As I write this, the temperature outside is 18 degrees, but it “feels like” 5 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. That’s not the coldest it’s been in Southeastern Wisconsin, but it’s pretty cold nonetheless. Cold enough to make sure you’re bundled up before going out of the house, anyway.
But the sky is cloudless and the sun is shining brilliantly. On days like these, I raise the blinds all the way up and let the sunlight come straight through the windows. I move all the houseplants in a row along the window ledge so that they can soak up the sun’s rays directly. Even the dog will seek out a sunny spot on the living room rug and bask in the warmth.
Here and there, I’ll wander in and sit a spell in the sun myself. Somehow that beautiful sunlight and the warmth it gives makes the winter seem far more bearable and the temps seem far less threatening. No matter how low the thermometer drops, as long as there’s sunshine to be had, I’ll be OK.
I experience the same thing in my spiritual life. The world can become pretty cold in terms of diminishing charity and increasing godlessness among people. Sometimes I wish I could just bundle up to and fend it all off like I do when I go outdoors in wintery weather.
Life would be so easy then, wouldn’t it? (Sorry, I can’t hear your snide remarks, hateful accusations or vulgar language through my hat and ear muffs.) Nice idea in theory, but it doesn’t work in practicality.
There is a way, however, to bring in the sunlight and warm things up out there. But instead of sunlight, we need Sonlight – the Light of Christ. Sonlight brightens our days and warms our world.
The best possible way to bring that Light in is to receive the sacraments and participate in eucharistic adoration as often as possible and turn to Scripture daily. Those are the sources of the Son’s Light and they are there for us anytime and always. All we need do is throw open the blinds of our hearts and let the Sonlight stream in.
Remember what Our Lord said to his disciples? He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (Jn 8:12)
Right after that, the Pharisees questioned Jesus, accusing him of bragging about things he had no right to brag about. His response was, basically, to tell them they had no idea what they were talking about.
Jesus lights the way. He is the Light. He shatters the darkness and warms the cold. Those who follow him, who receive the sacraments, read about him in the Bible and visit him in adoration will have the light of life.
If we allow the Sonlight to enter our hearts and homes, it won’t matter how cold it gets out there in the world. The beautiful Sonlight, with its grace and warmth, makes the wintery world seem far more bearable and the coldness seem far less threatening.
As long as we have the Sonlight, we’ll be OK.
(Fenelon, a mother of four, and her husband, Mark, belong to St. Anthony Parish, Milwaukee. Visit her website: www.margefenelon.com.)