Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Pennsylvania Night Sky

Pennsylvania Nature Bushytail3

HUMAN BEINGS HAVE EXPLORED every place on the planet: the forests, the mountains over and under water. The new frontier is outer space.   And I get my own lovely window into that frontier about 3 A.M. each morning when Lorette, Lovey and Layla, my three rescue girl-dogs  need to go out. I don't mind, even in the winter; while they're taking care of business I get to see the stars and planets through the bare trees.

My science-teacher friend told me that the stars of the winter sky are brighter because there is less humidity to diffuse the star's light. And in the winter time our planet is tilted towards the edge of the Milky Way galaxy with more dark behind the stars making them brighter. The folks who settled in this very rural area aptly named the place Starlight!

I think of the reading of the Prophet Baruch on  Easter Night:

Who has found the place of wisdom,
   who has entered into her treasuries?
He who knows all things knows her;
  he has probed her by his knowledge -
He who established the earth for all time,
   and filled it with four-footed beasts;
He who dismisses the light, and it departs,
   calls it, and it obeys him trembling;
Before whom the stars at their posts
   shine and rejoice;
When he calls them, they answer,
   "Here we are!"
   shining with joy for their Maker.

So outer space is the new frontier. And as soon as regular space travel is available there'll be people eager to pay thousands of dollars to take their own trip into that new frontier. But do we know that going beyond and into the new frontier is all the more an inner journey?

The frontier or going beyond into consciously knowing myself.
The frontier of exploring where I personally need inner healing and repair.
The frontier or going beyond where I've stopped evolving or growing.
The frontier of realizing a long held dream or exploring a gift or inner creative place.
The frontier of going beyond my earth-self.

The beyond of growing a committed relationship - the stretch of love.
The beyond of new thinking for myself.
The beyond of making God's view of justice my own.
The frontier or beyond of my tiny view of Christianity as sexual ethic and being nice.
The frontier or beyond of letting God be God.

The frontier or beyond of understanding who is my brother, who is my sister on this planet?
Going beyond my resentments.
Going beyond tired, forever-rehearsed-knee-jerk opinions.
Going beyond what I think I need to be happy.
Going beyond the hate that is oozing out of our country of late.

Does not God live high in the heavens
does God not see the zenith of the stars?

This verse from the book of Job (22:12) isn't about astronomy, but about  God encountered in the zenith of my inner life.


  1. There are many frontiers of our own to explore. How do we start mapping out our inner self? Like space, our frontiers are unending.

    1. "How do we start mapping our inner life?" You just did, by asking the question. Perhaps we begin when we ask ourselves (and stay with the question) from my deepest inner place - what do I want? What do I desire? The culture satisfies the question with a Cartier or Lexus commercial. But that's not it at all, is it?

  2. I live in a city and am always amazed by how many stars are really visible when I am in a more remote area. It is overwhelming how much lies out beyond our own star. A frontier untouched by humankind, but we must remember that God is all knowing of his creations including ourselves. I hope to conquer some of these inner frontiers with your spiritual guidance.

  3. I just love all these thoughts and challenges you give us. Always pointing out to us what possibilities there are on this earth if we open our minds and hearts to His will.

  4. I love your posts about icons and your interpretations of scripture. I learn so much from reading your blog posts Fr. Stephen. But I especially like when you bring science and nature into your writings. The symbolism and relationships between what we can observe and God and us are so interesting the way you present them. It keeps me always thinking about what might come next.