Thursday, December 13, 2018


In today’s feast iwe celebrate one of the great martyrs of the early Church, ST. LUCIA (Lucy).  Because her torture reportedly included the gouging out of her eyes, Lucy, whose name means light, is associated in a special way with Christmas and the biblical image of Jesus as the light of the world. Her feast day is a major holy-day in Scandinavia and usually marks the  beginning of the Christmas. Often her feast day is celebrated by candlelight processions, usually involving girls holding candles or wearing a wreath of candles.

It may be no accident that ST. JOHN of the CROSS’ feast day is celebrated during the Advent season (December 14), for it is he who is best known for his moving account of the “dark night of the soul” that all Christians must experience on their way to God. This darkness may be terrifying, but it is no cause for despair. As one Carmelite nun has written: “The darkness of that Bethlehem night held the glory of God’s greatest gift to humanity. The Carmelite friar’s description of going to God through the night is not a sad dirge at all. He tells us that the night he describes is really God coming to us with the intensity of a light so dazzling it overwhelms our capacity to see. We walk through the nights of our lives with the assurance that we will see a new dawn, more glorious than any we have looked at before.”

Like the shepherds waiting in the darkness of that night in Bethlehem, so too are we standing vigil for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

If St. John of the Cross  teaches us about the darkness that precedes our encounter with God, St. Lucy reminds us to look forward to the heavenly light that will follow.

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