Friday, June 03, 2005

St. Paul's Analogy of the Body Updated (#1)

"Just as a human body, though it is made up of many parts, is a single unit because all these parts, though many, make one body, so it is with Christ."
[1 Cor 12:12 Jerusalem Bible]

The Heart
"The mammalian embryo, having practically no yolk available as food, is dependent for its survival and growth on the prompt establishment of relations with the circulation of its mother. This implies the neceesity of a very early development of the embryonic cardio-vascular system, for the maternal circulation remains confined within the uterine walls and the embryonic circulation must grow to meet it. Until this is accomplished the embryo is dependent on what food material it can obtain by direct absorption from the fluid within the uterine cavity..."
[B. M. Patten, Foundations of Embryology, 289]

How poetic is is to note that the hemopoietic centers - that is, the places where blood is made - begin to form around the third week of life. But these are not the red blood cells of adulthood called erythrocytes - those marvels which bring the outer air to every part of the body, which do not have a nucleus, and so do not divide and never have offspring, but exhaust themselves in service to the body...

Thus, let it be noted that never again can someone say that the celibate priesthood is unnatural! It is curious to also note that there are two other early forms of red blood cells which do have nuclei.

But these servants of the body will not go anywhere unless they are sent [See Romans 10:15]...
As a mammalian embryo advances [through the early stages of life] it satisfies all its metabolic needs by simple, diffusive interchanges with the fluid medium in which it is immersed. But as the embryo continues to gain size and begins to take form, a functioning circulatory system becomes necessary in order to make use of the required food and oxygen obtainable from the mother's blood. Hence it is that the heart and blood vessels are the first organ system to reach a functional state. [at about 4 weeks]
[L. B. Arey, Developmental Anatomy 375]

It is the heart which sends forth the blood, and so enables growth.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.


At 03 June, 2005 16:59, Blogger Jeff Miller said...

Now that is a cool reflection.

At 03 June, 2005 17:41, Blogger Nancy C. Brown said...

Science at the service of theology. Wonderful reflection, Dr. T

At 03 June, 2005 19:02, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amy has a posting at Open Book that provides a link to a question: was Jesus an embryo? Don't know how to provide the link, Dr. T.- but am willing to bet you could provide an answer.


At 03 June, 2005 19:34, Blogger Dr. Thursday said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 03 June, 2005 19:56, Blogger Dr. Thursday said...

If you want to see more on that embryo question, see my new posting.

Otherwise, proceed to comment on the heart and other poetic matters.

At 04 June, 2005 14:23, Blogger Dr. Thursday said...

Sorry but I have not yet made the post I indicated above. However, most of this question relates to the humanity of the embryo, and not about some details of the Hypostatic Union (or, as we say "Jesus Christ, True God and True Man".)

I might suggest this as a start.

But just so you know, the short answer is "of course He was! for being an 'embryo' is part of being human."

At 04 June, 2005 14:26, Blogger Dr. Thursday said...

Sorry I picked up the wrong address - that one will go nowhere... try this.

At 04 June, 2005 15:48, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. T- Thanks for taking the time to look it up- and I whole-heartedly agree with your answer.



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