Fr Andrew writes:
There has been much fascination in the media over these last few days about the astronomical probe, the Philae lander, landing on a distant comet. It is a remarkable achievement given the fact that the comet is 360 million miles away, has taken 10 years to get there and is the first man-made object to land on a comet. Someone on the radio recently said that we keep discovering new things in the universe. And what’s more the universe is continually expanding. There is always something new to be found! The achievement has tapped deep into that universal sense of wonder, yearning for knowledge and understanding, which is part of the human condition. The moon landings are still within living memory of many people. I was born after they happened but I can vividly remember my parents and others talking excitedly to me about them. All these astronomical events are possible because of regular patterns observed in the solar system, such as the orbits of planets. These point to a sense of order and design in the universe, which must come from some higher intelligence or mind, in this case God. Therefore patterns can be predicted and the necessary calculations made to facilitate all these astronomical discoveries.
These events give an opportunity to reflect and ask those big questions, such as why am I here? What is my purpose in life? Looking at the sky can help put a perspective on things. It may be overwhelming at times. St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, wrote in his autobiography, that the greatest consolation he used to receive was to look at the sky and the stars, which he did often and for a long time, because with this he used to feel in himself a great impetus towards serving Our Lord. Don’t panic, God is in control. So when you next feel stressed why not look up at the sky for a moment and say a prayer?