"For a long time I have held my peace, I have kept myself still and restrained myself; now I will cry out like a woman in labor, I will gasp and pant" (Is 42:14)

Day 33: We are made of stardust!

"Pillars of Creation," taken in 1995 by the Hubble Space Telescope, is a photograph of elephant trunks of interstellar gas and dust in the Eagle Nebula, in the Serpens constellation, some 6,500–7,000 light-years from Earth. The finger-like protrusions at the top of the clouds are larger than the Solar System (Wikipedia).

lena Sabbi, a star formation and cluster evolution scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, explains that "Stars are the machines that sculpt the universe. We would not have life without stars, and yet we don't fully understand how they form." In the same vein planetary scientist and stardust expert Dr Ashley J King says that "every element was made in a star and if you combine those elements in different ways you can make species of gas, minerals, and bigger things like asteroids, and from asteroids you can start making planets and then you start to make water and other ingredients required for life and then, eventually, us."

A series of several supernovae—powerful and luminous explosions of stars—has been going on for something like 13 billion years now. Our home solar system came into existence only 4.5 billion years ago. If stars have hands and feet, their fingerprints and footprints would be in every living cell because nearly all the elements comprising the human body were made in the hearts of the stars.

These celestial bodies are very much like mortal human beings; although, the latter live on for a far shorter time scale. Just like us, stars leave behind their footprints through their light. There is an anecdote that says: “When gazing at the sparkling stars in the night sky, you’re actually looking into the past. There is a possibility that the stars you are gazing at might have already died.” As we look up at some of the stars in the night sky we might be looking at footprints of a dead star that lived billions of years ago, but we are only beginning to see its twinkling footprint now in our present age.

On day thirty-three of the Season of Creation, let us allow the compressed stardust in our own hearts to explode in awe and gratitude. No matter how tiny we may feel, it is a miracle that each one of us is alive now. What we have received is a "pandemic of grace" which is full of a star's creative energy waiting to be unleashed. Without doubt, human beings have the kind of heart that beats for another for it has been built like that across billions of years. Therefore, there is no heart that is individualistic. Pope Francis says, "lf we can overcome individualism, we will truly be able to develop a different lifestyle and bring about significant changes in society" (LS 208). The final paragraph of Before Nature Dies (1971), Jean Dorst’s writes,
“Man has enough objective reasons to safeguard nature. But in the last analysis it will only be saved by our hearts. It will only be saved if man loves it, simply because it is beautiful… . For that, too, is an integral part of the human soul” (Dorst 1971, p 329).