When looking for a “featured image” to go with my posting this week, the above picture spoke to my heart immediately. Gazing at this picture, I imagined this woman feeling quite filled with peace and joy as she breathed into her soul the mountains, the horizon, the smell and feel of the water. She must have been taken in by the immensity of what she was surrounded by as she sat perched on the dock.
I set out in my mind to find such a picture to post and I was successful in the search. You see, I was mulling over the words of the song “This is the Air I Breathe.” The words seemed to be my anthem for the present times that we are living through. I don’t know about you, but it is getting harder and harder for my soul to breathe outside my front door. I’ve heard so many times, the phrase, “what was wrong is now right and what is right is now wrong,” but it seems we’ve almost entered into a realm of the “Night of the Living Dead” an old movie from the 1960s. Surely, it seems “darkness is descending upon earth,” as one fellow blogger, Mark Mallett (a Catholic singer/songwriter and missionary) wrote recently on (firstname.lastname@example.org.) The following questions seem to swirl about in my prayer, my mind and my heart:
What are we going to do about the darkness that surrounds us?
A natural inclination would be that we would find a place of Light!
Where is that place of Light?
We don’t have to go far!
Hopefully, just a couple of blocks from your home!
We can leave the darkness of the world and find that “Light” in our Parish Church simply by entering through its front doors. Jesus is waiting for us in the Tabernacle or in the Monstrance as I have pictured below. This Monstrance with Jesus present happens to be at a beautiful altar at St. Brigid’s Catholic Church in Westbury, New York where Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament takes place after the 12:10 Mass and continues until 5:00 pm Monday through Thursday through the kindness, generosity and love of Fr. Tony Stanganelli and his fellow associate priests. How blessed we are to have this great opportunity offered to us! How could we not fully take advantage of it?
Not only is that “Light” set before us on the altar at St. Brigid’s in such a special way but also the light is turned on literally within the Confessional each and every day right after the 12:10 Mass. We are given the graces from this sacrament to dispel the darkness and to be “lights” to others outside those Church doors. How beautiful are the sacraments that the Catholic Church has given us to help us grow and be strengthened in our faith and to survive these times.
The following lyrics of the song “This is the Air I Breathe” seems to lead us right smack up to that altar, to not only adore Jesus but to receive Him in His Body and Blood, then to have His Holy Presence living within us. This treasure of light is not only for us but for others to help see the path ahead in gleaming truth. His Truth. Not the world’s.
This is the air I breathe
This is the air I breathe
Your holy presence
Living in me
This is my daily bread
This is my daily bread
Your very word
Spoken to me
And I… I’m desperate for you
And I… I’m lost without you.
The song’s lyrics are so very true. Yes, we are desperate for Him! And we are lost without Him! But when we have Him, we have His Life, His Truth and His Way. The woman on the dock gazing out into the immensity of nature is a beautiful image. But we have the God who created that nature she beholds within us! Wow!!!! Can we believe that?
Or better yet, can we live that? Can we live Jesus? Can we be the change in this darkened world and bring Jesus the “Light-bearer” and “Truth” to everyone?
As I continue to write, I laugh to myself because I am getting an image of lightening bugs that we all looked forward to catching when we were kids. As the sun set on summer nights and the first star appeared in the dusky sky, we would wait patiently to see that first light blink before us. We would run madly to capture it and jail it in a glass jar or some sort of container with holes punched in the lid! Those poor lightening bugs were meant to be free, to bring light, to bring joy and happiness in the beauty of their creation
We, too, are not meant to be “jailed” in darkness. Maybe right now we are called to be those lightning bugs that Jesus is using to light up the world. We are free to fly around and light up everywhere we go. We cannot be jailed into untruths or horrific laws against life like the one that was just passed in New York State!
“No one in the world can change truth. What we can do and should do is seek truth and to serve it when we have found it.”
St. Maximilian Kolbe
Archbishop Fulton Sheen said that when we sit before Jesus in the Tabernacle or the Monstrance, it’s as if we were sitting in the Sun on the beach getting suntanned. We wouldn’t realize the change that was taking place on that beach until we returned home and looked in the mirror. The same holds true for Eucharistic Adoration. We “Son-bathe” in the Lord, being changed within and without. . . being changed into “Light Bearers.”
Maybe this Lenten Season for 2019 can be a “Season of Light” to spread the fragrance of truth, love, peace and joy. To spread the light to others that Jesus Christ truly came to redeem us and give us life eternal. He came to bring His Truth, His Father’s Truth. We are truly daughters and sons of the Father! Can you imagine that!
We are children of the Light. . . not of the darkness!
I close with just one more image of St. Brigid’s Church. Every “storm” runs out of rain! And so it did as this picture magnificently shows. The darkness came, the storm came, the rain came and yet it was God’s pure light and beauty that radiated afterwards.
We will be Light through this darkness!
The Gates of Hell will not prevail against our Church,
Nor against our Holy and Committed Priests,
Nor against the Laity
or God’s Ten Commandments!
©2019 Anita Guariglia
Featured Image and Light Jar by Pexels
Monstrance Image by Anita Guariglia
Rainbow Image /Maura Goodwin
Youtube: Hillsong United/This is the Air I Breathe