published on July 8, 2014
THE STORY of the DAY and NIGHT
written by PAUL JOSEPH C.
I am not known to you. I claim no special academic title. I do not profess to be an apologist or a theologian of any kind: I can only profess to be a sinner.
With this said, I would like to share with you, in this fleeting moment, a thought from the minuteness of my intellect.
This is the story of each one of us in the day and in the night.
We know we totally depend on the Sun for our survival. It is the Sun which maintains all life on earth and without which this planet would instantly freeze to its death to fall into the infinite abyss of the Universe. It is also during the sunlight filled day that we wake up, raise from our beds and prepare to dive into the external world outside ourselves and our homes.
People go to work, cars appear on the streets, stores open again, sounds are everywhere, children go to school, restaurants are filled with people, important world events take place, birds fly in our skies and flowers bloom: life explodes in all its glorious aspects as we – and everything around us – awakes and consciously lives with open eyes. And as we are busy focusing on all that we do and think, we forget that it is the Sun above our heads permitting all that works around and inside us to be sustained. Sadly, what results from our forgetfulness is the lack of gratefulness towards God for such a vital gift as we keep on carrying the weight of a thousand thoughts in our mind and of a cup of coffee in our hand while running on the way to work day, after day, after day.
Isn't this how many of us live today?
Then, as the Sun begins to descend below our horizon, it takes its light away from us by establishing its primary role in our "human time": as the king leaves, darkness advances to envelop us into the night. The animals go to sleep, silence starts to settle, people go back into their homes as if to protect themselves from a storm; the stores are closed, the traffic has disappeared, the malls are dark, the kindergartens are silent and the temperature is colder. Nothing out in that blackness inspires our human ambition.
From the beginning of civilization, the night has been portrayed as the sinister brother of the day with its cold, silvery Moon: a dead rock that only occasionally comes out of her hiding place to reveal herself entirely while plagiarizing from the Sun's light for the sake of her own glowing.
The howls of ferocious wolves would be the terror of ancient villages throughout the lands of old Europe while violent crimes are being committed in the darkness of some metropolis' alleys of Century XXI A.D.
And so we all go to sleep each night to rest for the next day as imposed by nature and tradition.
Night after night. Night after day after night. Always until death.
You, whoever you are reading these obvious lines which bring nothing new under the Sun: during your waking hours, have you ever decided to take a look at that same Sun with your naked eyes? You surely have, as all who ever lived under it, have. The sky is so stunningly beautiful with its intense blue sheet looking like a tropical ocean and yet, the source that makes it so we are not allowed to admire. Its mighty power is almost sacred as the windows to our souls are not equipped to stare at this sphere of fire. The Sun –humanity's best friend, life maintaining star, bringer of light and warmth, witness and cause of the best times of our life and our successes– remains the only thing known to mankind which cannot be looked upon if not at the price of blindness.
At some point, each one of us has found himself to be somewhere in the middle of a nowhere right as that luminous body allows darkness to enter our lives.
We are soon embraced by the frighteningly discomfort of a silent blackness in a lost field where humanity has chosen not to live. Confronted with a tremendous fear of isolation in total realization of our own vulnerable human state, our eyes look at the sky above almost as if in hopeful search of a light that is no longer there.
Then, as an unexpected revelation, a life changing discovery takes place and turns our fear into a most deep sense of wonderment: the dazzling beauty of billions of bright stars flickering on an infinite black dome. As our eyes admire the view of the Universe from a balcony called Earth, we are forced to immediately recognize the atomic size of our very being.
Some of these celestial bodies no longer exist and yet, their light remains visible to us as it takes millions of years to travel and touch our souls. Nothing around us, in these dark deserted hours, can take our awe away from admiring the firmament in its primal state.
My dear friends: on any given day's midday, have you ever stopped whichever activity you were focusing on as if the entire Universe depended on it, to think that those trillions of breathtaking stars are always behind our sky and Sun? The constellations that inspired poets, philosophers, astronomers and travelers for thousands of years are the reality upon us sealed by an illusion similar to the one of a Moon emanating her own light. The same star which the Earth rotates around for its own survival, blinds us to the whole of creation by painting some blue on our window's glass: a billion Suns at night can be stared upon for hours but one Sun at day is forbidden to be glanced for even one instant?
My dear friends, God Speaks to us in the silence of a lonely night. When everything is dark and frightening, He will show us what is found beyond the blinding limits of our earthly minds: the Truth, which exists always and independently from our awareness of It.
The light He Brings does not blind us or burn us like our Sun's because it comes as the light of an infinite number of Suns flickering in the darkness of our lives. Just as fear descends upon us in a dark and lonely place, so does it enter us during those dark times along our path on this remote planet. All we must remember is that, just as a candle light is enough to destroy the darkness of a room, so will those dots in an ocean of blackness bring hope in us.
To end this reflection, I would like to insert one of the most beautiful passages describing the Might and Power of God in Creating this World.
THE LORD ANSWERS JOB
Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.
Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone,when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb, when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors, and said, "Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed"?
Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
and caused the dawn to know its place, that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it? It is changed like clay under the seal, and its features stand out like a garment. From the wicked their light is withheld, and their uplifted arm is broken.
Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
Have the gates of death been revealed to you, or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth? Declare, if you know all this.
Where is the way to the dwelling of light, and where is the place of darkness, that you may take it to its territory and that you may discern the paths to its home? You know, for you were born then, and the number of your days is great!
Have you entered the storehouses of the snow,
or have you seen the storehouses of the hail, which I have reserved for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war?
What is the way to the place where the light is distributed, or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth?
Who has cleft a channel for the torrents of rain
and a way for the thunderbolt,to bring rain on a land where no man is, on the desert in which there is no man, to satisfy the waste and desolate land, and to make the ground sprout with grass?
Has the rain a father, or who has begotten the drops of dew?
From whose womb did the ice come forth, and who has given birth to the frost of heaven? The waters become hard like stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.
Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades or loose the cords of Orion?
Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth in their season,
or can you guide the Bear with its children?
Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?
Can you establish their rule on the earth?
Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,
that a flood of waters may cover you?
Can you send forth lightnings, that they may go
and say to you, "Here we are"?
Who has put wisdom in the inward parts or given understanding to the mind? Who can number the clouds by wisdom?
Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens, when the dust runs into a mass and the clods stick fast together?
Can you hunt the prey for the lion,
or satisfy the appetite of the young lions, when they crouch in their dens or lie in wait in their thicket?
Who provides for the raven its prey, when its young ones cry to God for help, and wander about for lack of food?