Monday, February 27, 2017

Connecting the Dots with Mark Shea

Today Mark and I talk about Lent, about joyful deaths, about the Orans posture at mass, and about evangelizing Aliens from other worlds. In short, we try to get to as many things as our imaginations can fathom in an hour.  

My take?   I spent some time thinking about this after the show.

Would meeting aliens from another world or finding life on other planets shake the foundations of our faith?

Simple answer?  No.

Why? I think it is possible, we are unique in the universe, in that we are the most sentient (God help us), in which case, it speaks to perhaps needing to recognize our task as stewards of all creation including the suns, moons, planets and stars and get to work caring for everyone we encounter, for they too are made of the same stuff as the suns, the moons, the planets and the stars.

However, I am not troubled by the idea of  not being alone in the universe because even if that first scenario is the case, we have a lot of company.

If there is other life (tangible, living through time and occupying space and having matter), if it is non-sentient, then we must care for it as we are called to shepherd eagles, embryos, humpback whales, butterflies, orchids, redwoods, penguins, lions, wolves, lambs and all that grows or creeps or swims or flies upon the earth.

If we discover life forms with will and intellect, then they are our brothers, and we know, we are always  our brothers' keepers even if they are stronger and bigger and more evolved intellectually, physically or even morally than we are.  Our mission does not change even if our position on the food chain might, it only, (like the universe), would be expanded.  

Catholic means Universal, ergo I'm going to go with the concept that such a faith would include within it, all that inhabits the Universe.  As the bard said, "There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Hamlet (1.5.167-8)

We cannot outdo our God in love, in generosity, in creativity, or I would add, imagination. If we can conjure wizards, two-hearted thirteen lives doctors, hobbits, Vulcans and Jedi Knights from our limited minds, who knows what wonders God holds for us to find if we were to venture out past our own safe shores.

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