Posted tagged ‘Light of the World’

MYSTERY AND LIGHT – NO GOOD-BYES

February 16, 2019

I’m not ready to leave the subject of Mystery-and-Light;  too many more things to say!  And because of that,  here are some seed thoughts for you,  so to speak.

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In the last post I said:  Light will in one future instant say a final and eternal good-bye to all who choose Darkness.

How many are the human souls who will say a permanent good-bye to us at the end of life!   What a sadness!.  What a horror!!   A horror because the permanent good-byes are given to those who choose not  the Light,  and  who then  will exist in a horror of Darkness that we cannot now fully imagine.

But Light is eternal,  and Light is eternal Life.   Light is from the Creator,  it is the Creator:      “He was the Light of the world,  and His light was the Life of men.”

Here is some photo-miscroscopy for you:

1 light conception

We are told there is a  “flash” of light at the moment of conception; at the moment that the sperm enters the egg,  whoosh!  However brief and instantaneous it is,  it does occur.

 

1 cell suicide.jpg

We are told that when  our immune system causes a cancer cell to self-destruct —  whoosh!    Again,  a flash, a release of energy.

 

1 destroy tumors

Light has been used (in a laboratory)  to destroy tumors.

And we can see a strand of DNA in a powerful microscope.

1 dna

Bathed in light (energy).

 

Light is Life.     

I don’t know how many of you have read the classic book which describes the qualities of our existence in the next  Life;   Heaven, that is,  for those who have chosen the Light of Christ.

(Now,  this is Light as a Catholic is instructed,  not a New Age concept of “Peace and Light.”   Not the secular-atheistic concept of “Enlightenment.”   It’s not some esoteric and nebulous Nirvana.     As Christians are instructed, the Light is from God,  the Light is God,  the Light is a Person entering this world,  giving and bringing Light.)

That Light raised himself from the dead and is able to raise each of us, in that same manner.  We will have new resurrected bodies with new qualities,  reserved until then.

(in no special order):

.  1,   Impassibility  –  our new bodies won’t change,  won’t be subject to pain or aging and decay

. 2,   Immortality –  our new bodies will never die

. 3,   Agility –  our new bodies won’t be subject to the limitations of time and space

. 4,   Understanding –  our new bodies will have the full use of our intellectual capacity which will enable us to fully  know and to  understand  everything  around us – as far as “humanly” possible.   We will still be human;  merely human.  We will know ourselves as ourselves – and we will know others.

.4,    Glory –  our new bodies will have Beauty and Glory,  which is the reflection of the Glory of God,  which manifests as pure and radiant Light.

We won’t have “light bodies.”   We’ll have human bodies filled with the Light of Pure Love, which is God.

Eternal Light.   No good-byes to the people around you,  no good-byes to the glorious angelic beings;  no good-byes to the One who loves you with a powerful and eternal Love.

No ending.

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The “classic book”  which discusses these matters, based upon solid Church teaching is called:  The Happiness of Heaven,  by Fr. J.  Boudreau.  Easily available on Amazon.

Also helpful is a passage in the gospel of John, first chapter.  (John 1:1-14)

What will you think,  what will you feel, at the moment you realize you are dying?  This is it!  I’m leaving this world and going . . . .      so, another helpful book is called Preparation for Death,  by  St. Alphonsus Liguori   (Don’t get the one by the 20th century author.   It has little depth of understanding.)

The Sinner’s Guide is helpful.   It’s by Louis of Granada and will guide you away from the darkness.

PURPLE cloud

Lent is approaching!  

We cannot stop our calendar! 

Time to choose a good book to read.    One that is profitable for your soul.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MYSTERY AND LIGHT

February 15, 2019

 

Light will in one future instant say a final and eternal Good-bye to all who choose Darkness.

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The End of the Mystery is a mystery in itself.   

