Monday, July 20, 2009

Stuff you knew already

...but which I didn't. I was only 11 years old and we were in a tiny cabin in Banff National Park listening on a radio with poor reception. I remember it as if it were yesterday. The fact that one of the astronauts had brought the Sacrament to the moon with him was never part of the official blurb. The faith of heroes and public individuals shouldn't be ostentatious - but it should, nonetheless, come as no surprise.

Forty years ago, in the first moments of July 20, 1969, after Aldrin had piloted the Eagle lunar module into the dust of the moon with only seconds of fuel to spare, he asked NASA for a radio blackout. He suggested that people around the world take the opportunity to "contemplate for a moment the events of the last few hours, and to give thanks in his own individual way."

Then, during the radio silence, Aldrin opened a packet of bread and a vial of wine that had been blessed a few weeks earlier at his home church near Houston, Webster Presbyterian. Aldrin unfolded a paper on which he'd copied Jesus' words from John 15: "I am the vine, you are the branches ..."

"In the one-sixth gravity of the moon, the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup," Aldrin wrote in a story published in 1970 in Guideposts magazine. "I ate the tiny Host and swallowed the wine. I gave thanks for the intelligence and spirit that had brought two young pilots to the Sea of Tranquility."

Read the whole thing HERE

No comments: