The Light is Magnificent! (And Mary said. . . )

The Light is Magnificent! (And Mary said. . . ) December 13, 2020

Every year comes the day when light is less and darkness is greater.

Will the light fail?



God, omnipotent and omniscient, gives His children the knowledge over years, decades in our own life, and millennia in human history to see the truth.  Saint Lucy is the Saint of Light, the one who sees and we celebrate her on our darkest days.

Saint Lucy sees best when she sees worst.

Of course, that is what I am supposed to say as a Christian. I say it, however, as a man who found the truth after doing badly. Darkness was less in my experience. This is common.  Centuries have passed and those who sided with the Light, just like Lucy, have prevailed. As a secularly trained philosopher, I am apt to be skeptical about any hopeful claim, but history has convinced me. When the calendar demands the light falter, the calendar also brings an increase in the light.

We see Light back then, now, with reasonable hope for the future. We hope the Light will not flood our vision with dazzling glory. We are not well when we are whining, whining,

The Light falters, only to increase. The light is not merely cosmological, but also human. Lucy lived, the light of the West. An emperor decided she should die, but this did not work out for the tyrants. We recollect the Saint, and the tyrant only in light of his tyranny.

On the death day of Saint Lucy, accounting for the vagaries of calendars, we recall her victory over the darkness of tyrants. This young woman said “yes” to God and so  “no” to Imperial power. Lucy would be tortured, but when she lost her physical eyes, she became an icon of those who could see indeed. None are blind who see God. Lucy, whose name means “light,” was brighter than her interlocutors. She shone forth brilliantly.

We recollect her glorious triumph on the day the light begins to grow greater.

No human is disabled essentially. No human is imperfect insofar as she is human, Because paradise is coming, we know all will be healed. Lucy shines with the uncreated Light that nothing can quench. Emperors could kill her, but she looked as an example to the Mother of God. She said “yes” to God and so associated herself forever with Christmas.

Lucy was a lesser Mary. Mary said “yes” first and so Lucy could say “yes” later! Half the time, human history hinges on what women chose: “Yes? No?” Lucy said “yes.” The Mother of God, Mary, also said “yes.” When she said what she did, all was different. Eve did not eat the apple, so history went normal.

Perhaps a harder choice for Mary was to say “no” to respectability and reputation in her community. Mother Mary spoke and her speaking was glorious:


And Mary[f] said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
    Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.
50 His mercy is for those who fear him
    from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
    he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
    and lifted up the lowly;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
    and sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
    in remembrance of his mercy,
55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
    to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

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