Backyard Galaxy

A new, weekly series featuring reflections from Fr. Michael Suchnicki dealing with God, thoughts from the friary backyard and on our Milky Way Galaxy.

Midnight in Estes

About 20 years ago I came to Colorado for the first time and went up to the mountains to Estes Park to help some Capuchin Friars with a retreat for some young adults who were thinking of joining the Order someday.

The first day we ended around midnight. I couldn’t sleep so I went outside to get some fresh air and do a little praying.

I couldn’t believe what I saw for the very first time in my life. It was the Milky Way Galaxy in all it’s glory, I should say “God’s Glory.” From downtown Denver it’s impossible at night to see the Milky Way with all the city lights around you.

It was true! I had read that our planet earth is near the edge of the Milky Way and when we look at our Galaxy from Earth, we are looking straight at the heart of this wonderful creation.

I realized I was looking at billions and billions of stars and perhaps intelligent life out there. Maybe they were looking at me and planet Earth with their telescopes. I thought of God, the Creator of all this, keeping everything in perfect order.

I must confess, 15 years have passed since I last saw the Milky Way in all its splendor and vastness. How could I stay away so long? There were so many opportunities to go back to the mountains and I failed to take advantage of them.

I know those billions and billions of stars haven’t changed since the last time I saw them. God is the same way. He never changes.
Gosh! Our Milky Way is one of billions of other galaxies out there, and all I got to see was one of them. However, I’m making plans to see another one very soon!