Saturday, January 10, 2009

Light and Joy

This weekend I am attending a retreat at the Bishop Hodges Pastoral Center in Huttonsville, West Virginia. The theme of this retreat is “Light and Joy in the Season of Epiphany.” The leader of this retreat is Sister Mary Clark from the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. The topic of this retreat is very interesting to me and something I think about quite often.

Sister Mary introduced the retreat as a way that a simple life from a candle can represent us as a body to guide us where we want to go. We start out as this dim light, but as we gain stre3ngth and confidence, our light becomes much brighter and reveals our potential to ourselves and to others.

I also see light from the sky. At night we see pitch black if we don’t have any lights around, but we see the faintest of lights to guide us. Then if we look up on a clear night we can see the entire universe. We can see stars, artificial and natural satellites, and o9ther celestial properties. But in my mind I see those who have passed before me like famous people and family members. I see these people in my mind who have done things to aspire me and others. It has been about ten years since my father has died and I look up into the heavens and think what it’s like in that place after death. I hope it’s a place where he is not judging me and others in my family, but offering support and praise. As a child, I often thought that looking up to the sky and clouds were the people who have gone to heaven and that weather formations were ways of sending us messages. For example, if it’s sunny, one must go outside and enjoy it while on the other hand if there is a fierce snowstorm – it is then time to spend time indoors. If you are in Minnesota and there are fierce snowstorms all winter long, it’s time to move to Florida!

Steve Wariner had a song several years ago “Holes in the Floor of Heaven” and it reminds me of tragedies and shortcomings in the past are overcome by the things we look forward to in the future. This is what I see when I just see a little bit of light – JOY!

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