Peace, Social Issues

Lessons for Earth 50 years after the first Moon landing

by Tony Magliano

If you were at least 10-years-old on July 20, 1969, you will surely remember that your eyes were glued to a black and white television set watching what no eyes had ever seen before.

You will remember, as I do, the excitement of seeing on screen animation of a lunar module steadily descending toward a first ever human moon landing, together with voices from Mission Control in Houston communicating with the lunar module crew, and all topped off with narration from the legendary American newscaster Walter Cronkite .

But what viewers around the world didn’t know was that lunar module astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were in trouble. As they approached the moon’s surfaced they discovered that they were off course from their preprogrammed landing site and headed toward a field of boulders and craters. Commander Armstrong took over the controls and flew the lunar module – named “Eagle” – manually in search for an open level spot.

With fuel diminishing quickly Armstrong sited his spot. The descent engine was then fired up, but it kicked up so much lunar dust that visibility became extremely poor. Armstrong had to use a few boulders piercing through the dust cloud to estimate the distance from the moon’s surface.

Shortly after Mission Control’s warning that they had just 30 seconds of fuel remaining, Neil Armstrong calmly uttered these famous words: “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.”

Wow!

But the excitement didn’t stop there. Read on at Space.com.

Space and space exploration is fascinating; especially since it easily helps us to see our awesome God reflected in his awesome creation!

And so, while I am hopeful that humankind will seriously pursue travel out into the cosmos, I am hoping far more importantly that all of us will urgently commit ourselves first to cleaning up and protecting our common home – planet Earth!…

Click here to read the entire article.

Lent, Nonviolence

Lent 2017: Reflection for the Fifth Sunday of Lent, April 2 – With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption

by Martha Inés Romero
Latin America Regional Coordinator, Pax Christi International

Ezekiel 37:12-14 | Romans 8:8-11 | John 11:1-45

In the midst of the suffering caused by poverty and marginalization, in Latin America and the Caribbean, every day people build stories of change, resistance and resilience. These stories witness the involvement of many missionaries – religious and lay, women and men – promoting peace-building and nonviolence, forgiveness and reconciliation. We hear stories about the incarnational humanness of the work for just peace and overcoming violence, the work that brings meaning to life.

Archbishop Oscar Romero said:

“When the church hears the cry of the oppressed, it cannot but denounce the social structures that give rise to and perpetuate the misery from which the cry arises.”

This message caused a great impact on our people to continue fighting against injustice. These days good news occurs in our context: El Salvador’s Congress approved a law prohibiting all metal mining projects in its territory. At the same time, in a small town, Cajamarca in Colombia, 99% of its inhabitants voted to ban mining. It implies that a big gold mining company may not be permitted to extract gold – a $2 billion potential investment that could yield 28 million ounces of gold – because people voted to defend their water. Both cases have been deeply supported by the Catholic church, as a way to care for the Creation, as Laudato Si’ demands to us.

We must believe that Creation is life offered, and that we shall commit ourselves to contribute to a new lifestyle, according to suma kawsay or “buen vivir”, the Andean cosmovision that promotes a way of doing things that is community-centric, ecologically balanced and culturally sensitive. We defend life when we defend our respect for the dignity of every person and the harmony of Creation as a whole. Transforming conflicts from a nonviolence approach is a way in which we can react towards violence and injustice.

Let’s pray for those who defend life and Creation, with their life if necessary, as in El Salvador and Cajamarca, and with Psalm 129, we shall reaffirm: “With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.

Martha Inés Romero is the Latin America Regional Coordinator for Pax Christi International.