The total solar eclipse is seen from Chester, Ill., on the afternoon of Aug. 21.
BRANDON A. EVANS/THE CRITERION, cns
The eclipse — a sign of unity
The solar eclipse is seen over a cross Aug. 21 outside St. Bernard Church in Appleton, Wisconsin.
BRAD BIRKHOLZ/THE COMPASS, cns
While the world today appears to be consumed mostly by subjective truths based on individual experiences, opinions and feelings; the universe delivers a different message through the eclipse, one of predictable and objective truth.
There was nothing to argue about when two celestial bodies crossed in the sky, it was a symbol of wonder that stopped the world for a moment. Human wonder was on display as millions spent millions to see the kissing of these celestial bodies and the blotting of the sun. But was it really a blotting? Or was it like ancient times, when the sky tells humanity a story of love and beauty and truth?
The mystical questions of our existence are guided to our origin and purpose by the signs, symbols and substance in the universe. When we peer out of this world we gain a wisdom that enables us to live life more fully in this world.
The universal faith (Christianity) was truly on display on Aug. 21: Mother and son kissed and reveal part of the loving story from the beginning of time. All humans inherently know the sun brings light and life to the world. The moon doesn't blot it out, she brings attention to it.
In the Catholic faith, we know the mother of Christ is the perfect reflection of the son; she brings humanity to the son as "the Arc of the Covenant" and she affirms the light of the world as the transcendent giver of life.
Perhaps in this centennial year celebration of the visitation of our blessed mother, Mary in Fatima, she affirms her message again with the sun for worldwide viewers to engage in prayer, peace and conversion through her risen son, Jesus Christ.
Objective truth is what humanity is struggling to find today. The universal message of the eclipse was truly a message of unity and a calling for humanity to embrace the mystery of this life through the eyes of a mother embracing a child; a gentle display of grace as she joins her son to demonstrate the loving embrace of faith, hope, love, kindness, generosity and peace.
Divinely she calls humanity home. Hopefully the wonder and mystery displayed through the eclipse will lead more people to explore the universal faith (Catholicism) with the symbols and traditions that point to the same universal message in the sky.
The saintly stars of the faithful (the Communion of Saints) that sparkle brightly throughout history are fixed up there too, and they humbly testify to the message of inspiration in the risen son by giving their lives in charity for humanity through the Church and the many advancements in education, the arts, medicine and the sciences.
Christianity is truly spectacular as it reveals the miracles and the mysteries of the universe.
(Marty Troiani is a Catholics at Work Executive Committee Member, St. Joan of Arc parishioner, Faith Formation leader — Life Teen parent volunteer and member of Knights of Columbus Council 9206, San Ramon.)
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