There is a Light in Us…

 In Reflections

“There is a light in us that only darkness itself can illuminate. It is the glowing calm that comes over us when we finally surrender to the ultimate truth of creation: that there is a God and we are not it.” —Joan Chittister

As the Winter Solstice arrives tomorrow, I am reminded of the ancient fear of the dark. No wonder the celebrations of our faith traditions emphasize the light. Yet it is the dark that often shapes us and allows our light to burn brightly.

In her book Between the Dark and the Daylight, Sr. Joan Chittister uses our relationship with night and day to embrace the contradictions of life. She says:

“Growth is the boundary between the darkness of unknowing and the light of new wisdom, new insight, new vision of who and what we ourselves have become.”

In the midst of Hanukkah and the approach of Christmas, Kwanzaa, and other Season of Light celebrations, we can pause on the longest night of the year to honor what times of darkness in our lives this past year have revealed or birthed within us.

May the winter nights reveal to you all you have become and the potential of who you can be in 2023. And may you always remember the light within.

In Whom the Light Lives

Blessed are you

in whom
the light lives,
in whom
the brightness blazes—
your heart
a chapel,
an altar where
in the deepest night
can be seen
the fire that
shines forth in you
in unaccountable faith,
in stubborn hope,
in love that illumines
every broken thing
it finds.

—Jan Richardson, second stanza of her blessing, Blessed Are You Who Bear the Light, from Circle of Grace.

Winter’s Cloak

This year I do not want
the dark to leave me.
I need its wrap
of silent stillness,
its cloak
of long lasting embrace.
Too much light
has pulled me away
from the chamber
of gestation.

Let the dawns
come late,
let the sunsets
arrive early,
let the evenings
extend themselves
while I lean into
the abyss of my being.

Let me lie in the cave
of my soul,
for too much light
blinds me,
steals the source
of revelation.

Let me seek solace
in the empty places
of winter’s passage,
those vast dark nights
that never fail to shelter me.

Joyce Rupp

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