A well-crafted mystery is a pleasure to read.

ag christie vic

A really good whodunit engages the reader and draws him into the story — temporarily,  because then when the mystery is resolved, the story is over;    and then the reader sits back with satisfaction knowing, now, how it all worked together.

ag jek

The best authors have given the reader little facts along the way that only as the story progresses does the reader begin to perceive the smallest facts as clues.

ag writer

The author must have great skill to weave those important facts into the narrative, being fair to his readers but respecting the reader enough to require him to use his intellect.

Wherever we are confronted with a mystery,  the closer we look at it,  the more we see there are facts and clues that lead us to greater and greater understanding.

Light is like that.  It’s actually the greatest Mystery we have.   We know  it when we see it.   (Or do we?)   We can give it a definition.  (Or can we?)   We know what it does.  (Or we know some of its effects.)

We even know its origin:  “Let there be Light.”    It isn’t that at the first moment of Creation some kind of “light bulb” was turned on so we can see what the Creator is doing.

Instead . . .

ag big bang

. . .  energies,  forces,  vibrations,  frequencies began where there were no “disturbances”  before.    It began in an instant.

Such,   let’s call them energy frequencies —  such energy  frequencies  moved “outwards,”  became organized  into irregular areas and forms,  some slowed down and coalesced into what we call high energy particles, which built atoms,  some of which became matter,  plain old material that we can touch and feel and use.

af particles

We’ve read the clues, we’ve learned some facts,  but much of this is still unknown to us,  still undiscovered.  The whole truth about Light remains a mystery.

It’s exciting and very interesting to some people.   They want to keep on learning more about this thing we call Light, observing nature, examining science books,  research, studies,  results of experiments at CERN — the nuts and bolts of hard science.

Grandson Cooper will be receiving this book soon –

a book moon

–   from “Science Grandma.”   Ha!     I gave him a seven-inch diameter moon for Christmas,  a night light,  which he likes very much.    Little by little during his lifetime he will pick up “clues”  about the mystery of Light.

But apart from hard science,   we can approach this mystery of Light by examining the Equivalent of Light –  an equivalence that exists in Reality.     The Person who said “Let there be Light”  actually called Himself  the Light, our Light.  “I am the Light of the world.”

eden 2

That Light was all over the first home of the first humans, whatever that was;   it was still there after the Fall which darkened both the world and the intellect of man;  it was there choosing and enlightening one portion of the human race, one race, one tribe;   and then later,  the Light came to enlighten all the rest of mankind.

Now the Light was identified as “the Light to Lighten the Gentiles.”

That Light had been long-promised, and It was  the long-promised  Messiah sent by the Creator,  the long-promised Christ.      He came to “enlighten” us about the nature and reality of God, giving us more facts and clues about our Creator.   Infinite.    Infinite Power.    Infinite Love.     Infinite Fatherly Caring.

The Christ chose a small group of men to teach His mysteries to, as many as they could endure.

a transf

 

And then Christ returned to that Father, leaving us enough information, enough clues,  so that we can now call the Creator “the Father of Lights.”     (James 1:17)     He used that small group of men to set up a living system,  a Church,  to preserve and  transmit that information, and it has endured for almost 2,000 years.

The more we seek and search,  the more facts and clues we learn about how this all works.    We were not abandoned,  the Light can live in us – if we so indicate our desire – and then Christ, the Light of the World, will return to us.

a return

What will that look like?

Now  the End of all this  Cosmic Mystery is a mystery in itself.       Some humans will recognize and choose to live in that Light.   Some,  many more,  will choose to continue on in darkness.

If there is One Light,  One Christ,  One Church,   why would some choose to live apart from it?

Do they truly think that when they die,  the Light will go out?

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“CLOTHING” FOR ADVENT

December 2, 2018

lavender splotch

(A necessary “pause”  from current events today.)

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A giant turn of the wheel on this day in the Christian calendar;   a big click!  into  the notch that brings the rotating gear back to its beginning point.

gear

As you guys know,  a gear is for turning.  This may be a cog wheel, but I don’t really know the difference.    Things act on it and then it turns, notch by notch, each notch slipping for a moment into its proper (and useful) place.

