From darkness to light

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Do you see the similarities between our Advent-to-Epiphany journey and that of religious life?
Cholewinski Elise Sr 2016-400px

by Sister Elise Cholewinski

December leads us from the darkest days of the year to the dawn of that moment when the sun begins to stay out a minute or two longer each day.  When January arrives, the sky is distinctly brighter than it was a month before.  How beautifully the Church captures this shift from darkness to light in its liturgical year.  On the first weekday of Advent Isaiah presents us with a vision of all nations streaming toward the house of the God of Israel, beckoning us to walk in the light of the Lord.  On Christmas we celebrate the incarnation of Jesus, the Light of the World, and we hear that the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.  Finally, when Epiphany arrives, we see how the light of the star draws people from foreign countries to meet the Christ.  Winding our way through these seasons is like turning on a three-way light bulb.

So is religious life.  A person experiences the twinkling of the light of a call in her heart in the midst of the false values of this world.  Upon entering religious life, she moves into an environment that fosters the development of a deep personal relationship with Christ.  This culminates in a commitment to God through her vows, which fuels the fire that sends her forth to engage in the missionary activity of the Church.

The two journeys are so similar and they continually repeat themselves.  We hear the call, we meet the Christ, we make a commitment.  Our God keeps turning on the switch!