The Other Side of Light

April 1, 2023

Dear Friends,

It feels appropriate that, before we resume gathering together in Lavish Mercy tomorrow, I comment a bit on my time away from the blog.

First, I sincerely thank you all for your prayers and encouragement. In a shadowy time, you gave me the generous lights of comfort and joy. I am deeply grateful.

Now, as I continue to heal from a time of unexpected vulnerability, I have the advantage of being able to reflect in peace on what has happened to me. 

Part of that peace and healing has been a move to our Motherhouse, a loving community where I have the support and care I need right now. I am blessed beyond words by this gift.

This photo was taken in the early 1900s for the Merion Historical Society

My new room is on the very western end of the building (See blue arrow above.) However, I look out my ample windows not to a sunset horizon – but instead to the imposing wall of our magnificent chapel. Some were concerned that the “wall view” might not be optimal. They didn’t realize that the wall housed an unexpected gift – a bird’s eye view of the glorious rose window that, for over a century, has blessed our chapel with dawn Light.

And I am now on the other side of that Light as it flows over my beloved community – a place that feels ever closer to God with each sunrise.

Sometimes, especially in the evening, I will catch a lovely glow within chapel on one of the several stained glass windows. I consider these my own special sunsets given only to me for my unique reflection. These windows are icons for me as I pray and learn from my own little “passover experience” this winter. 

Evening Window from the Outside!

During times of suffering, loss, or unchosen change in our lives, it is hard to turn to the Light. As we begin our Holy Week walk, consider that Jesus faced this struggle in the shadows of Gethsemane. There, he taught us what it takes not only to turn toward Light, but to become It.

Then going out he went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. 

When he arrived at the place he said to them, “Pray that you may not undergo the test.”

After withdrawing about a stone’s throw from them and kneeling, he prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done.”

And to strengthen him an angel from heaven appeared to him.

Matthew 22: 40-43

As it was with Jesus, a “Gethsemane moment” in any of our lives is an invitation to abandon ourselves in trust to God’s inscrutable Love — a falling helplessly, but hopefully, into a Love that changes everything.

For Jesus, his embrace of God’s Will in that tenebrous garden opened his heart to the glory of the Resurrection and led him to the other side of Light. How might such self-giving open and lead us?

Love Changes Everything – Andrew Lloyd Webber, Don Black, and Charles Hart