Novena to the Transforming Light (August 6-14; Days 6-9)
August 11, 2022
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.

 

Day 6 (August 11)

Suddenly when they looked around,

they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus (Mk. 9:8).

Scripture:

Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all! (Col. 3:9-11)

Tradition:

So far from light emerging gradually out of the womb of our darkness, it is the Light, existing before all else was made which, patiently, surely, eliminates our darkness. As for us creatures, of ourselves we are but emptiness and obscurity. But you, my God, are the inmost depths, the stability of that eternal milieu, without duration or space, in which our cosmos emerges gradually into being and grows gradually to its final completeness, as it loses those boundaries which to our eyes seem so immense.

Everything is being; everywhere there is being and nothing but being, save in the fragmentation of creatures and the clash of their atoms. Blazing Spirit, Fire, personal, super-substantial, the consummation of a union so immeasurably more lovely and more desirable than that destructive fusion of which all the pantheists dream: be pleased yet once again to come down and breathe a soul into the newly formed, fragile film of matter with which this day the world is to be freshly clothed.

I know we cannot forestall, still less dictate to you, even the smallest of your actions; from you alone comes all initiative — and this applies in the first place to my prayer. Radiant Word, blazing Power, you who mould the manifold so as to breathe your life into it; I pray you, lay on us those your hands — powerful, considerate, omnipresent, those hands which do not (like our human hands) touch now here, now there, but which plunge into the depths and the totality, present and past, of things so as to reach us simultaneously through all that is most immense and most inward within us and around us.

May the might of those invincible hands direct and transfigure for the great world you have in mind that earthly travail which I have gathered into my heart and now offer you in its entirety. Remold it, rectify it, recast it down to the depths from whence it springs. You know how your creatures can come into being only, like shoot from stem, as part of an endlessly renewed process of evolution. (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin)

Of old the Lord God banished from the garden of Eden our first parents after their disobedience, when they had dulled the eye of their heart through their sin, and weakened their mind’s discernment, and had fallen into death-like apathy. But, now, shall not paradise receive her, who broke the bondage of all passion, sowed the seed of obedience to God and the Father, and was the beginning of life to the whole human race? Will not heaven open its gates to her with rejoicing ? Yes, indeed. Eve listened to the serpent, adopted his suggestion, was caught by the lure of false and deceptive pleasure, and was condemned to pain and sorrow, and to bear children in suffering. With Adam she received the sentence of death, and was placed in the recesses of Hades. How can death claim as its prey this truly blessed one, who listened to God’s word in humility, and was filled with the Spirit, conceiving the Father’s gift through the archangel, bearing without concupiscence or the co-operation of man the Person of the Divine Word, who fills all things, bringing Him forth, without the pains of childbirth, being wholly united to God? How could Limbo open its gates to her ? How could corruption touch the life-giving body ? These are things quite foreign to the soul and body of God’s Mother. Death trembled before her. In approaching her Son, death had learnt experience from His sufferings, and had grown wiser. The gloomy descent to hell was not for her, but a joyous, easy, and sweet passage to heaven. If, as Christ, the Life and the Truth says: “Wherever I am, there is also my minister,” how much more shall not His mother be with Him? She brought Him forth without pain, and her death, also, was painless. The death of sinners is terrible, for in it, sin, the cause of death, is sacrificed. What shall we say of her if not that she is the beginning of perpetual life. Precious indeed is the death of His saints to the Lord God of powers. More than precious is the passing away of God’s Mother. Now let the heavens and the angels rejoice: let the earth and men be full of gladness. Let the air resound with song and canticle, and dark night put off its gloom, and emulate the brightness of day through the scintillating stars. The living city of the Lord God is assumed from God’s temple, the visible Sion, and kings bring forth His most precious gift, their mother, to the heavenly Jerusalem, that is to say, the apostles constituted princes by Christ, over all the earth, accompany the ever virginal Mother of God. (St. John Damascene)

Prayer:

O sweet gentle light! O principle and foundation of our salvation! Because in the light you saw our need, in this same light we see your eternal goodness, and knowing it, we love it.  O union and bond of you our Creator with your creature, and of your creature with you our Creator! With the cord of your charity you have bound us, and in your light you have given us light. So if we open the eye of our understanding with a will to know you, we know you, for your light enters into every soul who opens the gate of her will. For the light stands at the soul’s gate, and as soon as the gate is opened to it, the light enters, just like the sun that knocks at the shuttered window and, as soon as it is opened, comes into the house. So the soul has to have a will to know, and with that will she has to open her understanding’s eye, and then you, true Sun, enter the soul and flood her with the light that is yourself. And once you have entered, what do you do, light of compassion, within the soul? You dispel the darkness, and give her light (St. Catherine of Siena).

