As I do when alone, while ruminating on the sad state of our wounded world over a pepper steak and a Coke, a song from our grade school years suddenly played in my head...
“It is better to light, just one little candle than to stumble in the dark;
Better far that you light, just one little candle, all you need is a tiny spark;
If we all said a prayer, then the world would be free, a wonderful dawn of a new day we’d see;
And if everyone lit just one little candle, what a bright world this would be!”
I smiled to myself, thinking: “Ah, the lost innocence of childhood! When all things seemed so much simpler.”
As we grow older, we supposedly get wiser. But do we truly do so?
The innocence of children along with the purity of heart and mind inherent in young ones gradually get stripped away as we increasingly become immersed into the reality of our increasingly darkened world.
Here, the wisdom of Jesus’ words once more come to the fore, when in Luke 18:16, He said: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Child-like innocence, trust, purity and unconditional love are among the hallmarks of those who would inherit heaven.
It is better to light, just one little candle than to stumble in the dark...
We are called to be the light of the world. Our child-like faith and trust in the Lord as well as our unconditional love for the Creator should be made manifest to the world. We are called not to shun the world, but rather to rise above it; and by imitating Christ in our lives, be beacons to other making their way through the darkness of this Valley of Tears.
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.
Matthew 5: 14
We are called to be the salt of the earth and leaven the world with the Gospel that has been revealed to us. Our love for God and faith in Christ should not become lukewarm lest we be thrown away since tasteless salt is indeed useless. Again, we rise above the world yet remain in it in order to infuse it with the New Covenant of love given by Jesus Christ. Love God, love your neighbor.
Better far that you light, just one little candle, all you need is a tiny spark…
We often think that we’d like to make a difference, but then get discouraged when we begin saying: “What can one person do?”
Like a snowball, it all starts from a single snowflake, right? St. Francis of Assisi quite succinctly says: “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly, you are doing the impossible.” Another Francis, St. Francis de Sales, further expounded on this, saying: “Do ordinary things extraordinarily well, and with great love.”
Christ did not mean His message to be merely proclaimed. He meant for it to be lived. We are called to go forth, not being passive onlookers, but rather, active agents of positive change. And we can do this in our everyday lives by doing what’s necessary and possible, ordinary things extraordinarily well.
If we all said a prayer, then the world would be free, a wonderful dawn of a new day we’d see…
And starting something small is not the end of it. Our living out the Gospel of Christ should be infectious, catching others up in our love and joy. It is in unity in God that we manage to overcome whatever the universe has to throw at us. Psalm 133:1 captures the beauty of unity when it said: “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”
And if everyone lit just one little candle, what a bright world this would be!
When there is unity of purpose centered on God, all darkness, all confusion, all that is evil would be washed away.
We are called to go forth and boldly proclaim through words and actions that there is more to life than simply “being.” There is more to life than merely existing as we are. We have to go forth and become what we are meant to be. Lights of the world, the salt of the earth, infusers of God’s love into the world to fill the dark void wrought by all things that seek to negate this Divine Love.