This is a guest post by Fr. Eric Werts.
As I have spoken of before, I often pray with my imagination. My prayer life was in a state in which I was experiencing God’s absence. Someone suggested to me to simply accept the darkness. One day, when I was praying, I placed myself in the tomb with Jesus. It was silent and dark, and, yet, in faith, I knew he was there with me. Then, as if I had fallen asleep and awakened, I saw light in the tomb. The stone was rolled back from the entrance way. I walked out of the tomb and saw the resurrected Jesus, encompassed in light. He called me to him and put his arm around me. He directed me to look at a vast area of brilliant light. I understood this to be God and God’s dwelling.
Then Jesus turned me to face the opposite direction. The direction, it seemed to me, that I had come from. And I saw again that same vast brilliant light. There were some streaks of darkness in the light, but the light seemed to overwhelm the darkness. What I was looking at was our universe, including the Earth.
This vision showed me the presence of God in our world and time. It was a wonderful and joyous experience. I was reassured of God’s presence.
We are in Advent, anticipating Christmas, God becoming one of us. What we celebrate is that God is fully present among us. Despite the fact that those streaks of darkness touch our lives, the light of God’s presence can overwhelm them. We want to openly welcome the light of love which is Jesus’ presence among us. He can then guide us through any darkness and fill our lives with his light and love. We simply need to open our hearts and welcome the overwhelming love of God that comes to us through Jesus.