Friday, 13 November 2009


A moment of utter peace....a moment to take in the wonder-world of the Caribbean island of Grenada where I have served as a priest for many years. There was I one night, seated on the balcony of St. Martin's Retreat Centre, facing the avenue of tall palm trees. How majestic they were, against a backdrop of total darkness, gloriously bathed in the soft glow cast by a lamp fixed to one of the trees! Up and down the avenue these stately pillars receded into the blackness of the night. Sadly this avenue was destroyed by hurricane 'Ivan' in 2004.

I can't help thinking of that avenue of Royal Palms. Yet even more wondrous were the moths flitting into and out of the light. For a brief moment among the trees these iridescent creatures danced their ecstatic ballet, oblivious of their reflected glory. These silvery moths made me think of us Christians, beloved children of God. As the New Creation, we reflect the glory of our risen and glorious Lord, Jesus Christ.

For most of the time we Christians, like these moths, go about our unspectacular lives without drawing attention to ourselves. But then, like the moths approaching the source of their brightness, we Christians offer a glimpse of the radiance with which we have been clothed. Such are the times when people witness something of the beauty of Christ within us. It could also be how we see them ...for a brief moment as luminous mysteries.

The words of St. Paul come to mind,
"I live now, not with my own life, but with the life of Christ who lives in me,"
(Gal 4: 19). And,

"All of us with unveiled faces, like mirrors reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the image that we reflect in brighter and brighter glory: this is the working of the Lord, who is the Spirit,"
(2 Cor. 3. 18).
We are not very much aware of this about ourselves. Nor do we often credit this of other people. Our preoccupation is with the ordinariness of our lives, or with the dark side of our sinfulness. With faith, and with the moths, to remind me of this I recognise that this is far from being the total picture. There is about us a life that is hidden with Christ in God. Mostly hidden, and when it shows itself we are scarcely aware of it.

For me that moment with the palm trees and and the moths was one of startling grace. It comes back to me now, with all its excitement and breath-taking beauty as I prepare to celebrate the Kingship of Christ, gloriously reigning in heaven. We are touched by his glory. We re transformed by his glory. In our own small way we reflect the glory of Christ within us. We are meant to convey a glimmer to the people around us.

I really and truly believe those moths were meant to say something memorable and inspiring to me. And they had no idea that this was so!

It is St. Paul who once more expresses my thoughts,

"Since you have been raised up to be with Christ, you must look to the things that are above, where Christ is, sitting at God's right hand. Let your thoughts be on things above, not on the things that are on earth, because you have died, and now the life you have is hidden with Christ in God. But when Christ is revealed and He is in your life -you too, will be revealed with Him in glory,"
(Col. 3: 1-4).

I can only say that those moths have led me to think of myself as having a significance that I would never, never, have dared to claim for myself.

Peter O.P.

Next week Isidore will reflect on how he met God in a 'Friend or Foe?'

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