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The Wild Blue Yonder
Sr. Ruth Droege, OP, PhD
On July 11, most of us intently watched the launch of a spacecraft made possible by Richard Branson. In a few days, this will happen under the support of Jeff Bezos.
The first thing I thought of after the space plane landed safely in Mexico, was “wow! This is a huge accomplishment for mankind.” (to quote Neil Armstrong from sixty years ago.) And then I pondered: in what direction will this take us?
There are two possibilities. Will it lead to more possibilities of exploring space for financial gain? If the predictions are true, more of us, in fact, all of us, will be able to explore the thrill of weightlessness for ourselves and our grandchildren. It will create more well-paying jobs, boost the economy, more opportunities for personal pleasures, more movies, more science fiction books, more television shows, more video games. Is this the way we want to move into the future, built on only materialistic gains?
Why not? You respond. When these things become unattractive, we will progress to something better.
We will reach Mars. People will live on Mars and escape an overcrowded and junk-filled earth.
It is possible, but how about the law of entropy. Matter is energy emerging out of an infinite field. It is not continuous, but discrete, manifesting itself in little lumps called quarks. Entropy means that the energy of matter is not infinite but finite. Matter will eventually run out of energy, decay, and die. It is spirit that gives consistency, holds things together. We know that spirit has been evolving together with matter since the Big Bang since the goal of evolution has been to produce life culminating in the reflective intelligence of man.
When man is launched into space he perceives the immensity of the whole planetary system, the stars, the galaxies, planetary systems different from his own. He feels eclipsed by the vastness of what he sees. He reflects that his existence, being, must be freely given and sustained by BEING who is the Fullness, the plentitude, of existence. Revelation names this BEING YAWAY, I AM WHO AM. The Covenant made with Abraham is renewed through the Incarnation, the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ.
Whether the man or the woman in the spacecraft accepts the fulfillment of reason by revelation, it is possible for him or her to remain in awe of the mystery and to work toward goals that include matter and spirit, building the soul of the earth by caring for the well-being of the whole earth and all the beings which inhabit it and not for themselves alone.
Praise God in the mighty firmament
Praise God for powerful deeds
For boundless grandeur