darkness

We are…God knows, a people who walk in darkness. There seems little need to explain. If darkness is meant to suggest a world where nobody can see very well — either themselves, or each other, or where they are heading, or even where they are standing at the moment; if darkness is meant to convey a sense of uncertainty, of being lost, of being afraid; if darkness suggests conflict, conflict between races, between nations, between individuals all pretty much out for themselves when you come right down to it; then we live in a world that knows much about darkness. Darkness is what our newspapers are about. Darkness is what most of our best contemporary literature is about. Darkness fills the skies over our own cities no less than over the cities of our enemies. And in our single lives, we know much about darkness too. If we are people who pray, darkness is apt to be a lot of what our prayers are about. If we are people who do not pray, it is apt to be darkness in one form or another that has stopped our mouths.

Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons, “Come and See”

 

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I

This description of darkness sounds all too familiar to me.

I have an impulse to turn away from it, to not dwell on it lest it engulf me (as it has so many times).

I have a reluctance to admit how easily it can engulf me and for how long.

To be honest, I fear the depression it can bring on and how helpless I can feel in the throes of it.

I don’t want to risk feeling that dark, that hopeless, again.

II

God is Light.

Light doesn’t turn away from darkness.

It pierces it and exposes everything in it.

It looks into every corner to find what might be lost, to nourish what might be starving, to bring order where there is disorder, to give sight where there is blindness.

The darkness does not taint it, does not overcome it.

Light feels anguish at what it finds in the dark; anguish that breaks the heart and sweats blood.

Anguish is Love encountering the beloved in darkness; Light suffers anguish because the beloved is worth it.

Light, because of its anguish, brings warmth and hope and joy to the one engulfed in darkness.

III

God in me, with me, is that Light.

God in us, with us – Immanuel! – is that Light, doing even greater things through us, the many, who are following Him, the One.

The land once covered in darkness has seen a great light.

The land now covered in darkness can see a great light – if I, if we, follow the One in not turning away from it.

Come, Lord Jesus, come!

Grace and peace to you…

dw

 

What happened in February?

scripture

We continued to look at scriptures that talk about light and its incompatibility with darkness in our lives.

prayers

We considered prayers begging for the very basics of eternal life and for divine mercy.

other writings

We looked at writings from the Catholic Catechism, Thomas Merton, Mary Oliver, and Frederick Buechner that considered how we can know what is true about the world around us and about our own identities, what the final purpose of life is, and the nature of prayer.

comments

Online community is a tricky thing. I don’t think it takes the place of physical, in-your-face community, but I do think it can be valuable, maybe even a lifeline at times. I welcome any thoughts you’d like to share.

thank you…

I’m glad to know you are stopping by and I hope and pray becomingflame is an encouragement to you.  Grace and peace to you…

dw

p.s.  Click here if you’d like to see what we did in January.

Photo by João Silas on Unsplash – cropped to fit theme by dw

 

 

What happened in January?

becomingflame.com went live

On January 1st, becomingflame.com went live with its first post and About page.

scripture

We focused on scriptures that talk about light (as opposed to darkness), beginning with the first ‘word’ of creation in Genesis, moving on to the Word who was with God before creation, who is the light of the world, the life of all people. We talked about the choice between light and darkness. Finally, we talked about being the light of the world ourselves.

prayers

We looked at a few prayers for different situations.

other writings

We looked at writings from Thomas Merton, Mary Oliver, and Frederick Buechner that emphasized how the anxiety and concerns of daily life can snuff out our flame, the flicker of our ‘real self’. We were repeatedly encouraged to pay attention in order tend to that flame.

comments

It’s been great to have a conversation with Robert (whose blog I follow and enjoy). Would be great to have others join in 🙂

thank you

Finally, it’s been a joy for me to do this and to know that you take the time to check in.  Grace and peace to all…

dw

Photo by João Silas on Unsplash – cropped to fit theme by dw

 

 

And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.

— John 3:19-21, NRSV Bible with Apocrypha

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In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.

The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and is own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God.

— John 1:1-12, NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha

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