And as we all know,  today is the first day of Advent.   Christians follow a Liturgical Year not too far in concept from a gear:

Liturgical Calendar Worksheet Worksheets For All | Download And with Blank Liturgical Calendar Wheel

As the world revolves around the sun, so have we devised calendars to mark the passing of time – with religious significance.    God, through various instruments, acts upon the universe, and with each revolution of our calendar year, there are stops or pauses as these divisions rotate to the top, and they are useful to us.

I put a blurry black dot at the top of this circular calendar where that dark vertical line is.   Proceeding clockwise,  this upcoming season is called Advent, represented by the four candles.

On this first Sunday in the Advent season, we light one of the candles on an Advent wreath.

Clip Advent 1

Just one candle.   It’s just the first week and there are many things to experience, to think about, and to learn during this first week of Advent.  You’d miss out if you don’t keep Advent.   You’d miss out on all the new insights and  wisdom that you could receive . .  .     You’d miss out on the possibility of having having faith,  increasing your faith, enjoying your faith in God.

So don’t.     I care for all of you.

You’d also “miss out” if you lump the whole season together without pausing at each week to see what the Church presents to you.

It can be  “clothing” I think, this week.   Advent (meaning the Coming)  is a purple (penitential) time to prepare ourselves properly for the First Coming of Christ.  According to the Readings from the Bible, we are to “clothe ourselves”  with Jesus Christ Himself:   “Wake up!  Pay attention!  The End is sooner than we thought!   So cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of Light.  .  .  Walk honestly,  not in immorality and sinfulness but put on the Lord Jesus Christ.”

put on Christ

That’s what we heard in church today.   “Put on”  refers to an act like that of “putting on”  clothing.

What are we to wear now?

 

put on christ 2

Both the word “Light” and the words “Lord Jesus Christ” refer to the same Being,  the Second Person of the Trinity —  “I am the Light of the World.”

 

learn christ

Learn who He truly is.

If any of us are going to call ourselves a Christian and claim  safety and salvation at the end of our life,  then now is the time to learn of Christ,  learn what He is truly like, get to know Him,  form a relationship with Him so closely  that it is like we are “wearing” Him every day.

Because,  even though this is the “beginning” of a year and it seems like we have a whole year ahead of us,  we don’t.   In the full words of the beginning of our Reading today:

“Brethren, knowing that is is now the hour for us to rise from sleep. For now our salvation is nearer than when we believed. The night is past and the day is at hand…” 

 

apoc

We’re really kind of just about out of time.   The Gospel Reading for today makes that very very clear.

That apocalyptic picture means that the Second Coming of Christ is approaching:

seeing his coming

It could be good — if you have a good Advent!

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HIS LIGHT IS LIFE

July 2, 2017

(Where I am on Sundays)

There are four Gospels in the Bible, each Gospel represented by an icon:  a man, an ox,  a lion, and an eagle.

Gospel 4

At the end of every Mass we are privileged to read and to hear  the first part of chapter one of the Gospel of John.   Every Sunday, over and over.      The words we hear each Sunday demonstrate why John is the Eagle, whose thoughts soar over and above this earthly life and point us to eternal things:

John 1: 4,5  (speaking of Jesus,  the Son of God,  the Word of God, come into the world)  (4) In him was life, and the life was the light of men.     (5)   And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

His Life is the Light of men!

Heaven smaller

No other source for  our  Light-filled Life that enlivens and blesses our everlasting souls!

Made possible for us,  of course,  by the sacrificial  act of Jesus on His Cross,  which we can enter into, like refreshing nourishment for our souls  —

—  which is why I too enter into that sacrifice to the Eternal God –

ALTAR Only One Reason for the Mass

All for Him.

Sometimes there is an astonishing flood of holiness into a person during the Mass . . . a sense of that Light which Christ truly shares with us.

