Saturday, 19 April 2014



Occasionally I’ve visited Peter in the beautiful W. Indian island of Grenada. The most peaceful time was when I sat on Grand Anse beach and watched the sun set. Gradually the colours changed from glorious flaming reds and oranges into soft, gentle, peaceful mauves and purples. I realised what the psalmist meant when he said that the heavens proclaim the glory of God. They give us a glimpse of his majesty and creative genius. I certainly have met God in the wonder of his creation! And there’s a great peace in simply being still in watching the sun slowly sinking beneath the horizon, after the heat of the day, with all its bustle, its joys and sorrows, hopes and fears.

Perhaps surprisingly, the setting sun makes me think of death and my life drawing to a close. My thoughts are not morbid, nor are they filled with fear, at the thought of my earthly life coming to an end and my meeting Christ. Twilight is much longer in England than in tropical lands. None of us know how long the sunset and twilight of our earthly lives will last. But sooner or later it will come.

We should not be afraid of the darkness when the sun sets on our lives. When we meet Christ at the moment of death He will not be a stranger, nor will he be a hostile judge, determined to condemn and punish us. Throughout our lives He has been with us, guiding and supporting us, even, though at times we may have felt He has abandoned us. And, imperfectly, we have tried to respond to His love. When we have failed we have experienced the wonder of his love and mercy. We are confident, not in ourselves, but in Christ’s unshakeable love and mercy. That should be the foundation of our hope and peace as we face death.

In England we have a saying, ‘Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight.’ The bright sunset holds out the promise of a brilliant new day. As we approach the sunset of our lives we should be filled with hope that after the dark sleep of death Christ will come in glory to awaken us to the glorious sunrise of a bright new day. On that day He will raise us to the fullness of life to share in the bright glory of His resurrection.

With this in mind, we should not panic as the sun sets on our lives here on earth. We can look forward to the dawning of a new day, when Christ will come to rouse us to greet the sun rising on the most glorious of days. Then we will be more awake, more alive, than ever before. That day will be filled with nothing but happiness, as we bask in the love of the Lord, together with all our loved ones.

Sunset and sunrise do, indeed, remind me that we will meet Christ in a very special way as the sun goes down in death and then rises to the glorious brightness of the resurrection. If we welcome Him during the day time of our present lives, we can be confident that we will greet each other with joy when we meet again in the sunset of death and the sunrise of the resurrection.

Isidore O.P.

1 comment:

  1. Red sky at night
    Sailors' delight.
    Red sky in morning
    Sailors take warning.

    That's what we say on Cape Cod, USA.