slower earth velocity than the speed of light, is what God is going to have to have done during Creation. God simply slowed down the ‘Big Bang’ ‘Let There Be Light’, everything else in the universe besides earth, first, to build billions of years of star formation around earth. While God still reserves earth, man’s new home, the primacy of first of Creation.

        • Dear Steven, it’s so encouraging to me to see you manfully facing up to the huge task of bringing scientific discoveries into consonance with biblical revelations. So few thinkers take up this quest for uncompromising honesty.

          Truth is truth and in all cases it’s Source is from God through Our Lord Jesus Christ. Those, like you, who firmly assert this are proclaiming that, in Christ, we will one day understand the perfection of Theology/Science consonance.

          All I can add is that my studies have convinced me that we will be unable to find that consonance if we under-rate the non-physical, pure ethical character of God who is Spirit (John 4:24) and is Love (1 John 4:8).

          God’s Realm (Basilea, Kingdom, Heaven) is not a space-time/energy-matter construct, like our physical universe. Luke 17:21 is a key verse regarding the Realm of God being unseen but close & even within us.

          As you know, legitimate science depends on methodological physicalism, that errs when it slips into philosophical materialism and atheistically choses to ignore the vast preponderance of reality, which is not material at all.

          As both The New Testament and science agree, this universe is ‘wearing out’ & ‘fading away’. It is the stage (most brilliantly constructed against the deceptive and murderously destructive intentions of the Stoikheia or elementary powers, which Jesus saw fall like lightning from Heaven and described as liars & the primordial parent of deception).

          God’s words: “Let there be Light” initiated the invasion of Stoikheia-pervaded temporary physicality by God’s unseen rule of eternally perfect morality.

          Our exegesis of Genesis 3 thus has to accommodate the prior existence of sin in the form of the primordial serpent who has been sinning since the beginning (seemingly from about 13.8 billion years ago). The obdurate seriousness of sin is exemplified by the very long and arduous cosmic history of salvation needed to unravel all its works (see 1 John 3:8).

          The next stage included revelations through Abraham and other priests & prophets among the chosen people. Finally, God in Christ Jesus became incarnate through our Most Blessed Mother Mary, so as to make matters totally clear. He provides His Cross as the way for every human to get free of sin and begin to live the life of God’s Realm, even amidst this darkness (see Philippians 2:15). Jesus prophesized the grande dénouement, when He will return in power to judge and annihilate all evil and wed the New Jerusalem, our eternal home. “Come soon dear King Jesus.”

          This is the greatest saga imaginable: “Hollywood weep & grind your teeth!”

          Congratulations on the insightful directions of your thinking, dear Steven.

          Always in the love of the lamb of God; blessings from marty

          • Dear Marty and Steven:

            Insightful God honouring perspective from your chairs.

            1 Chronicles 29:11 Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.

            Psalm 145:3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.

            Hebrews 1:3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

            Genesis 1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

            1 Timothy 1:17 To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory forever and ever. Amen.

            In His name,


          • Hello Marty,
            Again, thank you for all the kind words.

            The reason I keep asking for your answer to the Pop Quiz, is for you to confirm, that though we may disagree on other things, the answer to the Pop Quiz is that there is no such thing as an amount of physical time since ‘Big Bang’ Creation.

            If an object, photon, starship, dust, earth, or any object, is traveling at the speed of light, then no physical time is elapsing for that object. If a starship, dust or earth is traveling at earth’s present velocity, from before light was Created, through the whole time of star formation, then 13.8 billion years have gone by. Objects traveling at a speed where time is elapsing at half the rate time elapses at earth’s velocity, then 6.9 billion years have gone by. Objects traveling at a velocity where only one eight the rate of elapsing time on earth, then only 1.7 billion years have gone by since Big Bang Creation.

            Even our satellites, due to their slightly faster velocity, have time elapsing at a slower rate, and thus have less physical time compounding since the Big Bang, if they had been traveling at their same speed since before light was Created. Everything in the Universe is traveling at different velocities, even the core of the earth is younger than the crust of the earth, do to a stronger gravitational force at the core of earth. How could the core of earth have less days on earth than the crust of the earth? And everything in the Universe is constantly changing its speed since Big Bang Creation, so how could there be a specific, ‘years since Big Bang Creation’?

            So please Marty, could you please confirm the proven science of time dilation, by answering the Pop Quiz question.

            It was actually Albert Einstein who discovered time dilation in his Theory of Relativity. Einstein then developed all the calculations on velocity compared to the speed of light, for us to know exactly just how much difference there is in elapsing physical time at different velocities.

  11. Dear Steven,

    Maybe no one wants to respond to the idea that any object with significant mass can travel at the speed of light. Only photons, gluons, gravitational waves, and some neutrinos can do it because they are virtually mass-less and charge-less.

