Thought For Week
'When people light candles, it is their prayer without words. Candles flicker in churches and before shrines for as many reasons as there are people in the world. It represents you in silent, wordless prayer in God's presence. It is an invitation to be still.' ~ Fr. John Cullen
As chaplain to a busy secondary school, I can safely say I would be lost without candles. Candles are so important when it comes to moments of prayer. They create the right atmosphere, they are a lovely distraction and the flickering flame is therapeutic. Students are always drawn to holding a candle and feel a spiritual connection. During difficult, stressful and challenging occasions, candles have spoken volumes, when all other words were never enough.
I am a big fan of candles and I always have a lovely collection of them in the prayer and quiet room of our school. The electronic candles that you now find in some churches just don't do it for me. They just aren't the same as the real candle. But health and safety is having nearly a say in everything these days.
From a spiritual point of view, a lighted candle is full of meaning and symbolism. It stands for the light of Christ. It stands for hope in the midst of darkness, it reminds us that we are not on our own, it reminds us that darkness and evil will never get the upper hand and it gently reminds us that everything is going to be ok.
We can also light a candle for someone else too. We are connected to this person in some way and we are asking God to bless them, to journey with them and to be their light with whatever might be difficult in their lives right now.
Our prayer for today and this week is: Loving God you are our light and hope. With you there is no darkness. Bring your light and hope into our lives and especially into our own darkness. May we feel your light, hope and compassion in our lives. Give us faith to say with the psalmist; 'Lord, keep my lamp burning, turn my darkness into light. Amen'
Thought For The Week is updated each Monday