My wish this year is not like what I’ve asked for before. I'm not writing to ask for candy or trinkets. This year I have but one wish: I want to be a candle.
I want to stand tall and firm, carrying the Light of Christ even when winds and storms lash about me. You see, good St. Nicholas, the world has grown terribly dark. We talk of peace and sing of peace, yet rumors of wars swirl all around. We’re busy and distracted, we have no time left over to pray. We get confused about what is truth and what is not; we redefine sin and call it “choice” and “entertainment,” and there is more darkness around than I could tell you about. In fact, there’s more darkness than I can even see. It can be hard to peer into darkness, and I feel sometimes like a child at night who wants to cover her head with blankets and wait for morning light. I need the light; the world needs the light. So I want to be a candle.
Like a pillar of flame standing beside the Tabernacle in a monastery, lifting firelight fingers high in adoration, I want to offer praise to God. Like a sanctuary light gently calling attention to the fact that Jesus is with us, I want to keep vigil by His side and call attention to Him. I would like to flicker softly, as a gentle reminder of His presence, no matter where I may be. So I want to be a candle.
I know I am asking a lot. I know that in order for the Flame to increase, a candle must decrease. A candle gives itself for the Fire; it gives its all. That’s okay. You see, I want to live my life for God. I am not so good at the doing of this, but with the grace of God I’m getting better at the wanting. And I want to be a candle….
“The light came into the world, but men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were wicked. Everyone who practices evil hates the light; he does not come near it, for fear his deeds will be exposed. But he who acts in truth comes into the light, to make clear that his deeds are done in God.” (John 3:19-21)
“The light shines on in darkness, a darkness that did not overcome it.” (John 1:5)
(photo 2011 NS)
(photo 2011 NS)