Canon Simon Doogan
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Today was the day in 1957 when the Russian satellite Sputnik blasted into space. The heavy weight of Sputnik led some American experts to speculate that the rocket which launched it could also be capable of propelling a long range nuclear weapon. It’s tempting to dismiss such international suspicion as the rhetoric of a bygone political age, yet echoes of it were heard again as recently as four years ago.
In February 2009, to mark the thirtieth anniversary of Iran’s Islamic revolution, Tehran launched a satellite called Omid or Hope. International concern was duly expressed that a satellite designed for telecommunications could be adapted for military use. It was a charge refuted by the then President, Mahmoud Ahma-dine-jad. In firing into space, he said, Iran’s aims were “expanding monotheism, peace and justice”.
Apart from extending network coverage for my mobile phone, cluttering-up the earth’s orbit would seem like a good idea if it really is going to help the nations talk to one another. But it’s in what they say when they do talk to one another that the future of the planet rests. There has to be more to communication than bombarding people with what I believe to be true, however revealed and holy I understand that truth to be. Especially, since it’s the urge to communicate that opens our hearts to prayer.
Lord of the earth, King of the nations: be in our conversations we pray that in learning to speak, we may learn to listen, that in learning to listen, we may learn to understand, and that in learning to understand, we may learn to love, in the spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.