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Astronomy and the New Evangelization: Recapturing a Culture of Wonder — 3 Comments

  1. …how would you share with them the beauty of creation and God’s unconditional love for them?

    This is not about the natural world, but I have a thought. One might tell them about the International Space Station, and what life is like there.

    I know it’s easy, if one has access to gadgets and the Internet, to find out when the space station is going to appear in one’s sky. See the Heavens-Above site. If you run predictions before you leave, I imagine the orbit will be fairly stable during your stay– the ISS might be a little early or a little late showing up.

    Print out some pictures of the station and especially of the people who will be aboard it that week. You can read their bios and so be able to tell the kids something about them.

    It might well be possible to find a picture of the place where they live, on the Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth site. So you could show them what astronauts see when they fly over Lurin. Here are links I found in a quick search.

    In general, as I’ve speculated before, telling them, not just about the sky in the abstract, but about the people you’ve met who are so involved with the sky, might build bridges.

    I may have gotten far away from the spirit of your essay about simplicity! Still, the ISS counts as a wonder that sometimes shows up in our sky, easy to see with the naked eye, and wouldn’t your friends love to see it?

  2. Great ideas! I don’t think you strayed to far. My point was simply that if we focus more on the gadgets than on what the gadgets are supposed to help us experience, we lose something. Tracking down the ISS is definitely in keeping with the spirit of things!

  3. “Just look up” Thismis the moto of our local astronomy club. Sure, we have the gadgets, but all you need is a small patch of sky. Some of my favorite nigtes observing were with students where we could not even see an entire constellation, so we made our own. We told stories about the constellations we created as we laid on our backs under the stars (with a partially broken telescope). I like to think that those students are still lookings up and enjoying the stars.

    Spread your love: love of astronomy and love of God. It is the very simplicity of religion and the fact that it needs only a heart to travel in that has made it so difficult to root out when individuals have tried. You can have all of the “fixin’s”, as my grandmother would say, but it doesn’t change the fact that religion is still a very simple endeavor of developing a relationship with God.

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