    The unsurpassable obstacle is that to accelerate anything with mass (a particle or a person) requires kinetic energy and the laws of physics cause that energy to register in the inertial mass of the object being accelerated. This means that, even for objects of little mass, being accelerated to let’s say 1/20th the speed of light, their inertial mass becomes so huge as to require VAST amounts of kinetic energy, and that adds immensely to their mass, and that then demands humungous amounts of energy to increase speed.

    As you up the speed you are aiming for, it’s not long before you need virtually infinite energy! You may have noticed that no stars, planets, comets, meteors, etc. ever travel at even a tiny fraction of the speed of light.

    But, yes, time dilation is real and that may imply that if a person could lose all their mass and experience the reality of a photon, they would not age.

    In regard to creation, the photons created in the big bang and subsequently in stars, supernovae, etc. have expanded outwards at the speed of light, but material objects have expanded at very substantially less speed. The photons have not aged but all material objects have aged.

    Steven: hoping my humble efforts here help a bit towards you getting a grip on what even the greatest physicists struggle to comprehend.

    Ever in the love of Christ, the Creator of it all; blessings from marty

    • Hello Marty,
      Again thanks for the blessings and many blessings to you as well! I do like talking about science. As a kid, my uncle was a ninth grade science teacher. He would talk about all this stuff and I was always amazed.

      Earth being Created first, with no solar system, and then the mass of one septillion stars suddenly popping into existence on the head of needle, from nothing, I said to myself, ‘Wow! That sure looks like a planet accelerator! And God buried the plans of a planet accelerator into Genesis scriptures for us to read and understand only in our era.

      Add to the planet accelerator idea, the idea that empty space is coming into existence between earth and the Big Bang, that will make earth travel faster. God could have Created the Big Bang, the mass of one septillion stars, traveling at the speed of light toward preexisting earth, and then the Big Bang started to slow down as it exploded. Then there is that thing where there was a great expanse in the universe. When the mass of one septillion stars, and earth are very small, ‘on the head of needle’ as my uncle used to say, as you say, they can travel faster than they can after a great expanse. The force of gravity travels at near the same speed as light, so, initially, there is no web of gravity, or anything, for earth to encounter resistance from, only the dead ahead gravity of one septillion stars pulling earth toward the Big Bang. Then you have dark matter which seems to be God’s hands holding the whole universe together even to this day, being used upon Creation.

      Remember God’s Creation includes Adam on earth. So anything before Adam on earth is only part of Creation and anything can happen.

      Remember, we are only looking for Atheist scientists to agree that it is scientifically plausible that billions of years of star formation can occur in six days on earth. Especially with God planning and causing six day Creation to happen.

      The reason this is so important to me, is because so many people are drawn to atheism, and thus eternal damnation, over this six day Creation issue. What on earth! I don’t get it! Still, I hear, read and see this all the time. So if we can show people that it is completely scientifically plausible, according to the natural scientific laws of physical time, that God can create billions of years of star formation in six days on earth, maybe we can save a few souls.

      I watched a video, ‘The Cosmos’, with atheist Stephen Hawking totally mocking God and trying to force St. Pope John Paul II to admit that Big Bang Creation happened 13.8 billion years ago. Then Hawking went on to talk about what came ‘before Creation’, in order to mock our Creator God. Then we saw Hawking at the Vatican in his wheelchair with shadows from a window making bars across him like he was imprisoned at the Vatican for being too smart. So let’s talk about atheist Stephen Hawking’s teachings.

      Peace and Blessings to you Marty,

      • Hi again, dear Steven.

        In Israel, learned biblical exegetes warn their students that they will need 60 – 70 years of intense study before they will be able to comprehend divine cosmogenesis.

        Let’s be careful not to rush in where angels fear to tread.

        The interface of theology, philosophy, & science is the ultimate challenge to human thought & explanation.

        Catholic & other true Christian seekers will keep in mind:

        “The LORD does whatever pleases Him.” (Ps115:3; 135:6a). Obviously, God can do all things and in whatever way God chooses.

        “I (Jesus Christ) am The Light of the world, whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness but will have The Light of Life.” John 8:12.

        “If you continue in My Word, you are truly My disciples; and you will know The Truth and The Truth will make you free.” John 8:31b-32.

        “. . for this I came into the world, to testify to The Truth. Everyone who belongs to The Truth listens to My voice.” John 18:37b.

        Science, Philosophy, AND Theology must always be subject to the magnificent & unparalleled rule of Christ from whom, by whom, & for whom the entirety of space-time/energy-matter exists & is being shepherded to its final purpose.

        ‘Young Earth’ philosophies unnecessarily reject much that scientific data affirms. Unnecessarily, because the theological truths they try to defend are far better supported by the correct theological interpretation of what science has found.

        Properly collated theology & science give far more honor to God than stubborn insistence that scientists have got it all wrong!

