Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Brightness of Darkness

Yesterday's celebration of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation has achieved something in me, at least, in that I have felt a profound attention to the unfolding of creation around me these past few days. This instills something of a sense of both our individual smallness within the vastness of God's Creation, and a sense of our uniqueness as each person, carefully, perfectly and intentionally formed in the image of God. Some of that smallness is due to my friend, Larry Pizzi, who has treated many of his friends recently with some amazing time-lapse photographs of stars.

Some months ago, on the commemoration of Thomas Merton's 100th birthday at the end of January, I was contemplating these same stars from a perspective of faith, while reading his book, "Dialogues with Silence," I composed the reflection below; it was my own way of contemplating creation as seen through our place in the cosmos, as beloved sons and daughters of a loving God. As Merton often wrote, we need to embrace silence and solitude to listen to the whispers of God. What better way to become immersed in silence than to contemplate the stars which our Creator has placed above, below, and all around us. Thank you, Larry, for sharing this photo for my use here, and for your encouragement to share this simple reflection on Heaven and the heavens.

The Brightness of Darkness

Stars, sparkling brightly,
Guiding and shining for eons,
always above, always twinkling,
but only seen in the darkness.

Pulsars, quasars, and
twinkle, twinkle little stars,
points in the sky, guiding, urging,
but only seen in the darkness.

God's starry sky,
painted by masters,
written by lovers,
to be seen and heard in the light.

Stars through the branches,
stars next to moonlight,
the same stars,
from the seashore and the mountains.

God's stars, placed above us,
and hurled over our horizon.
Beacons of hope,
guiding voyages and dreams.

Brightness in darkness,
eternal, unchanging,
God's love etched into empty spaces,
hidden in darkness, hidden in light.

Perfect love without end,
seen but unseen,
heard in the silence,
The Son.

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