or….How we “shine like the sun!”
We often see pictures of saints surrounded by a halo. This came about in the third century Christian church as a way of showing God’s goodness shining through.
So, holiness has always had this link to light. I have always loved Thomas Merton’s way of viewing our humanity –
“There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.”
In other words, he believed that, despite all our faults and flaws and failings, at our core, we are good because we are made in the image of GOODNESS.
A good exercise for us all is to consider ways that we do “shine like the sun for others,” and also to ponder all those people in our lives who “shine like the sun for us.”
When I was a child, teachers and parents would encourage us to pick one of the saints and emulate him or her, but nowadays I think we are more inclined to tell children that the world does not need another St. Francis or St. Patrick, rather it needs each of us to be holy in our own individual way – to share our unique gifts with the world in a way that allows us to be fully alive and fully human and fully true to our own inner essence and holiness.
My read aloud this month, St. Martin de Porres, provides a lovely model of “holiness” for us all.
Martin conquers racial and economic prejudice with love and kindness – he is a Rose in the Desert – a beacon of hope – a light in the darkness!Many times, when I visit schools, children will clamor around me and ask, “Are you famous?” It seems our culture worships fame and stardom – our children see how much fame and fortune surrounds our rock stars and movie stars, and no wonder that attracts them. But perhaps we can show our little ones that there are other ways to be a “star” – other ways to “shine” in the world, by bringing more goodness into the world.
Surely that is a good job for us to give our children – no matter age, or gender, race, or creed – let us encourage them to….
be a light to others – a beacon of hope – a rose in the desert!