Season of Creation


Making a Difference

Pillars of Creation Nebula Clouds by NASA
These towering tendrils of cosmic dust and gas sit at the heart of M16, or the Eagle Nebula. The aptly named Pillars of Creation, featured in this stunning Hubble image, are part of an active star-forming region within the nebula and hide newborn stars in their wispy columns.
Although this is not Hubble’s first image of this iconic feature of the Eagle Nebula, it is the most detailed. The blue colors in the image represent oxygen, red is sulfur, and green represents both nitrogen and hydrogen. The pillars are bathed in the scorching ultraviolet light from a cluster of young stars located just outside the frame. The winds from these stars are slowly eroding the towers of gas and dust.
Stretching roughly 4 to 5 light-years, the Pillars of Creation are a fascinating but relatively small feature of the entire Eagle Nebula, which spans 70 by 55 light-years. The nebula, discovered in 1745 by the Swiss astronomer Jean-Philippe Loys de Chéseaux, is located 7,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Serpens. With an apparent magnitude of 6, the Eagle Nebula can be spotted through a small telescope and is best viewed during July. A large telescope and optimal viewing conditions are necessary to resolve the Pillars of Creation.
Credits: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
Last Updated: Feb. 22, 2018
Editor: Brian Dunbar

Today we begin the annual celebration of the Season of Creation. It was originally launched by Patriarch Dimitrios in 1989. In 2015, Pope Francis called on Catholics to join “together with all Christians” to pray for and act to protect creation.

In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis calls upon all People of God to accept the challenge to “protect our common home” and “to bring the whole human family together” (#13). He reminds us, “We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it” (#229).

In recent weeks, I have been reduced to tears by the news of the brokenness of the Church and the ways the Church has forgotten that we are one human family created in the image and likeness of a loving and generous God. I have been angered and frustrated over the finger-pointing, the blaming, and the scapegoating while ignoring the pain and suffering of God’s creation.

And THEN, I remember the remarkable ways that Associates and Religious are already praying for and acting to care for all creation. Simply pick up any copy of The Associate or ask an Associate or Religious what they are doing for the sake of God’s creation, and you will be inspired. You will see how the church of the People of God is carrying out the mission of Jesus.

The words of Steve Angrisano’s song “Go Make a Difference” describe beautifully the call that these committed women and men have accepted and strive to live each day.

We are the salt in the earth, called to let the people see
The love of God in you and me
We are the light of the world, not to be hidden, but be seen

We are the hands of Christ, reaching out to those in need
The face of God for all to see
We are the spirit of hope, we are the voice of peace

Let us continue to “Go Make a Difference!” Happy Season of Creation!

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