Body and Spirit – On Chemistry, Christ, Mary and Us

At a particular time, in a particular place, if we are receptive, there are particular messages given only to those prepared to receive them.  It may by related to our “expertise,” shepherding in a field (Children at Fatima), praying at a grotto (Bernadette Soubirou), or even our location (Lanciano, Italy).

St. Bernadette’s Vision

But when these “revelations” occur we must always be open to listen and remember, for one day their meaning will be clearly visible and we will be further transformed – body, mind and soul (metanoia) into the likeness of Christ.
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One morning, while meditating after Mass, one of these messages was passed on to this author.
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It was a message related to his background of chemistry.
And it was a message tying it to our Lord.
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Now all of this may be common knowledge, but to this author it was a revelation in time and space, that will remain forever in his thoughts.
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Please be sure to take full advantage of ALL the links on this page –
pictures and hyperlinks
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On Body and Chemistry and Us

Protein Model

If you are not familiar with how proteins are synthesized in the body, I’d like to give you a brief overview and some references where you can learn more, if you’re so inclined for growth.
But you’ll need just a little of this background in order to understand the revelation I’m about to describe.

To begin with, Proteins are those very large (macro) molecules that make up our hair and muscles, our enzymes and hormones, our skin, cartilage, tendons and ligaments.

You see, proteins truly are the physical basis for life!
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Proteins are made up of smaller molecules called amino acids, which primarily contain nitrogen, carbon, oxygen and hydrogen.  Some of these amino acids come from what we eat, while others are synthesized by our bodies.

You’d probably recognize some of the names of these amino acids, like alanine and cysteine, glutamate, histidine and tryptophan.
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DNA

Protein synthesis begins with our DNA, which is present in the nucleus of every one of our body cells.

DNA is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of almost all known living
organisms (with the exception of RNA viruses).

The protein building process begins with an unzipping of the DNA’s double helix and then the copying or “Transcribing” of segments of the broken DNA chain onto a molecule called mRNA (messenger RNA).
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Transcription

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The “message” or code carried by the mRNA is then converted, or “Translated” into a protein within a large protein building factory called the Ribosome.
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Translation

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Remember, proteins are large chains composed of molecules called amino acids.
In order to build this protein chain then, individual amino acids must be combined, one-by-one, based on the mRNA code.

The code reader or translator is called “transfer” or tRNA.
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Each tRNA molecule carries a specific amino acid molecule, which can only be added to the new protein chain when the tRNA code matches the mRNA code at the Ribosome.

As the Ribosome moves down the long mRNA chain, one-by-one, new amino acids are added to the newly
forming protein chain until a stop code releases the new protein.

.The process of protein synthesis begins with a specific starting site and ends with a specific ending site.

We can make all different kinds of proteins, depending on which segment
of the DNA that was initially mimicked.

Protein Synthesis

It is this one-by-one reading and building aspect of protein synthesis
that is a key factor in the revelation I’m about to discuss.

But the most important point, is understanding that the process of protein synthesis is critical to our physical survival.  We just can’t live without proteins!

Kwashiorkor

Even their shortage within our bodies can cause serious physical problems such as Kwashiorkor
in severe malnourishment cases.

That’s our Physical Side.

If you now still feel unfamiliar with this process (through my pretty poor description), please visit some of the animated websites in the links attached to the pictures above.  They will give you a really good picture.
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On Spirit and Christ and Mary and Us
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Now lets switch over to our Spiritual side and think about prayer.  Just as proteins are critical to our Physical well-being, prayer is critical to our Spiritual well-being.

Like the diversity in proteins, prayer can also take many forms.  It is prayer when we read the Bible.  It is prayer when we participate in the Mass.  It is prayer when we speak to God in song, in petition, in thanksgiving and in silence.
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It is prayer when we unite with our Christian brothers and sisters in the Name of Jesus.  And it’s prayer when we interact with our non-Christian brothers and sisters in physical or spiritual need.  As St. Paul reminds us, our whole lives – every breath – could and should be prayer!

So where’s the connection?  If we were to think about one particular prayer, as Catholics we call it the Rosary, we will begin to see the correlation, the link, the revelation, that so struck me between our physical and spiritual lives and between proteins and prayer.  And specifically, how both are so critically essential to a healthy well-being.

To begin with, in the Rosary, our starting point is Jesus Christ, similar to the way DNA is the initiator in protein synthesis.  In the rosary we’ve taken the life of Jesus and described it in four major attributes or Sets of Mysteries.

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These are the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries; a shorthand description of the life of Jesus from Birth through Ascension.

The conduit, or transcribing messenger (mRNA), we’ll call the Rosary.  It is a string of beads through which the Mysteries will be translated into prayer.

In “prayer synthesis” via the Rosary, as in protein synthesis via the mRNA, we have specific starting and ending sites.
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And just as the cell wall encloses the bio-chemical process of protein synthesis (it’s laboratory), the Sign of the Cross encloses the spiritual process of “prayer synthesis” in the Rosary – performed at its beginning and end.

As the “translation process” begins for the Rosary, its specific starting site is called The Apostle’s Creed, while its specific ending site is called The Hail Holy Queen.

The translator, or tRNA, of the Rosary is called the Hail Mary.  We pray ten Hail Marys in meditating on each particular Mystery (five Mysteries) within each set of Mysteries (described above).  Thus the five Mysteries of each set would be equivalent to five different amino acids making up a protein.  Each Mystery is prayed within a parentheses of The Lord’s Prayer, The Glory Be and The Fatima prayer

And the whole process occurs within the hands, heart and voice of the person praying (the Ribosome).

As WE move along the Rosary chain we continually add more prayers – Our Fathers, Hail Marys, Glory Be’s and Fatima prayers for each Mystery of the set, building to the grand crescendo – the full set of Mysteries of the day (the protein equivalent).

Mary and Jesus

All of these prayers, said through the intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary and her Son Jesus, build up and nourish our Spiritual lives. They are critically necessary for our Spiritual well-being and that of the whole BODY of Christ.

Prayer is our Spiritual protein, without which we have no life.  Malnourished in prayer, we will experience all types of spiritual difficulties, from anxiety, to stress, to depression, to hurtful attitudes.
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This personal prayer of the Rosary can then be enhanced in two ways.

When said in a group, the Rosary combines voices and hearts to express the Body of Christ alive and present and powerful in our midst.  Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered together in my Name, there I am in the midst of them” Mt 18:20.

Donna Cori Gibson’s Rosary

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The second way the Rosary can be enhanced is through song.
St. Augustine is accredited with saying that “Prayer sung is like praying twice.”

Singing the Rosary is a most beautiful prayer!

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So the next time you say the Rosary, especially in group (alternately chanting the Hail Marys), think about this building of your own, and all of our Spiritual Bodies, step-by-step in the chain, as being similar to the step-by-step building of our Physical bodies in Protein Synthesis.

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Protein and Prayer,
both essential, both bring and create LIFE
for our Bodies and Spirits.

What a beautiful thought.  What a blessed revelation!
What an awesome God!  What an awesome You!
Thank you for visiting.
May our Loving God Bless you always – In Jesus’ Name!!

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Link to video “The Life of Mary Our Mother – Series

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