My four years of undergrad were spent in an intricate relationship with light. As a photography major, steeped in the arduous process of developing pictures by hand, I was intricately aware of the effects of light. Without at least some exposure to light, the piece of paper being washed over with chemicals just wouldn’t produce an image. No matter what I tried, the picture was not coming.
As women of God and members of humankind, we are created as beautiful images made in the likeness of our Creator. Often we allow our sin and shame to darken who we really are. We can become ensnared believing we are beyond repair and past hope.
In the dark room, it was well known that if something appeared on the photo being developed, even if it was overly dark, the photograph was still savable. By adding more light in the development stage, a dark exposure could still produce a lovely image, and the details would start to shine through.
And so it is with our God. He Himself is the Light, and as we are exposed to Him, through His Word, Sacraments, and overwhelming Love for us, we develop into a beautiful picture of who we are meant to be. By allowing the Light of Christ to pour into our darkest parts, we open ourselves to the hope of freedom. Christ continues to shine and release us from any darkness, entrapments, and snares.
Let us walk in the light, sisters. (see 1 John 1:7)
Evil seeks to extinguish us in the darkness, but the Light always prevails. And it is found that our true selves are revealed most fully in relation to the true Light.
Light and dark in Catholic art work are phenomenally captured by Caravaggio, this painting in particular.
Sarah Ortiz is a Catholic convert, wife, and mother to four boys while living in a 200 year old farmhouse. When not folding laundry, she can be found reading, experimenting in the kitchen, or snagging amazing antique furniture deals. You can find out more about her here.