Thursday, 24 January 2019

Today’s the Feast of St Thomas Aquinas who lived in the thirteenth century and was expert at putting faith into words. He saw, to quote him, how the light of ‘faith wakens us to the mystery of God’.

Those words came back to me on a stormy sea journey when at one point on our crossing of the Channel the sun broke through the storm clouds. Light streamed on the turbulent sea reflected forwards in a scene of extraordinary beauty. You couldn’t look at the sun but you could feast on a remarkable display of light reflected from the moving waters. Their threatening look was changed into a scene of immense beauty.

So, in Aquinas’s thinking, the light of faith transfigures life’s dark circumstances showing us God in the midst of it all. ‘It is the God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ’ writes Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:6.

When I feel threatened by my circumstances I put faith in God. I ask for the light of faith in him to shine and change the look of things so I can persevere and do right. By that light I see beyond what’s facing me outwardly to God’s hand outstretched to me beyond those circumstances. As Aquinas writes in a hymn: ‘faith our outward sense befriending makes the inward vision clear’.

So be it for us all!

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