The Holiness of the Dark: A Longest Night reflection

The Holiness of the Dark: A Longest Night Reflection

“In the beginning…

In the Genesis creation story, all was dark. And then God creates light. The darkness exists but was not created, perhaps it was original. Eastern Orthodox tradition suggests that all that is not created IS God. Perhaps God embodies the darkness.”

“There is a tendency for us to flee from the wild silence and the wild dark, to pack up our gods and hunker down behind city walls, to turn the gods into idols, to kowtow before them and approach their precincts only in the official robes of office. And when we are in the Temples, then who will hear the voice crying in the wilderness? Who will hear the reed shaken by the wind?” –Chet Raymo, The Soul of The Night

“She who wishes to be sure of the road she treads on; she must close her eyes and learn to walk in the dark.” St. John of the Cross

“To go deep, under the ‘known world.’ To where our Shadow lives. That part of us that has been exiled. Things we have not dealt with that grow into dragons. What if we choose to seek out our dragon, to befriend her? To ride the dragon up and out of the under-world. To welcome the dark and wild parts of ourselves and integrate them into relationship with ourselves. To offer radical hospitality to our whole self.”

“What wants to emerge from your shadow, to help you become more whole? What parts of your personality do you not accept? How can you befriend them in order to learn more about your life? Whatever stands in the light casts a shadow.” (Joyce Rupp, The Cup of our Life.)

“I will give you treasures of darkness,
riches hidden away,
That you may know I am the Lord,
the God of Israel, who calls you by name.” (Isaiah 45:3 NABRE)

“Darkness draws out our deep-down depths. And, in the northern hemisphere, December’s darkness invites us inward. A lesson in wonder, an elegy for light, and a call to pay attention for the unbroken darkness of a December night.”

The ancient wisdom of Advent: The Dark is not an end but the way a new beginning comes.


Resources for Further Reflection:

Learning to Walk in the Dark: Because God often shows up at night. By Barbara Brown Taylor

The Soul of the Night: An Astronomical Pilgrimage. By Chet Raymo

All Creation Waits: The Advent Mystery of New Beginnings. By Gayle Boss.




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