Fragments of Light

Light of the World

Christ told us that he is the “light of the world” and that those who follow him “will not walk in the shadows but have the light of life” (John 8: 12). The Prologue of the fourth Gospel affirms in fact that “in him was life and his life was the light of men” (John 1: 4). Light is thus one of the basic Christian metaphors for salvation, and from its beginnings the Church has described the experience of believers as “illumination.”

It is in this sense that the inaugural exhibition of the new Mount Tabor Ecumenical Center for Art and Spirituality at Barga focuses on light as a pictorial subject. The Center, founded by a Christian monastic community whose church at Orleans, Massachusetts, is dedicated to the Savior revealed as light in the Transfiguration, aims to be a place where those who seek Christ can discover in themselves the “light of life”—a ‘Mount Tabor’ where all can contemplate the Lord’s glory in nature, in art and in monastic brotherhood.

—Msgr. Timothy Verdon, Canon, Florence Cathedral and Director of the Mount Tabor Ecumenical Centre for Art and Spirituality from the Introduction to the exhibit catalog: Luce del mundo

“Taboric” light is sometimes referred to as “uncreated” light. Msgr. Verdon refers to it here as the “light of life”, a light inspiring contemplation, a light we may each discover and recognize, a light which can lead us to God. If the disciples on Mount Tabor glimpsed a glory hidden from their earthly eyes what might we see as we go seeking that same light?

Comments welcome.

2 thoughts on “Light of the World

  1. “A light that will lead us to God”, that statement jumped out at me, and I thought about how “light” leads me to God. One of the ways is that I look for light through the scriptures, a word, a phrase to press toward the light of contemplation to hold throughout the day. I hold this word close to me and try to repeat it (if I don’t allow myself to be to caught up in the day!). Carol Bishop

  2. I was working away in the studio this afternoon and thought of this post came back to me. The timber I use in my work is always from diseased, dying or dead trees, so today I was grinding out a vein of rot. Doing so I happened to recall the phrase “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away”…. and I thought, “what might we see as we go seeking that same light?” Well, a lot of rot, damage and decay, but interestingly, the wood adjacent to the rot, once the rot is removed, has by far a richer character than the clear and straight grain.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *