Days of Grace: Meditations and Practices for Living with Illness by Mary C. Earle. 

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Day Twenty-Eight

Darkness is not Dark to You

Written By Mary C. Earle

Practice Note

Meditation: <listen>

Darkness is not dark to you;
The night is as bright as the day;
Darkness and light to you are both alike.

—Psalm 139:11

In the early years of Christianity, Jesus was identified as the Light of God. This Light is beyond the brightness of the sun. This is the Great Uncreated Light that brought forth the lesser lights of the universe. Not one sub-atomic particle has been made without this Light. You come forth from this Light, and in time will return to the Light that is your home.

In the tradition of the Christian East, the theologians speak of God’s “dazzling darkness.”  By this they mean that the Great Light is so bright that when we gaze at that Light, our understanding may be “darkened.”  This is not a darkness of ignorance and sin. It is a darkness caused by the stunning illumination of God’s presence. We discover how much we do not know. We discover that God is so much more than we had thought or imagined. We discover that we are so little, so dependent and yet so cherished.

We are ever in Christ who is the Light, the Gracious Light and Pure Brightness. When our personal journeys enter a time of grief or despair, our darkness is always held by that Great Light. As we grow in a deepening awareness of this uncreated Light, may the darker days of our journey be infused with that Light. And may we celebrate the eternal hope that Christ, the Light of the world, gives so graciously.

O Gracious Light, O Christ, enlighten my days and my nights with your mercy. Illumine the lives of all who suffer with your consolations. May we ever remember that we come from your own uncreated Light and will be welcomed home at our end. Amen.

Practice: <listen>

Notice today the various ways in which light is present in your life—through the sun, or through light bulbs, or through stars. Notice all the ways in which light changes your experience of where you live. Remember that the Uncreated Light is far greater than any of these lights. Remember that the Uncreated Light brought you into being. Remember that the Uncreated Light is Love, from which we come and to which we return. 

If you wish, pray these ancient words:

O Gracious Light, pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven.


Reference Note: All  psalms are taken from the psalter in The Book of Common Prayer, 1979.