Yesterday was the Second Sunday of Advent, so my husband lighted two candles after I read the prayer. In another week, he will light three candles, and finally during the last week of Advent, he will light four candles every evening until Christmas.
While the days are growing shorter and darker outside, the light is still increasing. Inside, my table-top trees light up the house. Outside, every evening more and more Christmas lights appear in the neighborhood. While we await the Nativity of Jesus once again, He is already here.
At the last light, well after sunset, a throng of wrens in the surrounding trees suddenly burst into song. I only see two or three of them during the day, but when they join together in the evening serenade, there must be hundreds of them hidden in the trees. They finally settle down when the light has completely faded. Then again, at the first light of dawn, the anthem begins again and continues until the sun has risen.
In the short life of a bird, I suppose the going and coming of the light is indeed a momentous thing. I need to learn from this.
The blossoms on our ice plant, like those on many other plants, open to the sun and close when the sun passes. As human beings, we are so like that. We open to warmth and light and close in on ourselves when we don’t feel it from others. We are the light of the world, Christ said. How can I be warmth and light to someone today? How can I help someone blossom and grow today?
There is something about being in a garden that changes us. Whether or not we name it, we sense the presence of the Creator. It is as if there is a wonderful secret all around us that eludes our minds but speaks to our senses.
On this Solemnity of Pentecost, the poetic beauty of Psalm 104 glorifies the Creator and all of creation. Here are a few lines from the beginning of the Psalm:
"....O LORD my God, you are very great. You are clothed with honor and majesty, wrapped in light as with a garment. You stretch out the heavens like a tent, you set the beams of your chambers on the waters, you make the clouds your chariot, you ride on the wings of the wind, you make the winds your messengers, fire and flame your ministers...." (Ps. 104: 1b-4, NRSV Catholic Ed.)
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in us the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit, and we shall be recreated, and you will renew the face of the earth! (Traditional Catholic Prayer)