Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A YouTube Advent Calendar: December 21

Then Job answered the LORD:

I know that thou canst do all things
and that no purpose is beyond thee.
But I have spoken of great things which I have not understood,
things too wonderful for me to know.
I knew of thee then only by report,
but now I see thee with my own eyes.
Therefore I melt away;
I repent in dust and ashes.

-      Job 42

Thomas said to Jesus, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him."
-      John 14

Today is the Winter Solstice … and we have just enjoyed a full lunar eclipse overnight. My wife and I stayed up too late last night watching a movie, and as we were getting ready for bed, we realized the eclipse had begun. The full eclipse itself didn’t arrive until the middle of the night. But we can see that it was beautiful. The solstice and a full lunar eclipse have not happened simultaneously since 1554.

I remember back to the summer of 1989, a time of particularly fierce doubt for me. There was a full lunar eclipse then, too—in the early evening, when I could really enjoy it. I was working that night as a dishwasher at The Galley seafood restaurant in St. Ignace, Michigan. I caught portions of the eclipse through the window as I was working, and more later that night after I got off work and was walking home.

During the eclipse, my doubts temporarily subsided. The universe was just too big and beautiful to have happened all by itself. If there were no creator, then what was all this for?

Today is also the Feast of St. Thomas, the apostle who doubted. I take great strength from Thomas’s doubts. The opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Or, as Mother Superior said to Maria in The Sound of Music, “I try to keep faith in my doubts.”

From now on the days will get longer. Doubt will be held and consoled. Warmth will return to the world. Get ready, everyone … here comes the sun. (The Son?)

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