Lynne Elwinger, O.C.D.
Images of light, at once ephemeral and yet engaging, have been besieging my inner life for months. These images have taken a variety of forms and come from diverse sources such as Scripture, poetry, music, prayer, letters and comments of others, pictures, greeting cards, light in nature. I felt I was being given a strong message about the significance of light. How to understand it was my question. What is it about light that so captures my attention, sounding within me a call that seems both ancient and irresistible?
Light is spoken of in some way in every liturgical season. We are awaiting it in Advent and Lent, welcoming it at Christmas and Easter, and hearing about it in a multitude of ways throughout ordinary time. As we approach the Easter season, I am aware that I have always imaged the resurrection as an incredible burst of bright light. St. Teresa of Jesus wrote, “ There is a sun in the interior of the soul from which a brilliant light proceeds .”
It Shines In Our Hearts
The story of creation begins with God’s command “Let there be light...” in Genesis 1:3. We are told that God is light (1Jn 1:5), and that Jesus is the light of the world (Jn 8:12). In addition, we hear that God has made this light shine in our hearts (2Cor 4:6) and that we are the light of the world and should let that light shine out for all to see (Mt 5:14-16). Clearly, this light is important.
My quest for understanding of this abundance of light messages was given unexpected aid by a meditation form shared with me by a friend. Although it was just one among many of those incoming messages, it acted as a catalyst and magnetized the many fragments into a discernable whole. I want to share it with you, hoping that you may also find it helpful.
The meditation is simple and can be done almost anywhere. It is based in the concept that within each of us is the divine presence in the form of an ever-flowing stream of light. This stream never runs dry nor does sharing diminish it. We have only to take the time to connect with it for it to nourish our lives. I have found this exercise not only very refreshing, but nourishing at a deep spirit level.
Begin by putting on some music that you find soothing. For me, adding sound to the meditation practice was very powerful. Get comfortably seated. Focus on your breathing until you feel you have become centered, and are experiencing a feeling of peace and love. Then think of yourself as standing in that inner stream of divine light and let it flow to every cell of your body. When you are completely filled with light, begin to let it shine out to the world in ever broadening circles. Imagine it connecting out there with the light of others and helping to form a healing, nurturing web of light around our earth. After a time, slowly refocus your awareness back to yourself and be present to the room around you.
I have used many different meditation and prayer practices over the years, and have found this one to affect me in a much deeper way. I can only think that this relates to the importance of the divine light for us. In the resurrection event, the Christ light infused all of creation and it remains with us. Connecting with and sharing this inner light can be a very meaningful way to participate in Christ’s ongoing ministry to our world. Within this light is the essence of resurrection. As we unite with it and share it, we can truly experience resurrection moments. Can we make the time to let our light shine in all the seasons of our lives, wherever we may be?