Saturday, July 28, 2018
Jesus said to them, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.” – John 12:35-36
I focus on one of those near-invisible words in the passage and that is the verb “become“. Some might read into that word “become” the sense of instant conversion but the more accurate sensibility is the sense of slowly transforming.
I have a neighbor who divides time between Maine and Florida, winters here, summers there. Up north, he lives in a cabin deep into the woods; down south, he lives in his condo by the dock. I have noticed over the years how when arrives he is rather pale in complexion, but when he packs to return north he is tanned to deep bronze. With my neighbor, he literally is transformed by spending much time in the sunshine.
The contemplative approach to the Christian life is to devote intentional-time to placing one’s soul in the Light of God. Sometimes it is in the prayerful reading of scripture that brings to life those historical moments; sometimes it is in the beholding of Christ in prayerful imagination; sometimes it is in experiencing Christ appearing in the moments of person-with-person servanthood. And as this daily practice stretches over time, this Holy Light in which we immerse our souls slowly transforms the soul within and the countenance we express to the world.
Also in these words of Christ, we are reminded of why people so often see a circumstance in such diverse ways. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. Of course, this leads to that question … who walks in the Light and who walks in the darkness? And that is the question that requires profound humility and honesty with self in order to be answered with any measure of assurance. Am I walking in the Light? This is not an assurance that comes from the crowd, but only in that deep-hearted conversation with the Lord.
In Christ’s Service always,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz