O Light from Light!

Take the opportunity to step out of the noise of your daily life.

As I wrote in a recent article, there is a great need in our times to purposely step out of the ubiquitous, mind-numbing noise that so overwhelms our daily lives in this present world and to consciously seek out moments of silence and beauty. The world’s noise has become so commonplace to us that we no longer recognize its effects on us.

On rare occasions, though, moments of silence and/or beauty surprise us and capture our attention, maybe even take our breath away. It is these “pearl of great price” moments that remind us, call us back to the presence of God in our lives. God, who is present to us at all times, who has each one of us in his mind at all times, breaks through the noise that engulfs us with the peace and joy that only he can give.

If you are like me, when the Lord, in his own always surprising ways, gifts me with these moments, I am moved to tears of both joy and awe. William Congreve, the English playwright and poet famously said of music, “Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast.” And there is much truth in that, as all things beautiful, in music, in art, in poetry, and in nature, are transcendent, that is they take us out of ourselves and point us to God who is the source and goal of all beauty.

This short, just over four-minute video is from a larger choral piece by the contemporary composer Morten Lauredsen. The larger piece is titled Lux Aeterna, or Light Eternal. The video is of a section in Lauredsen’s choral piece entitled, Lux Aeterna. This section is called, O Nata Lux, meaning, O Light from Light, a phrase taken from the Nicene Creed, describing Jesus: “Born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from True God…”

Here is the translation from the Latin for O Nata Lux:

“O Light from Light, resplendent birth, 
Jesus Redeemer of the earth,
In mercy grant this reprieve;
Our prayers and praises receive.
Thou who in flesh didst once appear
To set souls free from sin and fear;
Gather us all, Lord we plea,
In Thy blest Body, one with Thee.” 

Take the opportunity to step out of the noise of your daily life, to take yourself apart from the clamor and chaos and simply let yourself rest in these four and a half minutes of beauty and make it four minutes of prayer. God made “heaven and earth, all things visible and invisible.” Because this is true, it is also true that God can work through all things to give us the graces and the healing we all need in times such as these. Peace be with you.

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