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Across the Universe: What good is God? — 2 Comments

  1. Brother Guy Consolmagno SJ PhD

    Your 1974 MIT picture reflects the mood of those times.
    and the thought that discovering laws of nature
    and in particular the laws of the cosmos is pure joy.

    Those were trying times for young people
    perhaps equaling those of the present young generation.
    For example: the year 1968 had some extreme events
    to which people had to respond:
    -Tet Offensive in Vietnam
    -Chicago Democratic Convention Riots
    -Martin Luther King Assassination
    -Robert Kennedy Assassination

    In 1968, I graduated from Loras College, Dubuque, Iowa
    with a Chemistry degree learned in St Josephs Hall of Science
    under the spirit of Monsignor George Schulte PhD.
    All science classes began with the Our Father,
    so faith naturally blended into all science concepts
    including Maxwell equations.
    I was accepted into the Iowa State PhD Physical Chemistry program
    but the 1968 outside events redirected my course.
    So, I was drafted (not by choice) into the Vietnam War
    and subsequently used a Navy enlistment option.

    I took every exam the Navy had and advanced from E-1 to O-3 within 5 years.
    I ended up a Patrol Plane Navigator/Tactical Coordinator
    looking for Soviet submarines in the Pacific.
    In retrospect, it may have been God’s plan.
    Growing up in the 1950-60’s, the communist fear gripped everyone.
    My Holy Trinity parish prayed for the Catholics and all the faithful
    being persecuted under the Soviet dominance.
    So this Catholic mid-western farm boy was used by the Navy to go after them,
    and quite successfully I might add. (My wife was extremely supportive on the home front)

    Within this context, Navy celestial navigation stands out as a mystical, joyful experience.
    We would take celestial shots from within a P-3 Orion fuselage at typically 10,000 ft altitude
    over the Pacific Ocean using a Bubble Sextant with a WWV Greenwich Mean Time reference.
    Calculations were done on a slide rule and visual representations on paper charts
    with dividers and rulers to fix our triangulated position with three Lines of Position
    about 120 degrees from each other. Celestial mechanics work.
    (This was before GPS, using methods not much different
    than Captain James Cook used 200 years prior)
    So there we were, with the heavens above, the Soviet submarine below and a thousand miles from land.
    The Soviet submarine was also triangulated by sonobuoy listening among the whale echoes and snapping shrimp.
    This was a truly joyful and mystical experience.
    (As an aside, the Naval Academy at Annapolis has resumed celestial navigation courses
    after being dismissed for many years as archaic and unnecessary)

    As an engineer, it is acknowledged that the triangle is necessary for everything
    from bridge trusses to visual image finite element analysis.

    Triangles naturally flow from dimensional analysis of universal constants G, h, H, c & k
    within their measured accuracies.

    So triangles are important, as faithfully expressed in Catholic Holy Trinity representation.

    In this context,
    I am particularly struck by Pope Francis’ Encyclical LAUDATO SI’,
    On Care Of Our Common Home,
    Paragraph 239: “For Christians, believing in one God
    who is trinitarian communion
    suggests that the Trinity has left its mark on all creation.”

    I have come to believe through scientific/engineering analysis
    that God has directly expressed His creative mark
    in His Son’s Vilnius Divine Mercy image (with characteristic ray angles)
    as evidence for His creation mechanism
    from the Big Bang to the present
    and from the sub atomic to cosmic scale.

    All the best,

    Richard D. Saam Civil/Environmental Engineer PE- TX & CA, LCDR USNR Ret
    525 Louisiana Ave
    Corpus Christi, Texas 78404 USA
    Tel: 361 855 1265
    Parishioner at Corpus Christi Cathedral since 1990

  2. Pingback:Across the Universe: What good is God? – Astrónomos Jesuitas del Observatorio Astronómico del Vaticano

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