Home Page Home Page Events Events Photos Photos Diocese of Ogdensburg Home Page  
Follow Us on Facebook


Father Muench Says...

Reflections on creation

Feb. 20, 2019

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

I begin again this week with a note of concern and a prayer for all of you back home who continue to wrestle with winter this year. I am keeping track of the news and weather up there and the temperature swings.

This week my attention has been centered on creation. The reason is that for the past few weeks, each day the first Scripture has been readings from the book of Genesis at the daily Mass. The first section of Genesis contains the stories of creation.

Nowadays, many – especially those who have studied high school science – find these stories unacceptable and also a reason to give up on God. Now I want you to know that I like these stories; I see them as magnificent stories of a people, attempting to understand their world and to emphasize their firm belief in God as their creator. Their stories were developed as they considered the world as they saw it. They were far from the understanding that we now have from space travel and the Hubble telescope. These people wanted all who read this book of Genesis to understand that they believed with powerful faith in a creating God. And so their world is sacred, their part of the world is blessed, they are special, they are a loved people – God created all for them.

We all know the story that astronomy tells us happened in the formation of our universe. Modern science has given a unique view which is verified by scientific investigation. I decided to check in with the finest astronomer and scientist that I know. So I went back to YouTube to listen again to a talk given by a Jesuit, Father George Coyne. Father Coyne is a well-known astronomer. For a time, he was director of the Vatican Astronomical Center in Rome and director of the Vatican Center in Tucson, Arizona. He has written and spoken often on this very question of his understanding of formation of the universe according to modern science and protests his belief in God as Creator of the Universe.

I remember going through the science of the formation of this universe of ours. I hope I still remember this properly. It was 13.8 billion years ago – the time of the Big Bang. This is the time it all began, and this universe continues to grow. As the time proceeded, galaxies were formed – an immense number of galaxies in this universe. These galaxies are where the stars are formed, and each galaxy contains thousands and thousands of stars. In one of these galaxies, the Milky Way, our galaxy, the conditions developed in such a way that around our star, our sun, a solar system was formed, a solar system of eight planets. One of these planets developed the proper conditions so that life came about. After several thousand years, human life developed. And here we are.

Sometimes, when I go out to play golf, I think of this huge universe, with all these galaxies; and our galaxy with all its stars; and one of those stars with its solar system; and in that solar system, one planet with life – with human life; and here I am wondering where this golf ball will land.

Is there room for God? I can understand all of this scientific development that follows so carefully the laws of nature – nature has to react as it must. At the same time, as a person of faith, I believe that God is the creator – God created all things. I may not satisfy everyone as to where God fits in. But in faith I believe. For me, the only way the picture becomes complete is that God created it all.

Finally, are there other universes? Are there other solar systems? Are there other living beings out there in this immense universe? I don’t know. But many are continuing to search – they have not found any others yet, but they are still looking.

North Country Catholic North Country Catholic is
honored by Catholic Press
Association of US & Canada

Copyright © Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg. All rights reserved.