Lingering in the Light

See Soulwork Toward Sunday: self-guided retreat
Last Epiphany, The Transfiguration, February 19, 2012
“the soul becomes all eye”


Brueghel, Temptation of St. Anthony, detail

I love Epiphany, the season of befriending the Light. I love the liminal days between the Transfiguration and Ash Wednesday. I can linger on the mountain as the light fades. Soon, too soon, I have to confront those grayish shapeless lumps in my character that obscure the Light from radiating throughout my soul. In Lent I must tend to the lumps.

An Orthodox teaching posits that hell consists of the unmitigated Light of God, like heaven. However, the torment of hell involves the slow burning of all that ego residue, unrepented sins, unformed lumps of deficient character, unresolved conflicts clung to in life. So the lumps of sin-stuff burn in the Uncreated Light of Presence.

Wednesday I’ve got to get to work on my heavy gray lumpish sins and wickedness, things done and left undone, the devices and desires of my own heart.* But lingering in this Tabor light, just for these few days, the last of Epiphany, reminds me why I need and want to work so hard in my Lenten repenting.

Lingering in light,

*phrases from the wonderful penitential resources of The Book of Common Prayer

One Response to “Lingering in the Light”

  1. claire Says:

    Ah, this post of yours echoes in my soul! How aware I feel these days of my graying shapeless lumps… Yes, it may feel painful when they burn in Godde’s light, but then I might be a free woman…

    Thank you.

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