Epiphany – A Season of the Soul

see Soulwork Toward Sunday: self guided retreat

Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
-Isaiah 60:1

Advent begins the awakening of the soul. Through repentance, conversion, introspection, good deeds, through waiting and longing, the soul prepares a place, making room for the One to come. Like Mary, the soul says, “yes, let it be done to me according to Thy will.” The soul says “yes” and the seed of compassion finds “a mansion” prepared like a fertile womb.

With Christmas, that time of utter darkness, the Light mysteriously enters the soul. The fathers of the church chose the solstice purposefully to observe the Nativity. (After all, by then no one knew when Jesus was born.) But the alignment of the cosmic event to the theological one invites the overlay of mythic, primal, and sophisticated layers of meaning. How else teach the faithful to discern the truth of the Soul than by such a startling analogy? Watch the sky, say the ancient ones, as steadily as the sun in its course brings back light to the world, so steadily and inexorably does the Light come to your soul to illuminate, to heal, to transform your life.

Light dawns within in the Soul’s consciousness. And now comes the season of Illumination, continual opening to light, revelation, insight, and its tasks and challenges.

Of this season of the soul Evelyn Underhill writes, “a lifting of consciousness from a self-centered to a God-centered world, is of the essence of illumination.” (Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism, p.234)

She quotes William Blake

                                        … I rest not upon my great task
To open the Eternal Worlds,  to open the immortal Eyes
Of Man inwards into the Worlds of Thought: into Eternity
Ever expanding in the Bosom of God, the Human Imagination.
O Saviour, pour upon me thy Spirit of meekness and love,
Annihilate the Selfhood in me: be thou all my life.

-William Blake

Beloved! Let this Light grow, and share Light’s gifts in this holy season!

Adoration of the Magi, Gentile da Fabriano

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