Via Curt Jester, we now know that Colonel Ron Garan, mission specialist on STS-124 in May/June 2008, brought along a relic of St. Therese in his personal allowance, as a favor to and from some Texan Carmelite nuns. This has certain implications.
TOP TEN THOUGHTS ABOUT ST. THERESE’S TRIP TO SPACE
10. As was pointed out, St. Therese’s relics have now traveled around the world just as her message of God’s love has. Seeing as she had wished during her life to be able to travel to her sisters in Hanoi and other far places, but was unable to do so because of health and God’s rigorous training program for her, this is pretty fun!
“The sisters reported that the words of St. Thérèse came to mind: ‘I have the vocation of an apostle. I would like to travel over the whole earth to preach your name and to plant your glorious cross on infidel soil. But oh, my beloved, one mission would not be enough for me, I would want to preach the Gospel on all five continents simultaneously and even to the most remote isles. I would be a missionary, not for a few years but from the beginning of creation until the consummation of the ages.’
Likewise, “their sound hath gone forth into all the earth: and their words unto the ends of the world” (Ps. 18:5), as Dr. Thursday pointed out.
9. Simultaneously, she’s a Teacher in Space and a Doctor (of the Church) in Space!
8. Also from St. Therese’s autobiography: “O my only Friend, why dost Thou not reserve these infinite longings to lofty souls, to the eagles that soar in the heights? Alas! I am but a poor little unfledged bird. I am not an eagle, I have but the eagle’s eyes and heart! Yet, notwithstanding my exceeding littleless, I dare to gaze upon the Divine Sun of Love, and I burn to dart upwards unto Him! I would fly, I would imitate the eagles; but all that I can do is to lift up my little wings–it is beyond my feeble power to soar.”
7. Colonel Garan’s wife is named Carmel. I see a pattern here….
6. Traditionally, the spiritual life is compared to a ladder or stairway. St. Therese compared her “Little Way” to an elevator, because God was doing all the heavy lifting. So a rocketship is even more so!
5. Garan did a ton of spacewalk hours on this mission. If I were going to have to putter around doing work while floating in the depths of space, with very little between me and floating away forever, I think I’d want a relic along for company!
(Even if I were helping to deliver Kibo, a lab whose name means “hope” or “a good sign”.)
(Nothing at all to do with Leader Kibo. They swear.)
4. “When we were on the way home, I would gaze upon the stars which were twinkling ever so peacefully in the skies and the sight carried me away. There was especially one cluster of golden pearls which attracted my attention and gave me great joy because they were in the form of a -T-. I pointed them out to Papa and told him my name was written in heaven. Then desiring to look no longer at this dull earth, I asked him to guide my steps; and not looking where I placed my feet I threw back my head, giving myself over completely to the contemplation of the star-studded firmament!”
3. “God rejoices more in what He can do in a soul humbly resigned to its poverty, than in the creation of millions of suns and the vast stretch of the heavens.”
2. “With enraptured gaze, we beheld the white moon rising quietly behind the tall trees, the silvery rays it was casting upon sleeping nature, the bright stars twinkling in the deep skies… all this raised our souls to heaven.”
1. If the relic the Carmelites gave him was a first class relic, and if our astronaut friend should have happened to touch it to the space shuttle wall, would that mean that the whole space shuttle Discovery would then become a third class relic?