Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night… The LORD is his name. Amos 5:8
This evening our astronomy enthusiasts were excited to be able to capture Jupiter, the Moon, and Venus all in one photograph. Jupiter and Venus are slowly making their way towards each other in our night’s sky, "meeting" on March 14th. As the sisters elatedly took in the sight, one sister exclaimed, “I just don’t understand how anybody could see something like this and not believe in God!” There was agreement all around.
There is no doubt about it, the heavens are beautiful and that beauty points us to Beauty Himself. In fact, this is one of our brother Aquinas’ Five Ways that we can attain by the use of our natural reason to the knowledge of the existence of God. Aquinas says that because there are differing degrees of perfection we can see that there must be something that has complete perfection. For example, because the sight our sisters enjoyed tonight in the heavens is beautiful, and because there are things with both lesser and greater beauty, we can come to know that there is something which is the fullness of beauty. This is God, Beauty Himself.
Even before Aquinas the human authors of the Scriptures often pointed to the stars as proof of God’s majesty and might. Here are a few examples:
Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?
Canst thou bring forth the Mazzaroth in its season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons? Job 38:31-32
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?Psalm 8:3-4
There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. 1 Corinthians 15:41
Below are a few pictures of the heavenly event as seen from our cloister walk.
Sr. Mary Jacinta points to the Moon.
Venus is above sister's head with Jupiter a bit duller to the left of the moon.
(Unfortunately, these pictures would be an example of a
lesser beauty than the heavens actually shone forth with this evening.)