Dear sisters and brothers,
Through a kind and generous donation, we have installed a votive candle stand in the Marian side chapel. The stand is there for you to come and light a candle before or after Mass, or when ever the church is open. We are grateful for the generosity of Hugh Stewart, in memory of his wife, Betsy, for this valuable addition to our church space and devotional life.
As Catholics, our religious imagination is forged in our sacramental life. A Catholic view of sacramentality teaches us that ordinary things can carry the life of God. In our liturgies, we use simple, everyday realities to encounter the divine life of God; we bless bread and wine, we anoint with oil, we bless ourselves with water, we use colours to celebrate the seasons of the church’s year. So it is with light. We have one central candle – the paschal candle, lit for the first time at the beginning of the Easter vigil, and then throughout the Easter season and for every baptism and funeral. This light is a reminder to us of the light of Christ, a light given to each and every one of us at baptism. Light is a powerful image for us. Darkness is the image that names our fears, our troubles, our anxieties, our doubts, our sadnesses. Even the smallest light breaks this darkness.
The small candles represent our prayers and cries to God. They burn even as we walk away and out into the world of our everyday duties and routine. The burning candle reminds us that even when we are not explicitly praying, God remains attentive to our cares and concerns which cloud our minds and unsettle our hearts.
We might light a candle in times of sickness, or sorrow, at moments of death of those we know and hold dear, or when the world seems troubling and fearful. These candles might also represent the moments in which we rejoice: our prayers for a wedding couple, our joy at new life, our thanks for completion of exams, the success of our hard work, or the excitement of a new job or new beginning. We might also desire to light a candle in forgiveness, asking for mercy for ourselves, the humility to say “sorry” to those whom we love, the courage to accept the forgiveness of others or the strength to let go of our angers and be compassionate and merciful. Or we might have no special reason, just an unspoken longing to place our lives in the hand of Mystery.
We are a people for whom simple things speak of great and profound mysteries. We are also an incarnational people who believe that the Word became Flesh. We use our bodies to light the candles and place everything before the One who is the Light of the World. We are thankful to the Stewart family for their generosity. With every candle that we light, we ask that the Holy Spirit, the flame of faith, to carry our prayers to the Radiant Son, who offers them willingly to the source of Eternal Light.
|Aug 17, 2016||15 Sunday in Ordinary Time 10.07.2016||Listen||Download|