Tuesday, May 10, 2011
The multi-dimensional Fr. Zuhlsdorf posted some info on his blog today about the planets Venus and Jupiter being in a somewhat spectacular alignment tomorrow morning. My interest was piqued and I followed his link to the site "SpaceWeather.com." Now, I'm not up on all of the astronomical phenomena or even basic information about space and the planets. In fact, one of my early scholastic failures as a child was attempting to plot the stars back in junior high school for an earth science project. When I look at the night sky I'm awe struck, but everything seems to be a big jumble to me. I try really, really hard to find the Big Dipper and Orion's Belt, but honestly I see several patches of stars that in my mind look like big ladles. Lets just say that it's a good thing I wasn't born in an era when you had to navigate by the stars.
However, that being said, I am always --- and I mean always -- humbled and overwhelmed by the beauty and the enormity of the night sky. It seems unimaginable that one could fail to see the hand of the Creator in that vast expanse. So, when Father Zuhlsdorf said go check out this site and see the amazing things that are going to be happening in the sky tomorrow morning, I raced over.
Never having looked at SpaceWeather.com before, I was intrigued by the astronomical information and insight it contained. But, when I scrolled down a ways, I saw a little post about something called "PHAs", otherwise known as "Potentially Hazardous Asteroids." Sure, everyone knows that there are asteroids and sometimes they come near the earth. But, then they reach the atmosphere and they fizzle away. Right?...Right? Boy, was I surprised by some of the information. Did you know that on May 11, 2011 there were 1218 potentially hazardous asteroids? The fellas at Space Weather.com reassure us that none are on target to hit our planet, but they conclude with the cheery note that "astronomers are finding new ones all the time." Oh great.
It made me think that we little humans often live as if we are masters of the universe while we are so oblivious to the real dependent and contingent state of our being. We were created by a loving God. We are kept alive by a loving God. And, at least for the time being, we are protected from Potentially Hazardous Asteroids by a loving God. And all the while, we puff and gloat, fooling ourselves into thinking that we are the source of our own security and destiny.
Well, I'm off to set my alarm for tomorrow morning so that I can see Jupiter and Venus converge and do their thing. Hopefully, it won't be interrupted by any flying space debris or a galactic warning from our sponsor. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss, but only if we're ready.