March 19, 2014
“The light shineth in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it,” so promise the timeless words of St John’s gospel.
This morning the sunlight shone upon the mantle of our fire place. I have felt the closeness of my son’s spirit ever since his passing when I see reflected sunlight. It appears with radical unexpectedness in so many ways, and just when needed. Light is a subtle and beautiful way that spirit speaks, I feel, the nourishing light by which we all live from the source of life itself, the physical sun, spiritually radiant with the Christ ‘Son’ of Universal life. We are further sustained by finding white feathers at serendipitous times in unusual places letting us know it is a good and lucky day just when our spirits need a lift.
As if to mark this recent passage of the anniversary of his passing with reassurance and quicken my awareness of the ever present light protecting us, the pure white rays are shining there beside the picture of Gary and me holding the redwood Celtic cross which we made together when he was twenty three, only weeks before he found he had cancer. The other side of the cross is filled with holes for small vials to hold roses so it can become a rose cross.
I have never before observed the sunlit reflection I see today. The light is raying down from the Sistine Madonna picture, the original painted by Raphael as the most exquisite image we have of the divine cosmic Holy Mother shortly after America was re-discovered,(1512). That ray of light shines down to the image Virgin of Guadalupe, whose world changing appearance as Holy Mary in the Western hemisphere came in 1531 just nineteen years after Raphael’s divinely inspired masterpiece. The terrible slaughter and sacrifice of thousands in human sacrifice was ended in Mexico when Guadalupe filled the hearts of millions there and beyond.
The Virgin of Guadalupe, the radiant rose of heaven was experienced by the gentle Juan Diego when she honored him with roses and then miraculously appeared as an image on his peasant garment woven of cactus fibers. Guadalupe is the Virgin described in the Apocalypse, a picture of the soul for our time. She is not carrying the child in her arms as in the Sistine Madonna, but she is bearing the child to be born. She is clothed in the radiant rays of the sun, while the dragon as we are told, is waiting below. Guadalupe is an image of the Holy Mother that is there for all humanity, reaching down to the lowliest with ever present compassion, truly a bridge between earth and heaven. I sense her combining the gifts of the black madonna and the heavenly star crowned madonna. Both images of the Holy Mother represent the challenge to us today to birth our own true spirit out of the striving of our souls toward truth, beauty and goodness.
On this morning, the large crystal in the middle of the mantle is shone through by sunlight, yet casts a shadow on the wall, but ‘within’ that shadow of the crystal, there in the ‘darkness,’ shine two strong reflections of light! Indeed the light shineth in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it! A reminder, I believe. for all of us to ever strive to receive the gifts of the Holy Ones and shine those gifts of love, light, and peace into our world.