A Necessary Candle

What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. John 1:3-5, NRSV

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/arts-essays/2019/necessary-candle
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The author laments that the world is full of bile. We get it thrown at us from ever media form. The tragic aspect is that most comes at us from professed Christians. The word Twit connoted a pleasant sound rather that the overflow of bile from the top down.

How many recall the theme song Happy Days are here again? Church leaders form compliance committees. The U S president who claims to make America great again throws monkey wrenches into every effort for stability. And claims he has done more in three years than any president in history most of it bad. The word should be undocumented rather than illegal. if one gives years of labor why not help get them documented rather than putting them out on the street. The cure from a bile attack is better diet not more venom.


In his devotion to philosophy, I think the author has overlooked the most wonderful aspects of light.

The light of a single candle brings comfort to the soul because it lets us see around us and learn that we need not fear the things that “go bump in the night.”

The light of a single candle is gentle, yet so powerful that it drives away darkness. The power that Jesus promises to put in each of us who believe may not seem like much but it is more powerful than all the powers of darkness that Satan seeks to overwhelm us with.

The most powerful result of allowing the Light of the World to guide our lives is how He fills us with love for others so we become empowered to spread God’s redeeming love to others.

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The Light from a single candle, perhaps only one inch high, provides orientation in
the darkness. It assists us in locating ourselves in space. It allows us to move safely
about in the Unknown. It allows us to move safely from one Unknown Space in time
to other Unknown Spaces in time.
In ancient times there was what was known as “Toe lamps”. Oil lamps that fit on the
toe. Lighting up a dark path that one might need to travel in the night. Showing up
obstacles ahead. “Thy Word is a Light unto my path” is where this image came from.
One little candle. As the Poem set to music says, “If everyone lit just one little candle,
what a bright world this would be.”

Barry, If you enjoy Simone Weil, you would also enjoy Joan Chittister – “Following
the Path.” [the search for a life of passion, purpose, and joy]


Thanks for the reference for Joan Chittister. I’ve heard much about her and have enjoyed quotes by her from friends. I’ll look her books up!


”Bearing the Light in this world begins with us “accepting that we are accepted,”

This jumped out at me…such a profound quote. However, it is a challenge to accept something that many people never experience in their lives and this is the reason that there is less Light in the world.


Yes. To be a light that lights other candles, our light has to be on, be lit, be burning.


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