Jesus uses light as a metaphor for describing certain truths of the spiritual life. Similar references are found throughout scripture and in writings of the saints. St. Therese of Lisieux said, “Enlighten me, O Good Jesus, with the brightness of internal light and cast out all darkness from the dwelling of my heart.”
In modern times, it is rare for us to experience true darkness. There is almost always some light from a screen, a street lamp or a passing car.
In the spiritual sense, the closest I have come to experiencing true darkness was in the depths of grief after my mother’s death and more recently, in my struggles with depression. In these cases, the darkness was interior and seemingly impenetrable.
When I am in a dark mood, contemplating the gift and mystery of light helps me to have hope. In the world God created we are blessed to experience light in so many wonderful ways:
- The sun, the moon and the stars. Even when obscured by clouds, they are always there mimicking the presence of a God who never leaves us alone.
- Fire. In the flicker of candlelight or in a raging forest fire, there is mystery and power in fire. It appears to have life as it dances and consuming its fuel. The fire of the Holy Spirit within enflames us with a burning desire for God.
- Mirrors. A mirror reflects light, giving us a reverse and often distorted image. 1Cor 13:12 reminds us of this truth:For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know fully, just as I have been fully known. In this life, we must accept that there are things we cannot understand.
- Windows. Many churches have beautiful stained glass windows that speak to us with stories of the saints or biblical events. In the modern church where I am now sitting, the sun shines through colorful shards of glass magnifying the splendor of God’s creation.
Jesus Christ is the light of the world. His radiance guides us on our journey. We must trust that He knows the way. Even when we cannot see the road ahead, He will lead us out of the darkness and into the light.
#light, #faith, #depression, #truth, #darkness, #catholic365