        Science’s 13.8 billion year-old universe is of such magnitude and magnificent structuring (much of it unsearchable) as to provoke deep awe and worship of its Author. The same omnicapable divine Author who was willing to share our human nature, revealing His omnibenevolent divinity in resurrecting after humiliating execution on the cross of Calvary.

        “To The One seated on The Throne and to The Lamb
        Be blessing and honor and glory and might
        Forever and ever. Amen!”

        • Dear Marty:

          Our God is the master of time and space. One day we will see Him as He is, for we will be like Him. What a promise!

          Psalm 90:4 For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.

          2 Peter 3:8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

          Matthew 14:25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea.



        • Hello Marty,
          Peace and blessings to you.

          “Science’s 13.8 billion year-old universe is of such magnitude and magnificent structuring (much of it unsearchable) as to provoke deep awe and worship of its Author. The same omnicapable divine Author who was willing to share our human nature, revealing His omnibenevolent divinity in resurrecting after humiliating execution on the cross of Calvary.”

          So when atheist scientist Stephen Hawking travels 13.8 billion light years, in six days, to the Creation Convention, and starts to explain a 13.8 billion year old universe, are the Aliens going to be in awe of God, or will they be laughing at Stephen Hawking?

          God is clearly seen building a planet accelerator in Genesis. I think God building billions of years of star formation around earth, in six days on earth, is even far more Awesome than those who believe in 13.8 billion year Creation.

          To obey God is to love God. God Commanded that we not work on the seventh day out of love for God in observance of His rest on the seventh day. God literally building the universe in seven earth days, certainly drives home God’s desire for us to Love Him, through obedience to His Commandment to Keep Holy The Sabbath!

          We Christians all know that God Can build our Universe with Adam on earth in six days. It just seems greatly Awesome to see God telling us that He did so in Genesis; which is by using Time Dilation.

          Genesis 2:1
          Thus the heavens and the earth and all their array were completed. On the seventh day God completed the work he had been doing; he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken. God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation.

          Exodus 31:12 Sabbath Laws.
          The LORD said to Moses: You must also tell the Israelites: Keep my sabbaths, for that is to be the sign between you and me throughout the generations, to show that it is I, the LORD, who make you holy. Therefore, you must keep the sabbath for it is holiness for you. Whoever desecrates it shall be put to death. If anyone does work on that day, that person must be cut off from the people. Six days there are for doing work, but the seventh day is the sabbath of complete rest, holy to the LORD. Anyone who does work on the sabbath day shall be put to death. So shall the Israelites observe the sabbath, keeping it throughout their generations as an everlasting covenant. Between me and the Israelites it is to be an everlasting sign; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, but on the seventh day he rested at his ease.

          Remember, Christian Creationists are only asking that atheist scientists accept God’s use of Time Dilation, while God Creates the universe around earth, as a completely acceptable, plausible Scientific Theory, in line with the natural scientific laws of physical time.

          Peace in Christ

          • Thanks, dear Steven, for revealing at last the philosophical presupposition that guides your thinking.

            Nomenclature is of fundamental importance in theology & science; indeed in all of life.

            You latest comments seem to name you as an Old Testament Literalist (OTL). It is inappropriate to assume the descriptor ‘Christian Creationist’ in that all true Christians are that by their faith that God in Christ created everything. Yet, the vast majority of us are not OTLs, like you.

            One always asks OTLs to read what Our Lord says in Luke 5:37-39; and Luke 6:5.

            Hebrews 8:13 also reflects on the disappearance of the old. Then, Galatians 5:4 shows us the seriousness of the error of clinging to what God in Christ has surpassed:

            “But if you look to The Law to make you justified, you have separated yourself from Christ and have fallen from grace.”

            True Christians are given freedom from Moses, in Jesus, who is The LORD of Moses, and by whom, through whom & for whom this universe was created (e.g. Colossians 1:15-16).

            Beloved Jesus has not left us alone, under the yoke of Moses.

            In Christ we are FAR better off because He has poured out The Holy Spirit of God on us as our Counsellor (John 14:26) and instructed us to ask The Father to give us more (Luke 11:13b).
            The Lord, Holy Spirit of Truth teaches us all things.

            Sadly, your idea, dear Steven, of God using time dilation to create this ancient, extensive and enormously intricate universe of space-time/energy-matter in seven, 24-hour periods fails the alethic test.

            Have a chat with some leading university physicists (many are good Catholic Christians) and, if they have time, they’ll explain to you the preposterous assumptions of your proposition and show you what the true situation is.

            Carl’s great article was about the opening of the eyes of a blind person and that’s my prayer for you, Steven. That you’d be unafraid to observe the realities of this universe and, to see how New Testament theology embraces it all as glorious evidence of the working of our omnicompetent & omnibenevolent Savior.

            Thanks, dear Steven, for causing me to think about this.

            Ever in the love of The Lamb; blessings from marty

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