France has declared war on terrorism and all of its darkness! Do we realize we can as well? How do we think globally and act locally on this issue in the the most intimate meaning of the term “locally”? Within our OWN hearts.
When you wake up in the morning, does the enemy of our souls exclaim, “Oh %#$@! She/he is up!”? Or is the enemy not overly concerned about you or the damage you can do to his kingdom because, sadly, so much of the time, he has you pretty well defeated anyway?
I never thought about my life as a series of either Light or Dark choices until I realized that they could be. If I choose to radiate Light, suddenly things get BETTER...more loving, more peaceful, more joyful, even if only inside of me. My Light filled choices bring light to my emotions, and then one good thing leads to another.
But if I choose to stay in darkness, so too becomes the atmosphere-- it is like a noxious fume infiltrating the room-- full of pride or anger or impatience, making people feel uncomfortable and leaving a sour stench in the air. Choosing to continue in darkness only leads to more negativity and often times spreads like an ugly and contagious rash.
I have a choice. I can choose to radiate light or I can choose to stew in darkness.
The most amazing thing about light is that no matter how much darkness you throw at it, you can’t extinguish it. The tiniest pin prick of light can not be extinguished even by a universe of darkness. Do you see your everyday goings about as “poking holes in the darkness?”
You may say, “This is all great in theory and wonderful to wax poetic and pontificate upon, but in reality, radiating light can be very difficult.” Yes, I know. As one who leads with her emotions, I can whole heartily agree. But I am learning to try to put my emotions in check in order to do the RIGHT thing (or should I say the “LIGHT thing”?). I am, by God’s grace, a work in progress. But here are a few things I have learned to try to fight back the darkness on a daily basis.
Choices of Light:
1. I try, as an act of the will, to put God, Love and Light first-- over my own emotions and even over my own “rights.” (1 Corinthians 10:23-24) This often requires biting my tongue and offering up my woundedness to the Lord. Sometimes I have to make a choice to be “right” (and make sure everyone knows it!) or to be “Light” (and just let it go!) God’s word states this: “God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5 and “For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness.” 1 Thessalonians 5:5 There is NO ROOM for darkness if you are a child of the Kingdom of Light. As tough as it sounds, we have no excuses for bad behavior. If we have the Light of the World living inside of us...we need to draw upon Him and ask for His help...that leads to…
2. I have learned how to access Him and I access Him through regular daily prayer. I have a choice of how I spend the 24 hours I am given each and everyday. I can get up and offer all of them to Him. I can read His word (click here ) and I can talk to the Author and Creator of Light and sit in His Light and soak up the rays. I can “Eat Light” -- go to Mass and partake in the Sacraments. As I do this, He fills up my reservoir with Light, amazingly I then have a great deal more Light to give.
3. Praise Him. Nothing seems to dispel the darkness like thankfulness and praise. If I choose to look at the darkness, I go into the dark. If I choose to praise and be thankful for the Light (even if I don’t feel like it or even if I don’t see it at the moment) I go towards the Light. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9. Go to 91.9 FM Christian Radio, The Message on XM or download Chant or my personal favorite: Ashley Cleveland (Here she is singing “Gimme Shelter” only she says…”He’s just a shout away!” and yes...He is!) Choosing to praise Him, even in the darkness, brings the Light.
Pray for France, for world peace, the end of darkness and terrorism...but let it begin with you.
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:8-10
A favorite prayer by St. Francis:
Make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.
I ask this in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
PS "Where the is no love, put love and you will find Love." St John of the Cross. https://www.facebook.com/jrous92/videos/10156190732035487/