2011-04-14 13:50:00

Valentina Dudkina, Interfax-Religion editor-in-chief.
Up the Ladder...

What amazing signs are dispersed around us like stars with a generous God's hand! If only we could see them with our spiritual vision, penetrate beyond the horizon of the epoch, and try to understand where we are going... But most often we lack courage and strength to get over ourselves and our immediate emotions, contemptible for the most part - spite, greed, and envy - and here we go, our spiritual eyes are closed.

But the signs dispersed by God all over around us are waiting for their hour to come like milestones for straying mankind; and much later after the event the stunned people suddenly realize that it was not a mere chance...

Sometimes such insight arises some fifty years after the event, like this time when a well-known Moscow priest noted a whole series of "cosmic" coincidences: Gagarin's flight was appointed on April 12, the commemoration day of St. Ivan of the Ladder, the author of the famous Ladder of Divine Ascent, a treatise on spiritual growth to attain the highest degree of religious perfection. Father Dimitry states that the location of St. Ivan the Ladder Church under the Bell of Ivan the Great, the largest building of (old) Moscow which looks like a spaceship directed skywards, is a sign of God.

That means Heaven predetermined human flight in space from Russia on April 12 many centuries before our time. Who could ever think in far-away peasant Moscow that Ruusian man would be the first one on the globe to take off the Earth to follow the Ladder up to the stars? Who in the Khrushchev's Soviet Union remembered about the Church holiday celebrated on April 12 when setting the date for Vostok's flight? But it could not have happened otherwise. May be our technically unsophisticated ancestors could see beyond their own noses much broader and higher than we can now and were never ashamed to be a small part of a "large project" - be it the God's Heaven or the global communism.

So, half a century later, what can we show our ancestors to surprise them, except our "cosmic" outfit - bluetooth in our ears, a telephone in each pocket, a navigator in every car and satellite microchips in dogs' paws? How have we changed since Yury Gagarin shook the world? Have those "born to creep" learned to fly? Where does our horizon end? Isn't it too low today? And will the historic Gagarin's flight someday become yet another sign, a memory of another impossible dream, a chance we have missed, to go up the ladder to Heaven which can be never completed? Did we refuse a chance to finish it just because we were too unwilling to go up?..