Thursday, February 8, 2018

Day Six of Art Novena of Our Lady of Lourdes

Fire and Light

Fire and light are both powerful  symbols and alchemical agents
of transformation
and they play an important role in myth,
fairy tale and religious stories and rites.

I took this picture during a full moon on the Nativity of Mary
at the light procession at the sanctuary of Lourdes
In the story of Bernadette and the Soubirous family we
learn that Bernadette's father, a miller by craft and trade,
had fallen on hard times and the family had lost everything.
To earn money he undertook to dispose of waste materials from
the local hospital.  He took the bloodied and putrid bandages
in a small wooden wagon and set off
to the grotto of Massabielles where he built a big fire

'There arises an evil-smelling pyramid of
blood-soaked cotton, pus-stained bandages,
and filthy linen rags...quickly he tosses his box
of matches to set the heap on fire...The horrid
combustible pyramid flares up on the instant...
this strange sacrificial pyre, whose smoke, graciously
accepted by Heaven, rises in a straight line.
extract from The Song of Bernadette

a vestal virgin in Rome

A shrine of Bernadette Soubirous with the
candles of Lourdes

Fire is of great importance to us.  We use it to
cook our food and to keep warm in winter.
The hearth and its fire has always been a symbol
of the divine presence of the Deity who
provides and supplies us with what we need.
The candle is also seen as the flame of the Soul.
Those with mystical sight can see the flame that
is alit on the crown of the awakened ones.

The crown on top of the basilica of Our Lady of Lourdes

One can see the halo of a burning flame with the naked eye
and holy ones and awakened ones are often
drawn with similar halos.

Even though we understand how fire is created, it remains
a mystical ocurrence with miraculous abilities.
Similarly, as prana is ignited in the body (spontaneously
or through spiritual practice) and involuntary and
unexpected changes take place in both the mind, the body
and the heart, it is a wondrous mystical occurrence.
As inner sight develops and extra sensory perception
and a vast peace eventually settles in your being,
one feels drawn to make these events manifest in ritual
and practise.

Since ancient days a candle was kept alit in the temples and cities
as an offering to the heavens and as a sign of the unwavering spirit.
This is still the practise at Lourdes and also at Kildare where
the Brigidine nuns keep the flame lit.

The candles at the sanctuary of Lourdes are
kept burning 27 hours a day

Novena for Day Six
Radiant Mary, shine radiantly upon me.
Bright Lady who illuminates my inner darkness
Yours is the incorruptible fire;
As it is clean, it cleanses; as it is pure, it purifies.

Taken in my garden in the most eastern corner
at dawn


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for leaving a comment. I appreciate feedback and interaction.