Novena to the Transforming Light (August 12-14; Days 7-9)
August 12, 2023
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.

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).
Thus it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living being’; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first, but the physical, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. (1 Cor 15: 45-47)
Come down, Peter! You wanted to rest on the mount. Come down and “preach the word, be instant in season, out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.” Persevere, work hard, bear your measure of torture — so that you might possess what is meant by the white garment of the Lord, through the brightness and the beauty of an upright labor in charity …Hear and listen, O covetous one: the Apostle explains clearly to you in another place: “Let no man seek his own, but another’s.” He says of himself, “Not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.” This Peter did not yet understand when he desired to live on the mount with Christ. He was reserving this for you, Peter, after death. But for now He says, “Come down, to labor on the earth; on the earth to serve, to be despised, and crucified on the earth. The Life came down, that He might be slain; the Bread came down, that He might hunger; the Way came down, that life might be wearied in the way; the Fountain came down, that He might thirst; and yet you refuse to work? Seek not your own. Have charity, preach the truth; so shall you come to eternity, where you shall find security.” (St. Augustine of Hippo)

The [Solemnity] of the Assumption is a strong appeal to us to live “ever intent upon heavenly things,” and not to allow ourselves to be carried away by the vicissitudes and seductions of the world. Not only was our soul created for heaven, but also our body, which, after the resurrection, will be welcomed into our heavenly home and admitted to a participation in the glory of the spirit. Today we contemplate in Mary, our Mother, this total glorification of our humanity. That which has been wholly realized in her, will be realized for us, as well as for all the saints, only at the end of time. This privilege was very fitting for her, the all-pure, the all-holy one, whose body was never touched by even the faintest shadow of sin. but was always the temple of the Holy Spirit, and became the immaculate tabernacle of the Son of God. It is a reminder to us to ennoble our whole life, not only that of the spirit, but also that of the senses, elevating it to the heights of the celestial life which awaits us. “O Mother of God and of men,” exclaims [Venerable Pope] Pius XII in his beautiful prayer for the Assumption, “we beg you to purify our senses, so that we may begin to enjoy God here on earth and Him alone, in the beauty of creatures.” (Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene)

David, the ancestor of God,
foreseeing in spirit the sojourn with mankind of the Only-begotten Son in the flesh
called the creation together to rejoice with him,
and prophetically lifted up his voice to cry:
“Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in Your name!”
For having gone up the mount with Your disciples,
You were transfigured, O Christ,
and made Adam’s darkened image to shine again as lightning,
transforming it into the glory and splendor of Your own divinity. (Orthodox Vespers of the Transfiguration)
Sing, O people! Sing the praises of the mother of our God:
for today, she delivers her soul, full of Light,
into the immaculate hands of Him Who was made incarnate of her without seed.
And she entreats Him without ceasing
to grant the earth peace and great mercy!

Come, O people, let us sing the praises of the pure and most holy Virgin
from whom the Word of the Father ineffably came forth in the flesh!
Let us cry aloud and say:
Blessed are you among women
and blessed is the womb that held Christ!
Having delivered your soul into His holy hands
O most pure one, entreat Him to save our souls. (Orthodox Vespers of the Dormition)

Day 8 (August 13)

So they kept the matter to themselves,
questioning what this rising from the dead could mean (Mk. 9:10).
As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we will also bear the image of the man of heaven. (1 Cor 15:48-49)
Christ was transfigured to manifest the glory of the cross, to console Peter and the others in their dread of the Passion and to bring their minds to elevated understanding. Those who went up with him did not hold their peace but were destined to speak of the glory which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem—of his Passion and the glory of the cross. And not only did Jesus elevate their understanding, but also he brought their virtues to a higher level, so that they could meet the requirements expected of them. He had just said, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” He then set before them Moses and Elijah, who were ready to die ten thousand times for God’s decrees and for the people entrusted to them. Each of them, having lost his life, found it. For each of them both spoke boldly to tyrants, the one to the Egyptian, the other to Ahab. They spoke on behalf of heartless and disobedient people. They were brought into extreme danger by the very persons who were saved by them. Both desired to lead people away from idolatry. These were not eloquent men. Moses was slow of tongue and dull of speech. Elijah had the crudest sort of appearance. Both were strict observers of voluntary poverty. Moses did not work for worldly gain. Elijah did not possess anything more than his sheepskin. (St. John Chrysostom)
No other solemnity breathes, like this one, at once triumph and peace; none better answers to the enthusiasm of the many and the serenity of souls consummated in love. