May 22, 2013


As the heavens declare your glory, O God, and the firmament shows your handiwork, we bless your Name for the gifts of knowledge and insight you bestowed upon Nicolaus Copernicus and Johannes Kepler; and we pray that you would continue to advance our understanding of your cosmos, for our good and for your glory; through Jesus Christ, the firstborn of all creation, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

I have long observed that the church serves itself and the world poorly when it fails to take adequate account of what is in its effort to demand what it thinks must or should be. As I observed in a comment on an earlier post, this is one peril when a magisterium rests on its authoritative laurels, lacks a built-in corrective mechanism, and chooses to ignore correction from without. The result is punctuated equilibrium, with damage, rather than slow and steady development.

The image that popped into my head is that of Ulysses chained to the mast, while his crew has its ears stuffed with wax. He hears the siren song but is unable to move, the crew does not hear it, but nor does it hear his commands to obey him, to set him free.

How much better when the church's leaders listen to the findings of those who are not necessarily a part of it, in the humility to accept that Wisdom sometimes builds her house in strange neighborhoods, and that the heavens tell of God's glory even when the church stops listening or mishears.

Thank you, Nicolaus and Johannes for gazing up, and sharing what you saw and conceived.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG
sketch icon, 2013.

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