As many of you know I write devotionals for The Heart of Mary for Women website that also appear on the Laudate app. The devotionals on the site are in podcast format. You can listen to that podcast here.
Below is the text from that devotional. Our focus for January has been Bearers of Light and how we share the light of Christ with others. My focus in this devotion is shining Christs’ light in our homes.
“Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.”
I can recall as a child being uncomfortable, if not frightened, by the dark. The problem with the dark is the unknown, what is giving shape to those frightening shadows or causing that creepy sound? It’s amazing the comfort that even a small night light can provide. Just a little bit of light can illuminate the unknown making that walk to the bathroom a lot easier. When our path is lit, we avoid bumping into obstacles. Light is comforting; it illuminates the way and demystifies what is scary and hidden. Christ is light; in fact, Christ is the light of the world. He illuminates the path for us in the gospels and he provides comfort when things feel scary and dark. Christ gives us salvation, hope and with him, we have the power to change and grow as we strive to follow a Christ-centered life.
There are many references to light in the Bible. One of my favorite comes from Luke 11:33-35 where Jesus tell us “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in the cellar or under a bushel, but on a stand, that those who enter may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is sound, your whole body is full of light; but when it is not sound, your body is full of darkness. Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness” As I think about this passage and its meaning I can’t help but realize that what we take in is what we give out. We tend to give to the world what we receive from the world. Which is a little frightening because we do live in a sin-darkened world that we have little control over. But there is an area that we do have control over, and that is the light that shines in our homes. There are many ways that we can set the example of Christ’s light for our children in our homes. We can pray daily, attend mass, partake in the sacraments, and pray the rosary. We can strive to practice unconditional love and forgiveness, speak kind words to one another, and when we blow it, we can apologize and ask forgiveness. We can be very deliberate with the books our children read, as well as the movies they watch and the video games they play.
If our eyes are the lamp of our body and we strive to shine the light of Christ, then we need to be very intentional about what activities we engage in within our homes. Friends, I know this is easier said than done in many ways, especially if you have teenagers in your house. It’s not easy when your child complains that they are the only kid that doesn’t play a popular video game or didn’t get to see that movie everyone else is talking about, but loving your children enough to set limits that protect them is worth it. One day they will know this, and they will thank you for loving them enough to say no to those dark and worldly influences. I find that I am most successful with setting these positive examples for my children when I am practicing what I preach, meaning, I need to be very discriminating when it comes to what I watch, listen to and read. By making sure my eyes are filled with Christ’s light, I shine brighter and feel more confident and supported in filtering what my children are exposed to. So don’t be afraid to shine your light and to help your children to learn the joy of finding and shining their own light!