Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

We are all called to carry and pass on the flame



Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple

This then is the message which we have heard from Him and declare unto you: that God is light,  and in Him is no darkness at all.—1 John 1:5

This morning as I was going into our church for Vigils (our 4 AM Divine Office) the church was aglow with the gentle light of candles.  In front of our podium there were six large candles and on our window ledges, there was one small candle per window.  A restful, gentle sight, candle light is soothing for most people.  The whole office was in the dark and each psalm was recited by one of the monks.  The cantor started off the office by singing the invitatory as well as the hymn. 

During the mediation, I was thinking about how one candle can share its flame with an unlimited number of other candles.  No matter how small the flame, it can be passed from one candle to the other.   At the Easter Vigil, we enter a dark church with only the Paschal Candle being lit, the church is cold, the Blessed Sacrament is not there, there is no light anywhere but from that one candle that proclaims the Risen Lord.  Then the flame is passed on and soon the church is filled with the warm light of Christ love. 

I thought of my own heart, how often it can seem cold and empty.  Then I thought of the light of Jesus Christ how it lives in my heart and how I can also spread my little flame of Christ love and grace to others, we all can. We are all, after all, a priestly people, a royal priesthood. 

It is with Christ love that we can spread his love; our small hearts can still pass on the flame of the grace and love of Jesus Christ.  All we need do is to ask him into our hearts, so that we can be channels of his grace and love, to reach out with his light, to seek healing for ourselves and those around us and to become more sensitive to the depth of love we are called to. 

One flame

Just one tiny flame,
then another,
in giving there is no diminishment,
but an increase of light in a dark world,
ruled by emotions sinister,
greed always hungry,
lust ever devouring
seeking to douse the light
but that small flame
is Christ Love incarnate in each of us;

Immortal and everlasting
without end amen.

Br. Mark Dohle, OCSO
Holy Spirit Monastery


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