Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Over the last several weeks we’ve encountered some interesting phenomena in the weather for our area. Earthquakes and solar eclipses are not typical experiences for New Jersey. As such, sometimes it causes individuals to ask whether or not these events might be a sign from God. I’m not inclined to go so far with all of that, but there remains something quite instructive from these two different events about Creation and the workings of God.

Let us consider the solar eclipse. Perhaps we were able to get the special glasses in order to view the event directly or we fashioned something out of a cardboard box or maybe we even traveled to observe the total eclipse, but no matter how it is we experienced it, a solar eclipse remains an extraordinary display of nature. It also points to the creative power of God and the inherent order that is found within all of Creation. The sun, the moons, and the planets in our solar system are of various sizes and distances from each other. The fact that the Earth is just within a small sliver of distance from the Sun, with the right amount of rotation and sufficient tilt on its axis is the reason why we have life at all on this planet. Conditions are near perfect in order to sustain life here on Earth, which is either a product of a tremendous coincidence and statistical randomness or the result of some higher order within the chaos of the universe. But a solar eclipse takes all of that one step further. Many planets have moons, and they orbit stars just like Earth does. But the fact that our moon is exactly the right size and distance that it can line up in between the Sun and the Earth to produce a total and perfect eclipse, it’s mind-boggling. In my opinion, it’s easier to believe that God created it be just so than it just happened to work out that way.

But on the other side of things, nature is not always perfect. There are weather events that seem random and cause destruction known as natural disasters. Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, and the like remind us that the natural world is far from the ideal we would want it to be. Fortunately, our most recent earthquake resulted in little to no damage or harm to our area. But that’s not always the case. Indeed, many natural disasters not only do a great deal of damage, but can hurt and kill many people. Where is God and His order to creation in all of that?

God’s order can be seen in creation. But natural disasters remind us that we still wait for a fuller perfection to come. Please don’t be worried that God sending signs in these recent events. Provided we live our faith and trust in the Resurrection, even in difficulty, God’s saving power is with us.

Peace and Goodness,
Fr. Dan