Verse 5  says   “. . .  and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

Of course I cannot fully comprehend what happens.

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But that is very different from the world refusing to comprehend it.

A man can live in pleasure and ignore the great Source of Light and Life.  Men can turn churches into restaurants,   but it will not go well for the  world.

Things will end badly

Things will end badly.

In darkness,  confusion,   despair,  and death.

 

Gospel 4 in glass

( You can check with this guy.)

 

 

 

St. LUCIAN & THE ROSE BOWL PARADE

January 7, 2017

It’s still the season of Epiphany:  The Light of Heaven made accessible to the Gentiles.     The Light that   “dawns” on us.    Now salvation is for “whosoever”  comes.

wise-men-big-light

One of the Wise Men’s  sources of information about the birth of Christ is the Jewish Scriptures,  written in Hebrew, and then later in the Greek language that the Hebrews generally used in the culture they lived in.

scroll

These Greek scrolls which made up the “Old Testament”   Scriptures   were used by people in  Palestine at the time of Jesus and afterwards.    But, over time, they were subject to variations and errors which became apparent and troublesome.   Among those scholars who were educated enough to compare manuscript to manuscript and eliminate the errors was a man named Lucian,  the saint we honor on this day.  (His biography is muddled and obscure,  but at least we know about  this one work that he did.)

So,  note:    Historically speaking,  the Church has always   put the Scriptures in the hands of “the people.”     When fewer people used the Greek language and more knew Latin,   then the Church sponsored the translation of the Septuagint, that early Greek Bible,  into Latin.          (And so on down through history as languages developed.)

And here’s where this year’s Rose Bowl parade intersects with the historical record.

parade

So this year on January 1st,  not feeling too healthy,  I laid down in front of the Rose Bowl parade, something I don’t usually do,  but the parade turned out to be surprisingly very interesting this year.      Such skill and precision and effort and beauty!!!

And then, towards the end,  I saw one lovely float created by —  I won’t name the religious group who made it —  but it was proudly stating “Scripture Alone”  “Faith Alone”  and  “Grace Alone.”

s-s-sign

Well.     Well . . .   I’m a historian  (by university study)    and this is not a  historically accurate statement of belief — unless your church has a short history and fairly recently created this new doctrine.     Scripture Alone is not really  found within Scripture, anywhere,  (there’s a challenge for you!)  but  if Scripture Alone is so crucial,  then that eliminates the possibility for salvation for all those early Christians who lived in previous centuries who had no Bible and who had no need to read!

In the last posting I referenced the Apostles Creed and a smattering of writings by the Apostles in those first decades after Christ left this earth.      The process of gathering these writings and deciding which were valid and which were part of the canon took  a couple centuries.

Did Christianity spread during that time?  Of course.    ( By proclaiming,  by preaching,  and by careful  instruction, person to person.)    Did Christians learn the teachings of Christ during that time?   Of course.   Did Christians grow in personal holiness during that time,  drawing closer to God?   Of course.    Did Christians read the writings of the Apostles, the epistles and the Gospels during these first three centuries?   A few did,   some could,   and more and more did as these early  centuries passed on.

That’s why the church was concerned that the translations be accurate.

St. Lucian lived in the early Fourth Century.  His work was used by St. Jerome who translated the entire Bible into the language of the people (Latin),  both the Scriptures and the writings of the New Testament.     That was a monumental human endeavor,  but it was so well done,  so accurately done,  that the Latin Vulgate of St. Jerome is still the official Bible of the Church today!

During Epiphany we contemplate the Light that came into our world, and which finds Its way into our lives in so many ways, by the grace of God.    It comes to us by  hearing about it,   by example,  by specific instruction,  sometimes by supernatural infusion  . .  .  and also by reading Scripture.

Quicumque.    Whosoever.     Whoever wants the Light of God.

DARK FUNK (continues) – LIGHTS OUT!

