O Rising Sun

O Rising Sun – 21st December 2016

O Rising Sun, you are the splendour of Eternal Light and the Sun of Justice.O Come and enlighten those who sit in darkness; those who dwell in the shadow of death, Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus, come.As I read this very beautiful O Antiphon, a memory comes to mind of long summer evenings spent in the high field – the moinin ard as we called it – sitting under a haystack just watching the breathtaking sight of the sun going down beyond the woods and bog lands of our farm in the West.The silence was full, deep and quiet, except for the little birds on their way home to roost and the friendly crickets close by.  But as the last lights faded what a mystery it was to my child’s mind! Where, oh where had the sun gone?!No grown up’s explanations prepared me for what was always a fresh experience of another rising sun as it streamed through the trees – right into my room the next morning.  The chorus of birds as they flew again to the cornfields and the grass glittering with dew drops and diamonds to me.  Even then this scene had power to thrill me with anticipation of something I knew not what! – was it a foretaste of another Rising Sun still unknown to me?What or who is this ‘Splendour of Eternal Light’ coming to enlighten those of us who sit in darkness – lost in our own little worlds?  It is the Lord Himself, majestic and glorious “wrapped in light as in a robe.”Come then my Lord, my God, teach me where and how to find you – you who dwell in light inaccessible and I desire to come […]

“O Rising Sun – 21st December 2015

“O Rising sun, You are the splendor of eternal light, and the sun of justice.O come and enlighten those who sit in darkness, those who dwell in the shadow of death.Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus, come”                What can be a better metaphor or image to depict the reality of salvation given by God to human beings than light and darkness? Even without going deep into the metaphysics of light by Grosseteste, Or the reflections on light by St. Augustine, St. Bonaventure or other theologians and philosophers, or without further specific analysis of light as knowledge, truth, goodness, life, etc., we immediately grasp the meaning of this text. We are very familiar with the word and image of “light” throughout Old Testament and New Testament and numerous sacred religious arts to describe the saving power and act of God from our death, sin, and suffering.  You are probably familiar with the famous painting of Caravaggio “the calling of St Matthew”. The beam of light from Jesus shone towards Matthew who was sitting at the table in the darkness when Jesus called him.  How about “The Light of the World” by William Holman Hunt? In this painting, Jesus is holding a lamp in one of his hands and knocks on the door with the other hand, but interestingly there is no doorknob on the door, which means that the door can be opened only by the person inside the door.  I interpret that the light, grace, and redemption are brought by Jesus Christi in person, but still our cooperation is necessary to receive them.   During fall last year, about 18 secondary-school girls visited the monastery and had a conversation with the novitiate about Catholicism and our contemplative life. […]