Question 009

What do I need to discover this Light?

Love. He who knows the truth, knows what the light is; and he who knows it knows eternity.  Love knows it.  O Truth eternal and true love and beloved eternity, you are my God, for you I long night and day.

from St. Augustine Answers 101 Questions on Prayer by Fr. Ermatinger.


Charity is that which configures the human soul to perceive the divine light, that by which the soul grows and conforms itself to the divine light, and that by which the soul is united with the divine light and participates in its nature.  When the soul first turns her eye in prayer, she is dazzled by the light, so above it is to herself and all created things.  The soul has not the capacity of vision to see the light as it is.  Yet God calls the soul to grow towards Him and, in this call, the soul begins to perceive that which it yearns for and loves. As the soul grows towards the divine light, she finds that the light which falls upon her makes her love for God expand into a great longing to receive more steadily the divine light; to be loved by and to love her God.  In her desire to be like Him, she begins to more readily see her unlikeness, her smallness, her incapacity.  It is here, in a humility embraced, that she will hear her beloved God respond in promise that if she should grow towards Him, not by her power but by His, His light shall ever fall upon her – that He Himself is the reward for those fully grown, and that, unlike all else taken in that becomes part of her, if she should take Him into herself she shall become transformed into Him.— PPP

Saint Augustine (detail), Philippe de Champaigne, 1650