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Greetings to all who love to wander along the paths of the Holy Scriptures! The purpose of this blog is to share some of the insights of ordinary Catholics who have begun to delve into the mysteries of the Sacred Scriptures. Hopefully you will find these reflections inspiring and insightful. We are faithful to the Church, but we are not theologians; we intend and trust that our individual reflections will remain within the inspired traditions of the Church. (If you note otherwise please let me know!) Discussion and comments are welcome, but always in charity and respect! Come and join us as we ponder the Sacred Scriptures, which will lead us on the path into His heart, which "God alone has traced" Job 28:23.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

An Epiphany

A reflection on the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

Opening prayer for the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord:
May the splendor of your majesty, oh lord we pray, shed its light upon our hearts that we may pass through the shadows of this world and reach the brightness of our eternal home.

Having just returned from visiting my family in Minnesota I must say that as I pass through the shadows of this world I stumble quite a bit!  Especially around my extended family!  How is one to be a light to others when one spends so much time stumbling over personal ineptitude and in-eloquence.  I do not know how to  respond to hot button moral issues, like "same-sex" marriage or cohabitation - issues that hit very close to home for several of my family members-  without stumbling into to cold superiority, or succumbing to moral relativity!!!  If  I finally muster the courage to say anything, in my effort to navigate somewhere between both extremes, my words come across as weak and confused, too spiritual to be practical, too vague to be understood!  So mostly I shut up, and pray silently for light.  But I always feel that I ought to have done more.
Even as I despair of ever serving my Lord in courage and in truth,  as well as in compassion, the light of the star that guided the wise men to Truth Himself is once again brought forth in the liturgy of our Church.  And the message is to keep following, keep praying, to keep adoring, to nurture an interior awareness that all creation is in some way revealing the Mother and her Son, and to allow the majestic beauty of the Nativity of our Lord to draw me out of myself, deep into His Spirit. Just in pondering the Nativity, particularly as I listen to some of the beautiful and sacred hymns of Christmas, all my frustrations and anxieties over my family disagreements, wash away, all of my personal struggles and failures with disordered desires become a bit more ordered.  

In fact, what is illuminated is that my anxiety is caused by my pride.  A pride that will not bear the misguided accusations of being uncaring or unkind or hateful.  My pride that bristles at the attempts by a few family members to bait me and others into a discussion that will only cause discomfort and embarrassment to other members of our family. My pride that would love to find the right words to put them in their place, or to lead them to the light...except it would be my light and not the splendor of His majestic light.

And once I step out of the shadow of my pride I can now perceive an interior light:

  "Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there be any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think of 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 

I know that is not one of the readings for this Sunday, but, for me, it was like the star of Bethlehem, directing me to let His light shine through me, through focusing on the goodness in even those who oppose me.  Doing this protects me against trying to illuminate truth (or rather, cut down my enemies) through my fancy words or my forceful arguments.  It does not mean that I do not defend truth, or hide my faith away. If I must defend truth with arguments and debates, I will be guided by the light those inspired words of Saint Paul.

  And somehow I am strengthened with these thoughts and now I can simply serve Him in love and endure with Him in the shadows of the world.  I can bask in adoration of the little child who has come for me.  I can be drawn into His heart by the beauty of His Mother. If others have not yet perceived the light, if they have not yet perceived a desire for God in all of their deepest desires, than as the Magi left Herod in his darkness to  rejoice in and follow the light, I must continue on to follow God, and trust that God does not intend to leave anyone in darkness who is truly searching for the light.  Maybe they will follow.  Maybe their hearts desires will be revealed as they step into the splendor of His majesty.

Come and adore Him.  Be drawn unto Him by His light!.  

Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem!  You light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you.  See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples; but upon you the LORD shines, and over you appears his glory.  Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance.  Raise your eyes and look about you; they all gather and come to you:  your sons come from afar, and your daughters in the arms of their nurses.  Then you shall be radiant at what you see, your heart shall throb and overflow, for the riches of the sea shall be brought to you.  Caravans of camels shall fill you, dromedaries from Midian and Ephah; all from Sheba shall come bearing gold and frankincense, and proclaiming the praises of the Lord!  Isaiah 60:1-6 
Merry Christmas!

Oh!  And just for fun, because this made me laugh:


  1. You have described well the inner struggle that goes on in the hearts of all Catholics who are trying to live out their baptismal promises, and to dwell in the Truth. Truth can wound, but as long as truth is spoken in love (Eph. 4:15) one has nothing to fear. Thanks, Heidi, for a great reflection to start off the year!

  2. I too struggle with this issue of saying something or keeping silent on these same topics with Minnesota relatives. I think you have a better focus, Jesus, so I will try that as well. Thanks Heidi!

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  4. Thanks Janet, all I can say is ...you should have seen my first draft!!! All praise to Jesus!


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