A meditation for the Advent season
A common image for human encounter with mystery – whether of God, truth, life, or ourselves – is light.
Light. A symbol of journey’s end and the revelatory stages along the way. However, in my life, I have experienced more moments of darkness than light.
When more looking yielded no better, clearer recognition…
When more thinking achieved no deeper comprehension…
When more words spoken in conversation or argument yielded no greater understanding…
When sense and nonsense, clarity and confusion appeared as one…
When nothing I could do (or did!) brought me closer to truth.
Nevertheless, as I reflect on my life, it was in the mystery of darkness that I beheld this light: I do not (and never will) know everything about God, truth, life, or myself.
Therefore, resting in the comfort of this awareness, I am freed from the fret of care about all that I do not know and from the (especially public) pretense of knowing what I know not. Moreover, I readily seek to listen and learn from others; especially those who challenge what I think I do know.
In a word, I am at peace with myself and with others.
To walk into darkness, hoping to see light. That, for me, is what “yes” in response to mystery’s call looks like.
What is your darkness? For it differs for each of us and can differ for each of us at different moments. What is your mystery into which you might…must look hoping to see light? What, for you, is that darkness, that mystery, and, paradoxically, that light for the love of which Aquinas sang:
Humbly I adore thee, verity unseen, Who thy glory hidest ‘neath these shadows mean; Lo, to thee surrendered, my whole heart is bowed. Tranced as it beholds thee, shrined within the cloud.
© 2022 PRA
 In the season of Advent, the theme of light is embraced by the lighting of an additional candle on each of the four Sundays, symbolizing, as Christmas Day nears, drawing closer to the coming of Jesus, the Light of the world.
 Perhaps, for me, it is simply (and profoundly) true that only in the darkness do (can) I behold light more readily, more clearly.
 Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), Dominican philosopher and theologian
2 thoughts on “Mystery’s Call, Part 2 of 2”
Paul, as you know I am not a fan of the dark!!! I try not to drive at night if I can help it, because it’s so much harder to see what may be lurking around you. That said, I’m more open to darkness at this stage of my life than at any other time. In a couple of weeks I’ll be in Costa Rica with the kids, AND one of our tours is a night tour through a rain forest to see animals that only come out at night … Now I’m putting a lot of faith in this tour guide, BUT I am now wondering what else I’ve been missing due to my fear of darkness. I hope I survive this tour but I also think I’ll be in awe of what we may see or maybe will just hear …. so for once I’m throwing caution to the wind and saying, bring it on! I think so of the darkness will help me to enjoy what I will see in the light even more!
Praying travelin’ mercies for you and Kim and Kendal during and to-and-from your Costa Rican journey. As for darkness, I pray, too, your safety.
And I love your expression of anticipation: “I think so of the darkness will help me to enjoy what I will see in the light even more!” Amen. May that be so.