Bathed in the Light of Grace
The Abbot summoned a novice monk to the chapel. The youthful monk always showed great respect to the Abbot and spoke glowingly to other brothers of his fondness for the Abbot. Being an aged man of humility, the Abbot decided to address this exaggerated admiration with the young man. He had a brother monk tell the novice to meet him in the chapel.
After the monk entered the chapel, the Abbot said, "You adore me too highly." This saying confused the novice, who remained speechless. Seeing the young man's confusion, the Abbot pointed to the chapel windows as the sunlight streamed into the place of prayers. He said, "Windows are means of light. We are means of the Light. I am here for one end: for you to turn your attention to the Light."
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Any being can be for you a medium of the Light. In seeing others, we can see the Light even if they do not recognize themselves as a means of the Light - they may not even believe in the Light, thinking themselves a mere body.
The early Jesus followers were taught they were the Body of Christ. Christ was also where Jesus was when he was on Earth.
The Gospel of John 12.45 (NRSV) has Jesus saying, "And whoever sees me sees him who sent me." One can read this verse in two ways. First, anyone who looked upon Jesus was looking upon the One who sent him. They might not recognize this truth, but it was true nevertheless. Second, not everyone saw Jesus. "See" signifies spiritual insight into who he was: an embodiment of the Light. Most persons saw him as a body and missed the deeper Reality. They could not see the Subtle within for only those prepared to see in-depth could - can - do so. Some see and know the Light within the man. Even now, persons, through love for Jesus, experience the Light through him. They can experience this for Love is not limited by time and space.
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Elsewhere, once more, in the Gospel of John 14.8-9 (NRSV), we read of Jesus as a means of seeing the Light, and a follower in his inner circle has failed to recognize this union between the man and the Spirit -
Philip said to him, "Lord [Teacher, Sir, Master], show us the Father, and we will be satisfied." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?"
The "Father" is not a male deity in the upper realms or a geographical paradise called Heaven. "Father" is a signifier. "Father" connotes what many other words do: Mother, Great Spirit, the Light, Love, Allah, God, Brahma, Creator, Reality, Truth, and many more indicators of the Great Mystery of Life.
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Some questions... How many of us fail to see the Beloved in those whom we live among daily? How many parents never recognize their children as beings of the Light? How many co-workers see those they work with as embodiments of the Good, True, and Beautiful? Do we see the Light in those we dislike? Is it possible to recognize the Beloved in those who seek to harm us? Or will we walk Earth thinking that the beings we live among are solely what they appear to be - bodies? If we do not recognize ourselves as more than a body, we will not recognize others as more than a body.
[W]e have this treasure in clay jars [bodies], so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.
*II Corinthians 4.7, NRSV
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How might your life change if you devoted yourself to seeing and reverencing the Light in each being, not only humans, you meet? How might you treat yourself better by honoring yourself as a being of the Light? You might wish to visualize someone whom you have struggled to be forgiving of and see that other filled with the Light. Did you feel any shift of energy in the body when doing this? If so, what was that shift like?
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*(C) Brian K. Wilcox, 2021
*Brian's book, An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love, can be ordered through major online booksellers or the publisher AuthorHouse. The book is a collection of poems based on wisdom traditions, predominantly Christian, Buddhist, and Sufi, with extensive notes on the poetry's teachings and imagery.