Monday, December 01, 2008


Four months ago today I arrived Down Range with SFC McG. It's been quite a ride so far, and not just on Blackhawk helicopters! (Much to my surprise, I really enjoy riding in them. Who knew?)

We had another new moon a couple of days ago, which seems to be the pulse by which I'm measuring my time here. Lately, perhaps because of the winds and rain, the skies have often been spectacularly clear at night, especially when I've been able to be outside the wire at a Combat Outpost (COP) or Forward Operating Base (FOB) or Joint Security Station (JSS) to provide religious support to Catholic (and other!) Soldiers.

Several of those places are at some distance from areas of great 'light pollution' (as the Jesuits at the Vatican Astronomical Observatory, La Speccola Vaticana called it during the summer of 1982 I spent with them), and the vividness of the celestial light-show causes me to stop in my tracks and just ponder the vastness and beauty of it all. Inevitably I offer a prayer of thanks.

Now the moon is slivering about the horizon, with Venus and Jupiter no longer aligned in a straight line with it. None the less, as those orbs shimmer in the night sky, I revel in the awe and wonder of it all.

I'm in a place where people are actively trying to maim or kill me, and yet there is beauty all around, if I pause to recognize it.


Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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