When Jesus was born shepherds living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flocks saw the glory of the Lord. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone all around.
About 500 years later, the mighty empire that crucified that glory was dying and could not keep a candle lit in Rome, while Jesus continued to give new birth in everlasting light.
St. Benedict was born into the darkness of the collapsing Roman Empire, but like the earlier shepherds, he too saw the glory of the Lord one night - the light filled the entire sky like the day. Then immediately, St. Benedict also saw the whole world represented in a single ray of light.
The earlier shepherds were afraid when they first saw the glory of the Lord, St. Benedict was not. St. Benedict wrote in Chapter 7 of the Rule on the illumination of love:
"Having climbed all these steps of humility,
therefore, the monk will presently come to that
perfect love of God which casts out fear."
In lectio divina and silence my wife and I prepare to celebrate Christ's light during this Advent. We pray to see the world only by Christ's singular light and to praise his glory with all our love.
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