Let the light shine through!

Saint Saviour's Priory, Dublin, Ireland
13 September 2009


The cards for the General Promotion of the Rosary have been distributed by tens of thousands. On the front they show a photograph taken by Brother Louis-Marie Ariño-Durand, OP, and can be used as a simple and evocative sermon. Be they large or small, they are all the same overleaf: you will find the site’s slogan in the three official languages of the Dominican Order, “Pray, preach, live… the Rosary!”

This photo was taken in Dublin’s Saint Saviour's Priory at the end of a celebration of solemn vows. Abundant sunshine enters the building and passes through the incense vapours

I always use this card to talk about Mary’s virginity. The light traverses the stained glass window without even altering it. On the contrary, it actually gives it all its splendour. The same applies to the virginal conception of Jesus: it gives the Virgin all her splendour without the loss of her virginity.

This image is also an invitation to let the light shine through. Very often we create a screen: in a way, our sins prevent the divine light from passing through. Nothing like that happens with Mary, the Immaculate. The divine light passes through her without obstacle. God’s perfect child, she reflects God’s light like the moon reflects that of the sun.

This stained glass window is beautiful. To appreciate it, you need to be inside the building. A stained glass window is drab from the outside

It is often the same for the Church. To see its beauty and be able to speak about it, you have to be inside it. External criticism, sometimes justified, is easy… but internal comment which knows how to see the shadows and especially emphasise the light is much more constructive.

Finally this image shows us the light whose rays are rendered visible by the incense vapours. It is in fact a double invitation.

On the one hand it suggests that we should pay attention to the beauty of our celebrations. We are Christians with all our senses. Incense, the sign of prayer rising towards God, is a reminder of the good odour of Christ which should be spread around us and of which we are all witnesses.

On the other hand, we see in this photo something we do not normally see: the light. And this allows us to see what surrounds us. It is certainly there and yet we do not see it. It is the incense which will reveal the rays and offer them up for our contemplation.
The same goes for God: he is there… and yet we do not see him. It is up to us to reveal him to those around us.

Let the light shine through!...
So we can reveal God to others!

Fr. Louis-Marie ARIÑO-DURAND, o.p.
General Promoter of the Rosary