The world, it seems hard to deny, is on an express handbasket to hell. For Catholics, as for other people of faith, the challenge is how to find and proclaim the Good News in the horrific headlines. How to find and praise God in the horror. How to live the Spirit’s gift of wonder and awe when all around us are losing heads, literally and figuratively, and blaming it on somebody’s idea of religion.
I don’t have answers to those challenges. What I do have is a moment or two of astonishing beauty, truth, and goodness, a break for praise before heading back under the covers or into the fray. And I have it for you—I say this unapologetically, as a Catholic—because of f*cking science, which I love. (And thanks to my friend Billy Pote, h/t.)
Watch this. Pause. Be astonished. Feel yourself drawn by the Great Attractor, nestled next to the Virgin. Remember in whose hands the handbasket rests, secure beyond understanding. Know that, even on the express to hell, we are in Immeasurable Heaven.
And then give praise. In the words of the psalmist, as I do, or just by letting your jaw drop. You’re welcome.
O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;
The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!
(Psalm 8, King James Version)