Looking for the Light In Darkness

Jesus Christ

“And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil.” Between darkness and light, it is clear that light is better. People only prefer darkness when they have a secret, when they have something to hide.  We all have secrets. There are things about each one of us that the world does not know. The question is whether we would welcome the light that would reveal our works to the world. If our secrets are about things we are not proud of, we would rather have them stay in darkness. If our secrets are about things that we are proud of, we will welcome the light.

For instance, perhaps you have helped someone. Maybe even that person never realized how much work you did to help them. Certainly no one else is aware of how helpful you were. You do not walk around bragging about helping people. If, however, you have some secret sin that no one but God knows about, you will not be glad to hear that everything you have done will be revealed to the world.

Real life is more complicated of course. We all have secret sins we are ashamed of. We all have secret ways in which we were good that we would be glad to have revealed. Beyond this, we do not really even know ourselves very well. When all is revealed, we will be just as suprised at how our sins and our good works add up. When the light comes, nothing will be hidden anymore.

St. John says that people preferred darkness. He does not say “some people”. We all prefer darkness. None of us have done such good things that we would stand up to the scrutiny of the light. We would not mind if more people knew how good we have been, so long as no one also knew how bad we have been. What we need is humility. When we have real humility we will not fear the light which is truth anymore. What is the truth? We are sinners, but God loves us. Once we have real humility we will not put so much value on hiding our sins and show off our good works. When the light comes it will show how weak we are, but we will not be embarrased. We will not be thinking about ourselves at all.



1 Response to “Looking for the Light In Darkness”

  1. 1 220lily March 31, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Reblogged this on 20/20: Learning to See Like Jesus and commented:
    You can’t see what’s in the dark – only what’s in the light. And this is why so many hide their sins. But I won’t hide anymore. I’m bringing my sins to the light.

    The heart itself is dark and deceitful. Without the light of Christ (the Holy Spirit working through the Word), you can’t peer into the dark recesses of yourself! We’re deceiving ourselves if we think we know what’s in our hearts. We don’t. So we must humbly come to the Word as we are and let God penetrate our dark hearts with the light of truth. We must humbly confess and repent of what God shows us, then receive his forgiveness. Only then will we change and become like Christ – children of light.

    [I have to take my own suggestion today. I see light now!]

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St. Mary of Egypt


St. Poemen the Great

"A man may seem to be silent, but if his heart is condemning others, he is babbling ceaselessly. But there may be another who talks from morning till night and yet he is truly silent, that is, he says nothing that is not profitable."

St. Gregory the Great

"Every day you provide your bodies with good to keep them from failing. In the same way your good works should be the daily nourishment of your hearts. Your bodies are fed with food and your spirits with good works. You aren't to deny your soul, which is going to live forever, what you grant to your body, which is going to die."

St. Paisius Velichkovsky

"Remember, O my soul, the terrible and frightful wonder: that your Creator for your sake became Man, and deigned to suffer for the sake of your salvation. His angels tremble, the Cherubim are terrified, the Seraphim are in fear, and all the heavenly powers ceaselessly give praise; and you, unfortunate soul, remain in laziness. At least from this time forth arise and do not put off, my beloved soul, holy repentance, contrition of heart and penance for your sins."

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

“Prayer does not consist merely in standing and bowing your body or in reading written prayers….it is possible to pray at all times, in all places, with mind and spirit. You can lift up your mind and heart to God while walking, sitting, working, in a crowd and in solitude. His door is always open, unlike man’s. We can always say to Him in our hearts Lord , Lord have mercy.”

St. John of Kronstadt

The candles lit before the icons of the Theotokos are a symbol of the fact that She is the Mother of the Unapproachable Light, and also of Her most pure and burning love for God and Her love for mankind.

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