world

Out of This World

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Check out this article about astronauts who take their faith into space and even take Communion with them!  Full CNS Article

Here are some excerpts:astronaut-back-clip-art-page-2-pics-about-space

“When you see the Earth from that vantage point and see all the natural beauty that exists, it’s hard not to sit there and realize there has to be a higher power that has made this,” said Hopkins, who is Catholic.

Astronaut Mike Good, a member of St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Nassau Bay, Texas, near NASA’s Johnson Space Center, and a veteran of two space flights, spent about 12 days on each of his missions aboard the space shuttle. Taking Communion into space, he said, was not as imperative.

“It just makes it so obvious that God created this beautiful place. The word awe just comes to mind. … And looking out into space, it’s just a clear view. The stars don’t twinkle. It’s like a high definition 3-D TV. You look out into space and feel very small.”

Good, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, expects that when the moment of launch comes, there’s a feeling of connection with God or a higher power among just about everyone heading to space.

Among the things Massimino took on his first flight was a Vatican City flag, which he later gave to St. John Paul II. On his second flight, he took a prayer card depicting Pope Benedict XVI, which he gave to the pontiff.

Hopkins, Good and Massimino took mementos, including religious items, from their schools, parishes and friends into space.

To keep astronauts’ spirits high, NASA arranges for occasional calls with celebrities on flights and asks each astronaut with whom they might like to talk. Vande Hei, who holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from St. John’s University in Minnesota, said he suggested Pope Francis.

His request may not be outside the realm of possibility. Pope Benedict communicated with the crew aboard the ISS in May 2011 in a 20-minute conversation.

My little dove…

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The dove of peace I hold in my hands…doves-free-1250932

Today, on the Feast of the Mother of God and the World Day of Peace, Fr. Browning read the first Eucharistic Prayer as I knelt during Mass.  In it, he said, “he took it in his holy and venerable hands.”  Jesus blessed and broke the bread.  Jesus took the bread in his holy and venerable hands.  I could see him.  I could see his hands.  I was captivated by his holy and venerable hands as he raised the bread and gave it to those around him.
We receive Christ in our hands not long after this.  I thought how precious is this faith that I would hold in my hands.  I thought of this faith and saw a little bird in my hands.  Later when I reflected on this moment which seemed outside of time, I realized that this reminds me of my favorite Scripture and the song that I sang to my children:  Isaiah 49.  “Would a mother forget her baby or a woman the child within her womb, yet even if these forget, yes, even if these forget, I will never forget my own.”  God promised he would never forget me.  And I have the image of Mary holding her precious little baby in a lowly stable delighting in this miracle of life.
Parents hold there child’s heart and spirit in their hands like a little bird.
We hold our faith like that little bird, like a baby swaddled, tender and mild.
This year, why not have mercy on yourself and others.
Look to each person and even yourself as that little bird that needs food, a nest, and protection until it’s ready to fly.  This is faith.  It is trust in someone greater than ourselves.
We hold Christ in in our hands
He holds us in his hands
We hold others in our hands
And peace takes flight.
We all could use a little benefit of the doubt and another chance (maybe a hundred) to become the person we know we could be.
On this day, the World Day of Peace, in the wake of a baby born to change the world, resolve to think peace and be peace. This is a resolution you can keep!
Peace and good will to everyone!  Happy new year!