Praise ye him, O sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars and light.

I was struck today by the image of a galaxy posted at Astronomy Pic of the Day.

On the full screen it is amazing. Click it.

Note other galaxies in the background.

Sometimes I consider why the visible cosmos is so large, involving forces and numbers so great that we cannot get our thoughts around them.  Perhaps God arranged it this way so that we can have some notion of eternity.  On the other hand, when we delve into the microscopic world, we see manifest order and mind-boggling complexity.  It is so, no doubt, so that we can understand that we are not accidents of irrational chaos.

We are made in the image and likeness of the One who brought all this into existence from nothing.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. The Masked Chicken says:

    Did you know that little old you, out there, can engage in real science from your computer in your pajamas, by helping to classify galaxies? Humans do better than computers. Training is minimal and serious science papers have been published from your contributions.

    Just think about staring at galaxies and being the person who assigns them their classifications. Who doesn’t like to look at galaxies.

    Real science for the whole family: Galaxy Zoo

    The Chicken

  2. Laura98 says:

    Beautiful! Every time I see pictures like this from Hubble, they are just so amazingly and astoundingly beautiful!

  3. NBW says:

    Thanks for posting the beautiful picture Father Z. The photo reminds me of the first chapter of Ven. Louis of Granada’s book “The Sinner’s Guide” ; where he speaks of God and omnipotent He is.

  4. Sho-nuff! I was praying that in the Office this morning.

  5. joecct77 says:

    Reminds me of the beginning of “It’s A Wonderful Life”.

  6. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Psalm 8:4-5 “For I will behold thy heavens, the works of thy fingers: the moon and the stars which thou hast founded. What is man that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man that thou visitest him?”

  7. NYer says:

    How can anyone look at images such as these and not believe in the existence of a Supreme Being?

    In 2009, the Hubble telescope sent back images of an unusual large galaxy with a shape bordering between spiral and elliptical. It was aptly named the “Crown of Thorns” galaxy.

  8. Priam1184 says:

    In principio creavit Deus caelum et terram…

  9. Andrew says:


    S. Augustine “on Genesis”:

    A very loose translation: The Word of God to Whom to be is the same as to live, and to live, is the same as to live in wisdom and beauty. The creature does not posses incommutable Wisdom and it can live miserably and stupidly, which is its lack of form. But it assumes a form by turning towards the incommutable light of Wisdom, the Word of God, which through a mysterious inspiration calls the creature, whose beginning it is to convert to that from which it exists, without which it cannot be formed and perfected. Whereby when asked “who are you” he replied: “What I told you from the beginning.” (Jn. 8:25)

    The actual text: Non enim habet informem vitam Verbum Filius, cui non solum hoc est esse quod vivere, sed etiam hoc est vivere, quod est sapienter ac beate vivere. Creatura vero, quamquam spiritalis et intellectualis vel rationalis, quae videtur esse illi Verbo propinquior, potest habere informem vitam; quia non sicut hoc est ei esse quod vivere, ita hoc vivere quod sapienter ac beate vivere. Aversa enim a Sapientia incommutabili, stulte ac misere vivit, quae informitas eius est. Formatur autem conversa ad incommutabile lumen Sapientiae, Verbum Dei. A quo enim exstitit ut sit utcumque ac vivat, ad illum convertitur ut sapienter ac beate vivat. Principium quippe creaturae intellectualis est aeterna Sapientia; quod principium manens in se incommutabiliter, nullo modo cessaret occulta inspiratione vocationis loqui ei creaturae cui principium est, ut converteretur ad id ex quo est, quod aliter formata ac perfecta esse non possit. Ideoque interrogatus quis esset, respondit: Principium, quia et loquor vobis. (S. Augustini “de Genesi ad litteram, 5:10)

  10. Ed the Roman says:

    We are made in the image and likeness of the One who brought all this into existence from nothing.

    Which touches on what I believe to be the strongest proof of the existence God: that there is something rather than nothing.

  11. New Sister says:

    I have always been fascinated by this little lesson on “squares” from 1977 — called “Powers of Ten”. A meter grows to mind-boggling vastness, at only the 24th power, and likewise on the microscopic scale.

  12. Priam1184 says:

    @Ed the Roman : You are 1000% correct on that. Whenever anyone tries to use all of the ‘natural science arguments’ against the existence of God my answer always ends up being: then why is there anything at all? And that generally is the end of this discussion.

  13. Priam1184 says:

    Thank you for that Andrew.

  14. Kathleen10 says:

    Thanks Fr. Z. and others for such great comments, observations, and links. I loved the Crown of Thorns.
    I can’t help but wish we all lived in community together. It would be superb to all be in the same area and able to go out on a starlit night to enjoy observing our beautiful cosmos. But again, I am wishing for Heaven perhaps.

  15. sciencemom says:

    Fr Z writes:

    Sometimes I consider why the visible cosmos is so large, involving forces and numbers so great that we cannot get our thoughts around them.

    Looking at it from the point of view of physics, the universe had to be pretty close to the size it is in order for us to exist. For those with at least an amateur’s interest in physics, I recommend Modern Physics and Ancient Faith by Stephen Barr. He has a nice section on the question: “Why is the universe so big?”

  16. sciencemom says:

    PS Lovely photo! And thanks, Chicken, for the link. I will have to check that out.

  17. snoozie says:

    Kinda gives a renewed understanding of the ‘fear of the Lord’.

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