Day 7 (August 12)

As they were coming down the mountain,

he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen,

until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead (Mk. 9:9). 

Scripture:

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God--what is good and acceptable and perfect (Rm. 12:1-2).

Tradition:

If we want to get a sense of what was going on in the heart of Jesus as he climbed the mount of transfiguration, then we have to take into account in what period in Jesus’s life the transfiguration was.  The savior had already preached a good deal in Judea and Galilee; he had proclaimed that the kingdom of God had come, had taught how people were supposed to receive it, had stated clearly enough that he is the promised messiah and the true son of God.  He came unto his own and his own received him not….And so six days before the transfiguration, Jesus had predicted for the first time to the apostles his passion and death. Now we can get some sense of the sort of thoughts and feelings that might surely have filled the heart of the savior as, with his three chosen apostles, in the quiet of the evening he climbed a lone high mountain far from all people and their busy noise.   It will surely have been the feeling of pain over the ingratitude, hardheartedness, and unbelief of his people, thoughts of his coming passion, readiness and resolve for the cross, but also the anxiety and sadness of the Mount of Olives.

What does Jesus, in this mood of the holiest of hearts, then do?  He prays.  He goes away from human beings, he climbs a high mountain in order to hold converse, there in the quiet solitude of the mountain, in the restfulness of the long nights, with his father in Heaven, with his God, in whom that fate is meaningful, in whom even a defeat becomes a victory.  Jesus loved these nights of prayer that bring human beings, their decisions, and their fate before the face of the eternal one.  We read of these nights of prayer before the selection of the apostles, after the many miracles of healing in Capernaum, after the first multiplication of loaves of bread.  So Jesus prayed also in this mood at this period in his life.  There he will have prayed to the Father for his unbelieving people, for his apostles and disciples for faith and strength in the coming days of suffering.  He will have said to his Father: See, I come to do your will.  I am ready to drink the cup, to be baptized with the baptism of suffering.  Yes, it presses down upon me, until it is accomplished…. This, then, is the meaning of the transfiguration for Jesus himself: in the dark night of earthly hopelessness the light of God shines, a human heart finds in God the power which turns a dying into a victory and into the redemption of the world. (Karl Rahner)

Depart, O Queen, depart, not as Moses did who went up to die. Die rather that thou mayest ascend. Give up thy soul into the hands of thy Son. Return earth to the earth, it will be no obstacle. Lift up your eyes, O people of God. See in Sion the Ark of the Lord God of powers, and the apostles standing by it, burying the life-giving body which received our Lord. Invisible angels are all around in lowly reverence doing homage to the Mother of their Lord. The Lord Himself is there, who is present everywhere, and filling all things, the universal Being, not in place. He is the Author and Creator of all things. Behold the Virgin, the daughter of Adam and Mother of God; through Adam she gives her body to the earth, her soul to her Son above in the heavenly courts. Let the holy city be sanctified, and rejoice in eternal praise. Let angels precede the divine tabernacle on its passage, and prepare the tomb. Let the radiance of the spirit adorn it. Let sweet ointment be made ready and poured over the pure and undefiled body. Let a clear stream of grace flow from grace in its source. Let the earth be sanctified by contact with that body. Let the air rejoice at the Assumption. Let gentle breezes waft grace. Let all nature keep the feast of the Mother of God’s Assumption. May youthful bands applaud and eloquent tongues acclaim her, and wise hearts ponder on the wonder, priests hoary with age gather strength at the sight. Let all creation emulate heaven, even so the true measure of rejoicing would not be reached. (St. John Damascene)

Prayer:

When we go on discovering and admiring, and playing the noble game of life, we are in Transfiguration. When we feast in wonder and praise we live in Transfiguration. When we display vitality and hope we radiate Transfiguration. When women and men become fully alive they are with Christ on Mount Tabor bathed in Transfiguration. To Christ our Lord God and Savior who was transfigured on Mount Tabor be honor and glory for ever and ever.  Amen (Archbishop Joseph Raya).