October 16, 2016

Heavy rain, dark skies, thunder and lightning on our way to church this morning!     The man who was riding with me and I each remarked how it seemed as though the thunderclouds had come right down to ground level.

And when we got off the freeway, and we began dealing with a power outage — no traffic lights for the city streets —  we wondered what we’d face in our “underground”  chapel.

lights-out-cr

I took a surreptitious photo before Mass started.   Only candlelight lighting our way and a few flashlights.   Sometimes you had to just feel your way around in the darkness.

After a while, it became quite a nice experience.  The Mass proceeded.   Nothing was missing,  nothing had to be changed.    And I got to thinking:  there is light, and there is Light,  and the Light of Christ Jesus,  there on the altar,  was in no way diminished, and maybe even more clearly seen without the “lights of the ceiling.”

The insight  hit me with an almost physical feeling.

We recite after every Mass the first chapter of the Gospel of John in which we hear that “The Light came into the world, and the world comprehended it not.”

Well, of course not.  You can’t put something into a drawer that won’t open!    It is both solemn and true that  “God is a gentleman” and He won’t force His way into your life.    A person needs to be humble and receptive –  or else the Light cannot get in,  and you can’t even begin to comprehend the beauty and glory of God.

dark-cathedral

I began to feel a kind of kinship  with the saints that have come before us.   People worshiped in dark stone or wooden churches,  sometimes with  just slits for windows,  and candlelight.  Glass for windows was expensive and candles could get pretty expensive too.     No cushioned  seats or benches;  people stood or knelt when appropriate.

We   forget  that most ordinary Catholics worshiped God through the centuries in a diminished though soft natural light  rather than the brilliant glare of electric lighting.

And yet the Light of Christ was just as lively and penetrating to their souls as He could be to ours.   “There is light and there is Light.”

About three hundred years ago,  a very holy woman was praying in a candlelit chapel when suddenly all light was extinguished.   The candles went out and she was left in deep, dark blackness.    Eventually sensing a heavenly presence around her,    she soon asked what this darkness means.

She had been getting a few insights about a time in the future, a  warning and  direction for the terrible times that were to come (in the 20th century).     This time she was given a description of the extreme moral and spiritual darkness that would fall on this benighted century, and Five specific reasons why (our century)  was aptly represented by such deep darkness. *    It’s actually quite a chillingly accurate  description of us, and the unbelievable evil that would prevail caused her to lose consciousness.

Grave spiritual  darkness.

night-and-day-mercator

No one calls this a Light and Happy age,  where love and truth and beauty prevails.   This is a dark planet and the forces of darkness would like to get us darker.    We use artificial means to hold off the darkness,  don’t we?

Computer lights,  cell phone lights,  television lights —  anything so that we do not feel the peril of spiritual darkness.   Because we know that evil forces can attack in the darkness.  Wars can begin in the darkness.   Thieves come in the night.     Immorality is a friend of the night.

And forces of evil run for our highest office.   There is more at stake here than Candidate A or Candidate B.      And I still feel a a sense of Doom.

bar-fancy-line

 

*  The Five Reasons given for the complete darkness:

1. “The first . . . is that at the end of the 19th century and into the 20th century various heresies will be propagated in this land which will be a free republic.    As these . . . dominate, the precious light of Faith will be extinguished in souls by the almost total corruption of customs. During this period there will be great physical and moral calamities   . . .”

2.   Sensuality will cover the earth, extinguishing many vocations; even injustice under the guise of “false charity” would enter Mariana’s own convent.

3.    Impurity like “a filthy ocean” will run with an “astonishing liberty.”     The delicate flower of virginity would be threatened by complete annihilation . . .

4. The crisis in the priesthood assisted by the growth of the Masonic sects which will infiltrate all levels of society, poisoning the hearts of children:     “During these unfortunate times, evil will invade childhood innocence. In this way, vocations to the priesthood will be lost, resulting in a true calamity.”

