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04 June 2020

Light But Not Yet Bright



I have been musing over the Church's response to various global issues lately, and especially what has been happening in America.  We have a tendancy, I think, to view the Church very harshly.  As though we expect it to behave in an otherwordly way, completely sanctified and holy at all times.  The world seems to think that everyone affiliated with the Church should be completely blameless and without sin.  This is a grievous misunderstanding of Christ's mystical body.  The world also seems to think that the judgment it applies to the Church is its right, and that it needs not apply the same standard to itself.  Well, I can't, and don't want to speak for the world; but I love the Church, and will defend it whenever I can.

A portion of today's Office of Readings really spoke to my heart about this.  It should give us all hope:
Dawn, or first light, proclaims that the night is over but does not yet manifest the full brightness of the day.  It dispels night, it gives a beginning to the day, but still it is a mixture of light and darkness.  All of us who follow the truth in this life, are we not exactly like the dawn?  Some of the things we do are truly works of the light, but others are not entirely free from the remnants of darkness.  No man is virtuous before you, says the psalmist, and again Scripture says we have all done wrong in many ways.
This is why Paul does not say, "the night has passed and day has come," but night has passed and day is approaching, showing beyond doubt that he is still in the dawn, after the end of darkness but still before the rising of the sun.
The Church of the elect will be fully day only when the darkness of sin is no longer mixed in with it.  It will be fully day only when it shines with the perfect warmth of a light that comes from within.  God shows that we are still going through this dawn when he says to Job, Have you ever sent the dawn to its post?  Something that is being sent somewhere is being sent from one place to another.  What is the destined place of the dawn if not the perfect brightness of the eternal vision?  And when it has reached its place, will it still have any of the darkness of the night that has passed?  The dawn was intent on reaching its destined place when the psalmist said My soul thirsts for the living God; when shall I appear before the face of  God?  The dawn was hurrying to the place it knew to be its destiny when Paul said that he wanted to die and to be with Christ, and when he said For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain. 
[From The Moral Reflections on Job by Pope St Gregory the Great]

Let's keep aiming for the Light!

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