“I came into the world as light,
so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness”.
Children are often afraid of the dark but soon grow out of this as parents assure them that there is nothing to be scared of, putting them to bed with rituals of checking for monsters and leaving a door open with the passage light on.
While the children might grow out of their night-time fears they soon discover that daylight brings its own darknesses. As adults we have experienced this, suffering the consequences of our own bad choices and bearing the brunt of the words and actions of others.
A century ago the night / day rhythm of our planet was a familiar companion: the full light and energy of daytime activity becoming dusk carrying the world into the sleep of night which in time becomes the dawn of a new day.
In this twenty-first century the night hours can be avoided with lights and screens. The darkness we might feel at the end of a tough day or in the long night hours is easily escaped, perhaps by binge watching a TV series featuring the often over-dramatised episodes of other people’s darkness.
You will have heard of some who tell of experiencing a ‘dark night of the soul.’ Initially we think of the dark in our lives as an absence of a positive happy feeling, losing the light. Perhaps we think of the darkness as a place without divine presence?
But the wise teachers remind us that the dark night of the soul is not a place of the absence of God, simply a place of the absence of the feeling of God.
The fact is that even when we feel darkness, God is still present and therefore we have nothing to fear.
In the darkness we can realise again that our greatest need is not to possess or even to see the light, but to be in the presence and embrace of the ONE who knows better than ourselves where we desire to go by day and by night.
“I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life”.
- Take a few moments to consider these quotations. Which do you find most encouraging:
“And it is in this darkness, when there is nothing left in us that can please or comfort our own minds, when we seem to be useless and worthy of all contempt, when we seem to have failed, when we seem to be destroyed and devoured, it is then that the deep and secret selfishness that is too close to us for us to identify is stripped away from our souls. It is in this darkness that we find liberty. It is in this abandonment that we are made strong. This is the night which empties us and makes us pure”.
“Faith is not a light which scatters all our darkness, but a lamp which guides our steps in the night and suffices for the journey. To those who suffer, God does not provide arguments which explain everything; rather, his response is that of an accompanying presence, a history of goodness which touches every story of suffering and opens up a ray of light”.
“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it but because by it, I see everything else.”
- Let’s pray for those in need. Each day I invite FFF readers to pray for those whose names or initials I receive as intentions. I will also offer Mass for these intentions. Send your prayer requests to firstname.lastname@example.org. Each day I will add the initials of those we pray for to the list as here:
Let us pray today especially for:
JL, SM, PR, MJ, MD,
LECTIO DIVINA FOR WEDNESDAY OF EASTER WEEK IV (6 May 2020)
The Lectio and Pray to Sleep recordings have been much more popular than I imagined so over the next few weeks I will try to improve the quality of these by getting some real recording hardware. Watch this space and thanks for coping with the low quality at the moment. Also sorry for the blip in the 15 minute reflections over the past couple of days – the last five minutes of the recording vanished. Fixed today.
Pictures received of any churches that have been significant in your faith journey will be included as the images on the daily Lectio Divina links. Send to email@example.com.
Today’s pic Holy Trinity Church, Westbury, Tasmania. Australia. Thanks Helena.
Wednesday Easter Week IV (15 minutes)
Wednesday Easter Week IV (25 minutes)