Day 8 (August 13)

So they kept the matter to themselves,

questioning what this rising from the dead could mean (Mk. 9:10).

Scripture:

But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved (Phil. 3:20-21, 4:1).

Tradition:

They were talking to Him about resurrection,
about law, about the suffering ahead.
They were talking as if to remind Him who He was and
who they were. He was not

Like his three friends watching a little way off,
not like the crowd At the foot of the hill.
A grey-green thunderhead massed
from the sea

And God spoke from it and said He was His.
They were talking about how the body, broken or
burned,
could live again, remade.

Only the fiery text of the thunderhead could explain it.
And they were talking
About pain and the need for judgement
and how He would make Himself

A law of pain, both its spirit and its letter in His own
flesh,
and then break it,
That is, transcend it.
His clothes flared like magnesium. (St. John Henry Newman)

[Today] the living ladder, through whom the Most High descended and was seen on earth, and conversed with human, was assumed into heaven by death. Today the heavenly table, she, who contained the bread of life, the fire of the Godhead, without knowing man, was assumed from earth to heaven, and the gates of heaven opened wide to receive the gate of God from the East. Today the living city of God is transferred from the earthly to the heavenly Jerusalem, and she, who, conceived her first-born and only Son, the first-born of all creation, the only begotten of the Father, rests in the Church of the first-born: the true and living Ark of the Lord is taken to the peace of her Son. The gates of heaven are opened to receive the receptacle of God, who, bringing forth the tree of life, destroyed Eve’s disobedience and Adam’s penalty of death. And Christ, the cause of all life, receives the chosen mirror, the mountain from which the stone without hands filled the whole earth. She, who brought about the Word’s divine Incarnation, rests in her glorious tomb as in a bridal-chamber, whence she goes to the heavenly bridals, to share in the kingdom of her Son and God, leaving her tomb as a place of rest for those on earth. Is her tomb indeed a resting-place? Yes, more famous than any other, not shining with gold, or silver, or precious stones, nor covered with silken, golden, or purple adornments, but with the divine radiance of the Holy Spirit. The angelic state is not for lovers of this world, but the wondrous life of the blessed is for the servants of the Spirit, and passing to God is better and sweeter than any other life. This tomb is fairer than Eden. And that I may not speak of the enemy’s deceit, in the one; of his, so to say, clever counsel, his envy and covetousness, of Eve’s weakness and pliability, the bait, sure and tempting, which cheated her and her husband, their disobedience, exile, and death, not to speak of these things so as not to turn our feast into sorrow, this grave gave up the mortal body it contained to the heavenly country. Eve became the mother of the human family, and is not man made after the divine image, convicted by her condemnation; “earth thou art, and unto earth thou shalt return.” This tomb is more precious than the tabernacle of old, receiving the real and life-giving receptacle of the Lord, the heavenly table, not the loaves of proposition, but of heaven, not material fire, but her who contained the pure fire of the Godhead. This tomb is holier than the ark of Moses, blessed not with types and shadows, but the truth itself. It showed forth the pure and golden urn, containing the heavenly manna, the living tablet, receiving the Incarnate Word of God from the impress of the Holy Spirit, the golden censer of the supersubstantial word. It showed forth her who conceived the divine fire embalming all creation. (St. John Damascene)

Prayer:

O Lord, when you were transfigured on a high mountain in the presence of your foremost disciples, you radiated with glory, showing how those who lead an outstanding life of virtue will be made worthy of the glory of heaven. Elijah and Moses, conversing with the Lord, showed him to be the Lord of the living and the dead, God who spoke through the Law and the Prophets – the same to whom the Father’s voice bore witness out of the bright cloud saying: “Hear him, for it is he, through the cross, who despoiled the Abyss and granted eternal life to the dead (Byzantine Vespers).

