Recently I came upon a reflection about creation, our whole universe, that noted we are made of the same materials as the stars.
In my heart of hearts, I am not sure about that, but verifying it is a major project for our scientists.
As it is, all creation here on Planet Earth is composed of currently 118 elements. Wikipedia tells us that 98 of them occur naturally. Eighty are stable, others are radioactive and evolve or decay over extremely long or short times, and others are human made from various nuclear reactions.
Clearly all this is a work in progress. Whether there are yet others to be made from these reactions or not, it all started out in our universe somewhere.
A recently released documentary, Journey of the Universe, summarizes what scientists currently know about the history of our universe, its multitudinous (as in billions of) galaxies and solar systems. As I try to take in all that, my key thought: “God is a whole lot smarter than I have been realizing...!”
To have started creation with its ability to evolve – awesome! That seems to me to be an even harder task that making each thing - granted the great volume that such involves!
What it does evoke in me is further reflection that we all are one in some fundamental though not identical way.
This is true whether we are human, animal, mineral or plant. Humans have a special pride of place in all this, but in the end we humans are quite dependent on the well being of all the rest in creation here. Of course there is a whole line of reflection and concern about the state of the rest of creation and what we humans can do to make it all better.
A very heartening insight came recently from Fr. Gary Young, CR, in his new book of very concise reflections, Cactus Spirituality - Pater Hilarion. “[Abbott] Hilarion overheard a pious visitor remark to another that monks have fled the world. Hilarion interrupted him and corrected him: ‘No, we have not left the world. We have stayed to protect it from those who have forgotten it was, at first, a beautiful garden. With our witness of praise and tillage and hospitality, we demonstrate our love for the world.’”
There also is another line of thought about the state of our human community. We clearly have a basis for great communion – we all are made out of the same stuff. This is true no matter where we live, what we do/do not know, how old we are, how wise or not so wise we are. Our age, ethnic group, race, gender, sexual orientation, political party or philosophy of society – all are undergird by this deep communion of being made from the same 98 elements.
With all our disregard and forgetfulness, that image comes to mind of God scratching the divine Godhead and noting, “I created those human persons ...? Why don't they get along better? And why do they so easily trash beautiful Earth?”
Why indeed don't we focus more on our communion? Would such be helpful as we go about resolving conflicts - whether international or interpersonal? Political or economic? Would our focus on communion move us to take better care of ourselves? Of one another? Of our beloved United States? Earth?
To just appreciate everything more – that we are at once one yet unique, often fascinatingly (and sometimes frustratingly) so?
Would we talk to and about one another differently? Would we be more light-hearted? Relaxed? Happy? Peaceful?
Would we appreciate and admire our higher power, God, more?