Posted by: matt25 | July 11, 2012

The Eagle Has Landed, Now What?

Ten and soon to be eleven years old, I was enthralled as were my parents and older brothers. I am not too sure how my younger sisters felt about it though. It was 1969 and against the backdrop of a very tumultuous decade, which saw seismic shifts in religion, civil rights, and culture, science would not be left behind. On this day in 1969 a man, for the first time, walked on the moon. The words of Neil Armstrong were branded into my memory, “This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”. This singular historic event fueled my imagination and propelled me into a fascination with both science and science fiction that will most likely last as long as my elevator still goes to the top floor.

Later on, in high school and college, the sixties continued to influence me in the seventies. But now it was the civil rights and cultural changes that had “rocked” America which layered themselves atop science in influencing my attitudes and opinions. They sought to relegate another part of my life, the spiritual and religious part, to a small corner of my life. For awhile it was.

Then came the eighties and my spirituality broke its chains and took off like the mission to the moon so long before, and after a world tour of religious offerings and spiritual seeking I landed right back home, where my foundation had been laid, in the Catholic Church. My parents had done their job well, instilling in me the importance of faith by teaching us about God with their words but even more so by the way that they lived. Every day was the Lord’s day to them, whether it was Sunday and time to go to church or Monday and time to go to work.

The sixties however were not though with me yet though. Because after embracing my life as a Catholic, which then opened the doors which led to my marriage and family, I began to take notice of Vatican II. Four months from today we will mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of the council that arguably had a bigger influence on me than any other movement, event, or occurrence from that tumultuous decade. I imagine that a great deal of reflective ink will be spilled as we approach October 11th this year, but for now I’ll just leave you with another quote from Neil Armstrong that I found on

“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.”


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