Wednesday, March 22, 2023

4th Sunday of Lent, 2023 - "Light and Darkness of Soul"


4th Sunday of Lent – “Light and Darkness of Soul”


A theme that we hear throughout all of the readings for this Sunday is physical blindness, physical sight, spiritual blindness and spiritual sight.


I typically read the readings for the upcoming Sunday on Monday at some point and then see what happens over the week.  And so every priest and monk and nun and religious brother and sister around the world promises to pray from this book, which is called the “Liturgy of the Hours” at least 5 times each day throughout the day.  The first “Liturgy of the Hours” that most priests and monks and nuns pray is called the “Office of Readings” which consists of 3 Psalms followed by a page from Sacred Scripture and then a page from a saint.


All of this to say that this Wednesday, while praying the Office of Readings, I came across my homily.  The reading was from a letter written by Saint Theophilus of Antioch, and I was just like to read a few excerpts from his letter.


“Those who can see with the eyes of their bodies are aware of what is happening in this life on earth.  They get to know things that are different from each other.  They distinguish light and darkness, ugliness and beauty, elegance and inelegance, proportion and lack of proportion…God is seen by those who have the capacity to see him, provided that they keep the eyes of their mind open.  All have eyes, but have some eyes that are shrouded in darkness, unable to see the light of the sun.  Because the blind cannot see the sun, it does not follow that the sun does not shine.  The blind must trace the cause back to themselves and their eyes.  In the same way, you have eyes in your mind that are shrouded in darkness because of your sins and evil deeds.


A person’s soul should be clean, like a mirror reflecting light.  No one who has sin within him can see God.”

Let me, Fr. Hollowell, say here that the best way to deal with spiritual blindness is by taking advantage of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  You will literally feel a weight lifted off of you, a physical weight, particularly if you have not been for a long time.  Not only that, but when you come, the Sacrament of Reconciliation gives you new grace to move forward. 


Saint Theophilus of Antioch says later “If you understand this, and live in purity and holiness and justice, you may see God.”  About 99.9999% of time, it is not a physical vision, but rather when you pray and quiet yourself, you will experience a calm, quiet peace…which is what God desires for each of us at every moment of our lives.

1 comment: