Monday, August 29, 2011

A Candle's Light

Once upon a time, there was a Darkness. This darkness was called Chaos, and Confusion. In its grasp, the sky became a reaching shadow, veiled beneath a blinding cloud. The air became a current of darkness. The very trees cradled shadows to their breasts, and the sun became no more than a grey illumination in the whole vast reaching gloom. Pools of water flattened, became mirrors that showed to men exterior beauty and not the negligence of their souls.

Content with exterior images, men allowed themselves to forget the revealing light. Seeing that their failings were hidden easier in a shadowed world, they permitted the darkness, allowing their souls to match the rotting world. And they did not perceive their ugliness, for the mirrors they had revealed only their exteriors, and these remained fair.

As their blindness continued, at length the sun quenched itself, lying night like a dome over the hellish world. No light could penetrate the murk. All was black, as though the very world had gone blind. Still, men looked into their lying mirrors and saw exterior beauty mirrored there. Chaos and Confusion were absolute.

Through the darkness, a sudden brightness flared. It was no more than a candle’s light, fitful and quivering, but it was a light. A voice whispered, “What is that?” Bodies shuffled closer to the kindled flare, like animals drawn to warmth. Then, a second light flared. And another. And another.
In the gulping darkness, candles arose, glimmering, sturdy sparks of light in the darkness. With each new light, the darkness receded just a little. Now, figures could be seen, serene-faced people, with their tapers in their hands, kindling light to fight the darkness. The wolves of men crept closer, drawn to that light but feeling ashamed of the darkness the lights revealed in them. For each taper that glowed shone in the mirrors, and the mirrors were shattered into a hundred rippling wavelets that distorted exterior beauty and revealed the tragedy of a rotted soul, so that the iniquitous hid their faces.

And still, more lights broke the darkness, until it seemed as though the grey sun had been taken, remade, and allowed to bloom in a thousand different beams upon the devastated earth. A song rose in the air, as the candles passed from hand to hand.

A Voice broke the darkness: “Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only. For if a man be a hearer of the word and not a doer, he shall be compared to a man beholding himself in a glass. For he beholdeth himself and goes his way, and presently forgets what manner of man he is.”


One may hear truth a thousand times a day. One may desire to spread truth a hundred times a day. But to hear truth and do nothing is a very different thing than to hear truth and speak it. To hear, and acknowledge, is good. To hear, and acknowledge, and to do, is greater.

Men have fallen far from what God first created them for. Once upon a time, Men knew, knew with every ounce of breath and strength in them, that their souls were not made for the WORLD. Their souls, their immortal souls, were meant for Eternity. But so many men live for the NOW, for the HERE, for the pleasure of the mundane earth. Men live for sinfulness, for what will bring pleasure to the flesh. Do they think about the spirit?

When you were born, God created you for one purpose, and one purpose alone: to know, love, and serve Him in this world that you may be happy with Him in the next. That is the only reason for man’s existence.

   Think about it. When are you the happiest? Are you the happiest doing things for your own pleasure and enjoyment? Are you happiest doing things that waste time, or do you feel, afterwards, that you could have spent your time more wisely? Do you feel the happiest when you have done something for someone else? I know I do. I may not want to help that person that I don’t like, but after I put that smile on my face and actually help that person, I feel a glow that no earthly pleasure can give me; a glow of charity.
Who do you prefer to be around? Do you prefer to be around the person who thinks only of themselves, who thinks only of what pleasure they can gain, who looks in the mirror of their vanity and sees a beautiful exterior? Or do you prefer the mild person, the one who smiles and offers a kind word, the one who asks you how you are doing today, who may be plain but whose eyes shine with a glow of charity? I prefer the selfless person, the kind person who makes my day a little easier, and makes my stress-level go down.

All of us carry candles. This world is like Chaos and Confusion, its sun a quenched darkness. But each of us carry that spark, that kindled taper that speaks of our interior contemplation, our willingness to suffer for a higher Being than ourselves. In all of us there is the ability to light a candle in the darkness, to reveal to a shadowed world the knowledge we have, that we carry the spirit of God in our souls.

Men have so many mirrors, mirrors that make them feel good about themselves, mirrors that show them only what they desire to see. Men have mirrors that reveal only the "good" they perceive in themselves, mirrors that tell them, “You're a good person. You donated all those books you didn’t like to the library.” Hold on! Was there a charitable motive there? Or was the motive just a way to get rid of clutter that was no longer wanted? Was it really, fully, spiritually good? Or was it just conveniently good?

Let your candle shine. Let your mirror reveal the truth. Not the truth of an exterior beauty, but a mirror of a reflecting light. Don’t let your mirror reflect you. Let your mirror be like the moon, and reflect the light of the sun. Reflect the light of the Son of God. Don’t hide your light under a bushel. Let your candle be seen in the darkness. Let your goodness be seen by men.
Light your candle. Only God knows whose souls you may save, simply by allowing your goodness shine.

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