An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Communion in Space

As a family, we once had lunch with Jack Lousma, an astronaut who flew two missions into space and was part of the astronaut support crew for the Apollo 13 mission.

Here, then, is something fascinating and inspirational for your Sunday. Hope you have a blessed day.

*Words of NASA Astronaut Dr. Thomas D. Jones, St. Anthony’s Messenger, June 2004
Conradeship and Communion With Christ
Just over a week into the mission, one of us realized it was Sunday again, two weeks after Easter. Our shifts overlapped for a few hours, so during one orbital night Sid, Kevin and I gathered on the flight deck for a short Communion service.
Kevin, a eucharistic minister, carried the Blessed Sacrament with him, contained within a simple golden pyx. The three of us shared our amazement at experiencing the beauty of creation, and thanked God for good companions and the success achieved so far. Then Kevin shared the Body of Christ with Sid and me, and we floated weightless on the flight deck, grateful for this moment of comradeship and communion with Christ.
Our silent reflection was interrupted by a sudden burst of dazzling white light. The sun had risen (as it did 16 times each day) just as we finished Communion, and now its pure radiance streamed through Endeavour’s cockpit windows and bathed us in its warmth. To me, this was a beautiful sign, God’s gentle touch confirming our union with him.
I rolled away from my crewmates, unable to stem the tears evoked by that singular sunrise. My gaze turned to the overhead windows and the Pacific Ocean, the dawn lighting its surface in a rich, limitless blue.
I called out to Kevin and Sid, “Look at that ocean—what an incredible color!” They both turned and drank in hues unmatched by the palette of any human artist. After a moment, Kevin said simply, “It’s the blue of the Virgin’s veil, Tom.” He was right. There were no other words for that vision out the window.

The True Beauty of Space Exploration
You might think that, to an astronaut, reaching for the heavens is all about the excitement of a blastoff or the exhilaration of a space walk. To any human, yes, spaceflight is an incomparable experience.
But for humanity as a whole, our exploration of space can bring us a deeper understanding of God’s love for us. Anticipating our efforts at discovery, God has given us a special ability to appreciate the wonders of the vast and beautiful universe, a “sweet spot” in our minds receptive to the Creator’s skill and power.
We are designed to be awed in space. If our imperfect species has found such glimmers of delight in our first tentative encounter with the cosmos, then we truly have found a most caring and generous God.


tiziana said...

Queste belle parole fanno davvero pensare alla grandezza e generosità di Dio.

Jennifer said...

That is just an amazing piece, I never knew that the astronauts were Catholic and to bring the Bl Sacrament into SPACE is just beautiful. Just WOW!!!