Day 9 (August 14)

On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain,

a great crowd met him (Lk. 9:37).

Scripture:

A great portent appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pangs, in the agony of giving birth. Then another portent appeared in heaven: a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, so that he might devour her child as soon as it was born. And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. But her child was snatched away and taken to God and to his throne; and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God…. But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle, so that she could fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to her place where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. Then from his mouth the serpent poured water like a river after the woman, to sweep her away with the flood. But the earth came to the help of the woman; it opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her children, those who keep the commandments of God and hold the testimony of Jesus (Rev. 12: 1-6a, 14-17).

Tradition:

O Light Invisible, we praise Thee!
Too bright for mortal vision.
O Greater Light, we praise Thee for the less;
The eastern light our spires touch at morning,
The light that slants upon our western doors at evening,
The twilight over stagnant pools at batflight,
Moon light and star light, owl and moth light,
Glow-worm glowlight on a grassblade.
O Light Invisible, we worship Thee! 

We thank Thee for the lights that we have kindled,
The light of altar and sanctuary;
Small lights of those who meditate at midnight
And lights reflected from the polished stone,
The gilded carven wood, the colored fresco.
Our gaze is submarine, our eyes look upward
And see the light that fractures through unquiet water.
We see the light but see not whence it comes.
O Light Invisible, we glorify Thee! 

In our rhythm of earthly life we tire of light. We are glad when the day ends, when the play ends; and ecstasy is too much pain.
We are children quickly tired: children who are up in the night and fall asleep as the rocket is fired; and the day is long for work or play.
We tire of distraction or concentration, we sleep and are glad to sleep,
Controlled by the rhythm of blood and the day and the night and the seasons.
And we must extinguish the candle, put out the light and relight it;
Forever must quench, forever relight the flame. 

Therefore we thank Thee for our little light, that is dappled with shadow.
We thank Thee who hast moved us to building, to finding, to forming at the ends of our fingers and beams of our eyes.
And when we have built an altar to the Invisible Light, we may set thereon the little lights for which our bodily vision is made.
And we thank Thee that darkness reminds us of light.
O Light Invisible, we give Thee thanks for Thy great glory! (T.S. Eliot)

Come, let us depart with her. Come, let us descend to that tomb with all our heart’s desire. Let us draw round that most sacred bed and sing the sweet words, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Hail, predestined Mother of God. Hail, thou chosen one in the design of God from all eternity, most sacred hope of earth, resting-place of divine fire, holiest delight of the Spirit, fountain of living water, paradise of the tree of life, divine vine-branch, bringing forth soul-sustaining nectar and ambrosia. Full river of spiritual graces, fertile land of the divine pastures, rose of purity, with the sweet fragrance of grace, lily of the royal robe, pure Mother of the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, token of our redemption, handmaid and Mother, surpassing angelic powers.” Come, let us stand round that pure tomb and draw grace to our hearts. Let us raise the ever-virginal body with spiritual arms, and go with her into the grave to die with her. Let us renounce our passions, and live with her in purity, listening to the divine canticles of angels in the heavenly courts. Let us go in adoring, and learn the wondrous mystery by which she is assumed to heaven, to be with her Son, higher than all the angelic choirs. No one stands between Son and Mother. This, O Mother of God, is my third sermon on thy departure, in lowly reverence to the Holy Trinity to whom thou didst minister, the goodness of the Father, the power of the Spirit, receiving the Uncreated Word, the Almighty Wisdom and Power of God. Accept, then, my good-will, which is greater than my capacity, and give us salvation. Heal our passions, cure our diseases, help us out of our difficulties, make our lives peaceful, send us the illumination of the Spirit. Inflame us with the desire of thy son. Render us pleasing to Him, so that we may enjoy happiness with Him, seeing thee resplendent with thy Son’s glory, rejoicing for ever, keeping feast in the Church with those who worthily celebrate Him who worked our salvation through thee, Christ the Son of God, and our God. To Him be glory and majesty, with the uncreated Father and the all-holy and life-giving Spirit, now and for ever, through the endless ages of eternity. Amen. (St. John Damascene)

