Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Different Light

We have had some different light bulbs (energy saving, I believe) put into the Oratory and, I think, Sacred Heart Chapel and the Gathering Place. Personally, I'm most conscious of the ones in the Oratory because they're not as bright as the old ones and I'm conscious that there are some areas that now look quite dark. Lighting is an interesting issue in the Oratory. It is, for instance, very difficult to get good photographs there without importing special equipment. And, of course, that in itself could be a problem during services because we wouldn't want anything that distracted from the prayer which brings us there, however much we might want to capture the moment.

Anyway, practical issues aside, the appearance of the new, slightly dimmer lights, led me into something of a meditation. It made me think about how much we depend on light in the physical world: to see, to be able to appreciate the environment around us, to get about, to make plants grow. If we depend on light in the physical world, how much more do we depend on light, in the metaphorical sense, to illumine and help our spiritual lives to grow?

It's so easy to let the inner light grow dim. Energy saving light bulbs are a good in the world because, yes, they save energy and thus protect the environment! But energy saving on the internal illumination is not necessarily a good when it means that we make ourselves less open to the light of Christ and the light of the Gospels because we can't be bothered; it's too hard; it takes too much energy. Letting the light in means being willing to do whatever God asks of us, whatever it costs. It means being willing, as Jesus did, "to lay down His life for His friends."

So, I'm praying that as I continue along the Lenten path, which can sometimes seem dark, that I stay alert and allow God's light to penetrate my inner darkness. I'm praying for the grace and courage to respond positively to whatever that demands of me. Finally, I'm trying to help myself do that by straining to glimpse the light of Easter which Christ carries ahead of me.

Karen Rose, OSB

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