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O Lord our God, in your holy Sacraments you have given us a foretaste of the good things of your kingdom: Direct us, we pray, in the way that leads to eternal life, that we may come to appear before you in that place of light where you dwell for ever with your saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Look at this stunning mosaic mural.  What is the very first thing that you notice?  Now look more deeply and sense the dynamic movement from right to left, from darkness to light.  What captures your attention?  Colors? Shapes? What do you especially see?

Reflect. The Collect invites us to pray for our future, that it may be with the Divinity and Holy Ones in “that place of light.”  So many images in our scriptures tell us that we are moving from darkness to light, from brokenness to wholeness.  Yet this mural tells us that darkness is not necessarily evil, but has a profound beauty as well.  Consider a time when you appreciated the darkness, perhaps a wide open starry sky, or the outside night in contrast to a bright cheerful interior.  If we live in partial darkness now, what are its positive aspects for you?

Act.  Be thankful today for the darkness of the present time, as it sets the stage for the glory of the eternal.  If you find someone who seems to be living in total darkness, offer to help, bringing a ray of light, a beam of hope…that they may see the beauty of our current earthly life as well as a glimmer of the hope of the life to come in God.

Thanks for taking part in New and Contrite Hearts. Your comments are very welcome—let others know what you saw and experienced. Until next time, may you have a most blessed Lent.

Music: “Ambient Sonata”  /Album:  Ambient Sonata  /Artist: Dee Yan-Key

Image:   “Night and Day ” (portion of an exterior mural)  /Place: American Visionary Arts Museum, Baltimore, Maryland  /Photographer: Jon Shematek

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