Prayer:

Your name, O spotless, holy Virgin, the powers and principalities now celebrate, Angels with the archangels, thrones and dominions all, Cherubim, too, and seraphim, aglow with awestruck, burning acclaim; So we, mere men and women, dare praise you, and call you blessed forever and ever!…. Come now, bring a torch, come join the festivity, Children of immortality; Acclaim the great transition of her who is Mother of God. Let us greet her: “Hail to you, most holy One, Virgin Mother of God for eternity!” Come now to this shrine, this mountain of holiness, Sion all-glorious; Let us celebrate, our faces shining with Mary’s radiance! For to a greater sanctuary, and to a holier tent Christ now brings his tabernacle glorious – To the temple in heaven’s Jerusalem… Take from our hands this solemn processional, Mother of mysteries! Keep us in the shade of your protecting hand, from shadows deliver us; And to our king give victory, to all your people give peace. To us sinners, pardon and deliverance: Bring us all to that bliss which we celebrate! (St. John Damascene)

Litany of the Transforming Light

V. Lord, have mercy on us.
R. Christ have mercy on us.

V. Lord, have mercy on us, Christ, hear us.
R. Christ, graciously hear us.

V. God the Father of heaven,
R. Have mercy on us.

V. God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
R. Have mercy on us.

V. God the Holy Spirit,

R. Have mercy on us.

V. Holy Trinity, one God,
R. Have mercy on us.

Lord Jesus, Word through whom God spoke and there was light, enlighten us.

Lord Jesus, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, “

Lord Jesus, whose face shone like the sun in the Transfiguration,

Lord Jesus, whose clothes became white as light on the holy mountain,

Lord Jesus, Dayspring who gives light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,

Lord Jesus, light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel,

Lord Jesus, in whom was life that was the light of the human race,

Lord Jesus, light shining in the darkness,

Lord Jesus, light whom the darkness has not overcome,

Lord Jesus, true light who enlightens everyone,

Lord, Jesus, light of the world,

Lord Jesus, who give the light of life to those who follow you,

Lord Jesus, whose face radiates the light of the knowledge of the glory of God,

Lord Jesus, whom we behold with unveiled face,

Lord Jesus, who transforms us into your likeness from one degree of glory to another,

Lord Jesus, in whom we are light and walk as children of the light,

Lord Jesus, who give light to those who sleep in death, 

Lord Jesus, who enables us to share the inheritance of the saints in light,

Lord Jesus, radiance of God’s glory,

Lord Jesus, who calls us out of darkness into your marvelous light,

Lord Jesus, Morning Star rising in our hearts,

Lord Jesus, Lamb who are the lamp giving light to the city of God,

 

Our Lady of the Transfiguration, enlighten our path

Our Lady of Light, “

Mother of the Light,

Mother of the Star which never sets,

Dawn of our salvation,

Beacon of hope,

Radiant mirror of justice,

Seat and light of wisdom,

Untarnished image of the Church,

Woman clothed with the sun,

Woman with the moon under her feet,

Woman crowned with twelve stars,

Woman assumed into glory,

V. Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, R. Spare us, O Lord.
V. Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, R. Graciously hear us, O Lord.
V. Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, R. Have mercy on us.

V. You were transfigured on the mountain, O Christ our God.

R. Let your everlasting Light shine upon us through the prayers of the Theotokos.

Let us pray.  

O God, who in the glorious Transfiguration
of your Only Begotten Son
confirmed the mysteries of faith by the witness of Moses and Elijah,
and wonderfully prefigured our full adoption as your children,
grant, we pray, to your servants,
that, listening to the voices of your beloved Son,
we may merit to become co-heirs with him.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Cf. Collect, Aug. 6, Roman Missal)

 

All-holy Father, eternal God, 

you prepared a royal throne for your Wisdom 

in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary; 

bathe your Church in the radiance of your life-giving Word, 

that, pressing forward on its pilgrim way in the light of your truth, 

it may come to the joy of a perfect knowledge of your love.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, 

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, 

one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Collect, Mary, Seat of Wisdom)

 

Archives