Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam et Immaculata
For me, the truth makes me free.
(And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
Et cognoscetis veritatem, et veritas liberabit vos.
The reason why this book resonates with me is because I can identify with the life of Dr Takashi Nagai and his wife, Midori, especially that of their married life. I understand and can imagine and feel how Midori must have felt, having to wait long hours for her husband to come back home from the lab, especially when it was apparent to everyone (her the most) that he was suffering from leukaemia because of what he was so passionate about: his research on X-Rays.
His passion for x-rays and his love for the scientific endeavour can be gleaned from these quotes:
"Microscopes brought a breakthrough into the vast microscopic world, once thought the ultimate frontier, but the atomic world is utterly smaller. The size of planet earth is to an apple what an apple is to an atom! Will x-rays make it possible for us to see this ultramicroscopic world?"
Dr Takashi Nagai experienced "a sense of exhilaration because we are in pursuit of truth, which is eternal! He believed that our laboratory is actually the threshold of the house of God, who created the universe and its very truth."
On one occasion, while studying a kidney case and looking at the brilliant formation of urine crystals, he "felt a great urge to kneel". I feel the same!!! Dr Takashi Nagai clearly saw "that a laboratory could be the same as the cell of a monk."
A snip from Angelus Press's website about the book (press book image for link):
On August 9, 1945, an American B-29 dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan, killing tens of thousands of people in the blink of an eye, while fatally injuring and poisoning thousands more. Among the survivors was Takashi Nagai, a pioneer in radiology research and a convert to the Catholic Faith. Living in the rubble of the ruined city and suffering from leukemia caused by over-exposure to radiation, Nagai lived out the remainder of his remarkable life by bringing physical and spiritual healing to his war-weary people.
A Song for Nagasaki tells the moving story of this extraordinary man, beginning with his boyhood and the heroic tales and stoic virtues of his family's Shinto religion. It reveals the inspiring story of Nagai's remarkable spiritual journey from Shintoism to atheism to Catholicism.
Mixed with interesting details about Japanese history and culture, the biography traces Nagai's spiritual quest as he studied medicine at Nagasaki University, served as a medic with the Japanese army during its occupation of Manchuria, and returned to Nagasaki to dedicate himself to the science of radiology. The historic Catholic district of the city, where Nagai became a Catholic and began a family, was ground zero for the atomic bomb.
After the bomb disaster that killed thousands, including Nagai's beloved wife, Nagai, then Dean of Radiology at Nagasaki University, threw himself into service to the countless victims of the bomb explosion, even though it meant deadly exposure to the radiation which eventually would cause his own death. While dying, he also wrote powerful books that became best-sellers in Japan. These included The Bells of Nagasaki, which resonated deeply with the Japanese people in their great suffering as it explores the Christian message of love and forgiveness.
Deus propitius esto mihi peccatori.
Jesu mitis et humilis corde, Fac cor nostrum secundum Cor tuum. (ter)
Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Anne, Therese, I love You; Save Souls!
Labels: A Song for Nagasaki, Dr Takashi Nagai, laboratory life, married life, Midori Nagai, Nagasaki, Paul Glynn S.M., Veritas, Veritas liberabit vos