Light: Thursday

When I was in the seminary, I had the chance to attend the Easter Vigil at Canterbury Cathedral. First they light a bonfire. Then the most amazing thing happens: everybody takes a candle, and we all enter with our candles, one by one, into this huge, cavernous, pitch-black space, until every candle is lit and you can see the whole place illuminated by this warm glow that reaches all the way to the ceiling. “Oh,” I thought, “this is it. This is what it means.”

– The Rev. Becky Zartman

Way of Love: Daily Practice

Smile at or greet everyone you see today.

Share your experience in the comments below


  1. James Rowland on March 5, 2020 at 8:20 am

    Thank you Rev. Becky. I had a similar experience a few years ago at a Great Vigil of Easter held in a series of gardens. Each garden was illuminated differently, some with candles, some with Japanese lanterns. We, too began with a Pascal fire and after walking through the gardens and listening to all the scriptural passages ended in a garden house blazing with light and echoing with African drums and the Zimbabwe Alleluia. I will never forget this climactic shout of resurrection. Christ is the light of the world.

  2. Melissa Holt on March 5, 2020 at 10:34 am

    Many years ago, a dear friend of mine recommended that I check out the monastery of the Society of St. John the Evangelist. I thought this was odd because I did not identify as a Christian at the time. She had planted a seed, nonetheless. Easter came around several months later, and I thought, “Why not now?” So I hired a cab to take me across the river to Cambridge. Arriving, I huddled with the others who had gathered on the monastery steps in the cold and the dark waiting for the vigil to begin. The ancient words intoned over the crackling fire, the lighting of the Pascal candle and of our small candles from the One Light of Christ, the telling of the story of salvation throughout the ages, the chanting of psalms, billowing incense, ringing bells, all joined together to bring me in out of the cold and the darkness to the glory of a new day and a new way of life. I remember the sun rising at the same time as the Gospel lesson was being read and the way that heaven and earth came together in the bread of life and the cup of salvation. I breathed a great sigh and declared to myself, “This is for me!” Thank-you, dear brothers for passing the gift of the Light you have received to others, including me, in this world.

  3. Eben Carsey on March 5, 2020 at 10:54 am

    I love Rev. Becky’s repeated unrestrained, sincere laughter in this conversation with the 4 rather seriously sincere monks. What an important contribution!

  4. John G. on March 5, 2020 at 11:11 am

    I just viewed the video. As I read Rev. Becky’s message, about the Light, the phrase came to me, “In Him there is no darkness at all.” I didn’t have a candle handy, but this seemingly definitive phrase illuminated who God is. God is light; God is Love, God is shelter; God is bread, God is the Blessed Community. Even when I am in physical or spiritual darkness. God is there. Even when I don’t feel him in my heart, His Mercy enfolds me. As Brother said,in the video,”I’m not going anywhere.” And God might be calling me into his presence by his absence. I admit, I haven’t always reacted to God’s perceived absence with hope and prayer. But when I’ve strayed, the Good Shepherd has found me through people, a friend, a mentor. The Light has illuminated the dark places within me. It’s a process i don’t always relish, but it has guided me back to the flock, back to where I can sing and pray and work, and hopefully discern what I can do in service to God. O Lord God, tame my unruly heart that I may rest in the fellowship of your Only Son and strengthen my will to do what the Spirit shows me to do. Amen

  5. Jeanne DeFazio on March 5, 2020 at 11:12 am

    Loved it! Especially Brother Curtis telling how the dark nights of the soul bring us closer to God. God bless you all,! I have sent this out for others to see! God bless!


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