5.   The indifference of the wealthy and apathy of the people is the fifth cause of the Sanctuary Lamp going out. Our Lady told Mother  Mariana of the great loss of souls who would descend into Hell.

(These are taken from this website, although there are many more, and there are very good books which tell the story simply,  plainly, and effectively.)

If people alive today can’t wrap their heads around the idea of the supernatural world existing,  people can at least ponder the truth of these descriptions of an age that will be steeped in such evil  that the evil will come to seem quite normal.

God’s greatest punishment for lack of faith is –  that you don’t know that you lack faith.

ADVENT – NO TRICK

December 1, 2013

None of us want to be tricked, right?   To find out that we’d been wrong?    To find out that what we had waited for turns out to be not quite what we’d expected?

November 30 – December 1

wreath 1st sundayThe season of Advent begins today, but I’m still making the transition from the end of the last Liturgical year  to the beginning of this new one.    Just as Christendom in Advent ponders the meaning of  Great Darkness longing for the Coming Light, so I am moving from a time of darkness and difficulty to, now,  this time of looking for the Coming of our Savior.

I’m quite aware that the Advent Wreath is a rather new custom,  brought to this country by the German (Lutheran) immigrants, and then adopted by others in this, their new country.  But even though this wreath does not have a long tradition in our Church,  I think it’s an appropriate symbol.   As one more candle is lit on each Sunday of Advent,  the light increases, just as the Light of Christmas draws nearer.   It’s beautiful.   It’s meaningful.   It’s a visual aide to our reflection and increasing insight.

Everyone’s experience with Darkness is a personal experience.  Everyone’s longing for the Light That Is Surely To Come  is a reflection of his own unique needs.

Here was my Darkness  —  in November.

SAMSUNGIt’s the pond in my backyard.     You don’t get an icy hard surface like that unless there are freezing cold temperatures,  a steady bone-chilling breeze,  and a light snow to find its way into the crevices of the ice. . .and your neck and wrists and ankles. . ..

That was the weather we had for a week after the big Midwestern storms of two weekends ago.  That was the weather we had when we lost our power due to those storms.     No electricity for five days.  No lights.   No heat.   No water.

“Tricked out of my Adventure”

A dark, dangerously cold house.   It could have been an adventure under normal circumstances,  but even my “circumstances”  were dark:    I had a mild bronchitis.   I had developed painful shingles in and around my right ear…(feeling somewhat like an ice pick jammed into the ear drum).   And I had a slightly broken right hand.

There was no “adventure”   in my feverish sensitivity to the cold.    No “adventure” in running in and out of the house to get more firewood for the fireplace or more heavy buckets of water from the creek for household use.   And my hand began to ache with the weight of those buckets and bundles of firewood and my ear ached more from the cold wind.

By the fourth day, I looked upwards and cried “Uncle!!”  – figuratively speaking,   but He didn’t hear me instantly.   Even another day had to pass.

And I began to really understand my weakness and vulnerability, my alone-ness, my Hope for rescue.     My need to get out of this Darkness gave me an acute longing for relief.

But how tiny were my troubles!   How small I am, compared to the Great Darkness that the world lives in.    How much greater is the need for Light  to bring rescue and relief to all precious, vulnerable human souls,  really and actually unable to help themselves.

With what great faith and hope we can enjoy these Advent candles as, one by one,  during these next few weeks,  we experience the Advent of the Great Light of God approaching!

When He comes we will not be “tricked.”

To be tricked is to have your hopes and dreams – and needs – confounded.

As the priest begins the actions of the Holy Sacrifice on the First Sunday of Advent,  listen to his Offertory prayer:     “To Thee have I lifted up my soul;  in Thee, O my God, I put my trust, let me not be ashamed. . .for none of them that wait for Thee shall be confounded.”

I will hope and wait and prepare for His coming, and no power outage, no sickness, no broken hand,   no tricks or subsititutions will trick  or confound you or me.    The future is indeed bright!

Light those candles!

Adveniat, Domine Jesu!