On day six of the novena, we are encouraged to bring light into the darkness. In the dead of winter in the Pacific Northwest that I call home, this is a powerful image. Our winter days are short with darkness settling around us more than light. Yet following the winter solstice, the few minutes of light added every day is noticeable. Those few additional delectable minutes, especially when it’s not cloudy, are bliss. For me, light is joy.
Light is essential for life, both physical and spiritual. Light is the basis for all that is. In Opening Hearts: A Cardiovascular Surgeon Reflects on Faith, Healing, Love & the Meaning of Life, Lester Sauvage, MD reflects on the concept of light from some interesting perspectives using the Kabbala and ancient languages of Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. Following are a few insights from Chapter Three’s section Let There Be Light:
“In the beginning lines of the book of Genesis it is written, “And God said, let there be light: and there was light.” (Genesis 1:3) In Kabbalistic teachings, this descending flash of God’s essence through the cosmos is called “the thunderbolt” and initiates a ladder through which all things connect to one another. This thunderbolt created seventy-two paths linking all the diverse and distant elements of God and Creation together into a unified whole…
“On a deeper level, the “light” (‘ôr) in Genesis can be seen as the invocation of Light’s essence… Hebrew letters do more than construct words. They also construct the metaphysical reality of the thing the word represents. … [therefore] the letters that combine to create the Hebrew word for “light” do not just describe it; they are the building blocks for Light itself. This means that when you read or speak the words “Let there be light,” you are bringing light into being and thus connecting with the essence of God and the heart of Creation. Moreover, the Latin translation of that phrase can be read as “Let light be made” (fiat lux), while the Greek translation is “let light be born” (phōs kai egeneto phōs). It’s interesting to note that in these ancient languages of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, light has a living quality.”
Does light have a living quality in you?
Can you see God’s light within you? Within others?
Can you be Light today?