In these early days of Lent, Spring is almost here, but for a few more days, there is still more darkness than light.
There are glimmers of hope in the world around us, but much of the world remains mired in despair.
We are called to trust that the light of Christ shines in the darkness, and the darkness will not overcome it, but when our humanity gets in the way and we cannot see the light, our trust is shaken.
In the midst of these times, the following prayer of St. Symeon the New Theologian (949 - 1022 A.D.) reminds us that the light of Christ is still there, illuminating our darkness:
I thank you that you, even while I was sitting in
revealed yourself to me, you enlightened me,
you granted me to see the light of your countenance
that is unbearable to all.
I remained seated in the middle of the darkness,
but, while I was there surrounded by darkness,
you appeared as light, illuminating me
completely from your total light.
And I became light in the night,
I who was found in the midst of darkness.
Neither the darkness extinguished your light
nor did the light dissipate the visible darkness,
but they were together, yet completely separate,
without confusion, far from each other,
surely not at all mixed,
except in the same spot where they filled everything,
so it seems to me.
So I am in the light, yet I am found in the middle
of the darkness.
So I am in the darkness, yet still I am in the
middle of the light.
(From pp. 187-188 of "Prayer of the Heart: The Contemplative Tradition of the Christian East" by George Maloney, S.J.).