Tuesday, December 3, 2019

they became tremendous silence

The full beauty of the Cat's Eye Nebula (NGC 6543), seen in a detailed view from Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), showing a bull's eye pattern of eleven or even more concentric rings, or shells, around the Cat's Eye. Each 'ring' is actually the edge of a spherical bubble seen projected onto the sky -- that's why it appears bright along its outer edge. Observations suggest the star ejected its mass in a series of pulses at 1,500-year intervals. These convulsions created dust shells, each of which contain as much mass as all of the planets in our solar system combined (still only one percent of the Sun's mass). These concentric shells make a layered, onion-skin structure around the dying star. The view from Hubble is like seeing an onion cut in half, where each skin layer is discernible. 
(NASA, ESA, HEIC, and The Hubble Heritage Team, STScI/AURA)

When the angel spoke, God awoke in the heart of this girl of Nazareth and moved within her like a giant. He stirred and opened His eyes and her soul and she saw that, in containing Him, she contained the world besides. 
The Annunciation was not so much a vision as an earthquake in which God moved the universe and unsettled the spheres, and the beginning and the end of all things came before her in her deepest heart. 
And far beneath the movement of this silent cataclysm Mary slept in the infinite tranquility of God, and God was a child curled up who slept in her and her veins were flooded with His wisdom which is night, which is starlight, which is silence. 
And her whole being was embraced in Him whom she embraced and they became tremendous silence. 
-- Thomas Merton, The Ascent to Truth (Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1951, p 317)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Flash of Light, Wall of Fire

Patients being treated in a medical tent in Hiroshima on Aug. 9. Credit... Yotsugi Kawahara, courtesy Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum “Ameri...