Walking By Candlelight

I am in a deep sleep when suddenly I hear the words “Christ Our King” float down from somewhere nearby. “Thy Kingdom Come!” I respond, waiting for the lights to come on. I wait. And I wait…and nothing happens. Still in the dark, I sit up, slightly confused. Taking in the dimly lit scene (it’s only a little past 6 am), I see my 10 companions sitting up or getting out of bed with the same look as I have. Then it clicks. The storm the night before. The crazy wind…it can only mean one thing: a power outage. “Oh well,” I sigh. Life must go on.

We stumble through morning preparation by the light of candles and some strategically placed flashlights and book lights. At some point the emergency lights come on, which is a very good thing, because I think that for a few of the girls in the house, having to get ready in the morning without light is a minor emergency.

I arrive to the chapel just as morning prayers are starting. The chapel, normally quite beautiful, is, today, an especially strange and beautiful sight. 60 or so women are sitting in the dark before Our Lord, with little white candles spread sporadically among the pews, shedding light on just a few faces. Good sized candles are also placed by the statues of Mary and Joseph. Then there’s the altar and the tabernacle, which are fully lit up.

For me, the scene is an analogy of our spiritual journey (Bear with me here, I’m not just hallucinating because I didn’t have coffee this morning…which isn’t a problem because I don’t drink coffee anyways). Turn back to the scene again. Objectively speaking, the path that God places before us can seem quite dark. But he NEVER just abandons us on a completely unlit path. Along the way, he gives us little candles which cast light on to the people which God has chosen to lead us closer to him: our family, friends, mentors, teachers, etc. The examples of the saints also light up our path toward God. Then, of course, whether we have power or not, the little red sanctuary lamp is always lit, reminding up that Christ is ALWAYS there. He’s constantly calling out directions and encouragement as we go: “Can you hear me?” “I am here!” “Here I am!” “Come to me!” “Follow me, follow my voice!” “I promise I will never leave!”

The lights still hadn’t come on by the time Mass started, so Mass was also in the dark. But it left room for no distractions; all you could see clearly was the Eucharist. A few hours later the lights came back on and life returned to normal. But I wasn’t the same; now I was a little less afraid of walking in the dark.

So as we walk by candlelight on this incredible path called life, let us keep our eyes and hearts open so we can see all the little lights Christ uses to guide us toward Heaven, where darkness will be no more, and we can bask in God’s brilliant light and love for ever more.

About Ashley Osmera

Ashley Osmera is a junior at Belmont Abbey College. She is the oldest of 5 children, and enjoys basketball, singing, piano, and photography.
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