Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Fire-Carrier's Feast

'In honor of the divine mystery that we celebrate today, let us all hasten to meet Christ. Everyone should be eager to join the procession and to carry a light.  Our lighted candles are a sign of the divine splendor of the one who comes to expel the dark shadows of evil and to make the whole universe radiant with the brilliance of his eternal light. Our candles also show how bright our souls should be when we go to meet Christ.  The Mother of God, the most pure Virgin, carried the true light in her arms and brought him to those who lay in darkness. We too should carry a light for all to see and reflect the radiance of the true light as we hasten to meet him.

'The light has come and has shone upon a world enveloped in shadows; the Dayspring from on high has visited us and given light to those who lived in darkness. This, then, is our feast, and we join in procession with lighted candles to reveal the light that has shone upon us and the glory that is yet to come to us through him. So let us hasten all together to meet our God.

'The true light has come, the light that enlightens every man who is born into this world. Let all of us, my brethren, be enlightened and made radiant by this light. Let all of us share in its splendor, and be so filled with it that no one remains in the darkness. Let us be shining ourselves as we go together to meet and to receive with the aged Simeon the light whose brilliance is eternal. Rejoicing with Simeon, let us sing a hymn of thanksgiving to God, the Father of the light, who sent the true light to dispel the darkness and to give us all a share in his splendor....'

Saint Sophronius, bishop.  From today's Office of Readings (Presentation of Our Lord; Candlemas Day)

This is a good day in which to reflect upon what it can mean to "carry the fire."  What do we mean by this?  A click on any of the following lines will lead to some earlier posts about carrying the fire of God into the starved-for-Light world of today:  

To Carry the Fire

It's Time...

The Cloistered Lightship 

The Lighted Path  

A Letter to St. Nicholas

Painting:  Marianne Stokes, Candlemas Day; in US public domain

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