Moved by a Natural Mystical Experience
Italian Paolo Beltrame is a second year Jesuit novice of the Northwest European novitiate in Birmingham, UK. He spoke to Pat Coyle about his life as an astrophysicist and his strong faith in God.
Paolo, who researched dark matter for 15 years, discovered that not having the reason ‘why’ behind the scientifically proven laws of physics led him to open the door to God. Following what he describes as a “very natural, mystical experience” during a research trip to the United States, he was inspired to join the Jesuits and seek a greater experience of God. He compares it to the experience of the magi who, as astrologers, searched for the infant and upon seeing him had a conversion of heart and desired a new life.
With regard his search for truth, Paolo told Pat Coyle: “The progress of science is a gift for theologians and the progress of theology is a gift for scientists. It’s kind of finding God in everything.” However, he does not want to merge religion and science: “To walk I need two legs and I want to use both of them”.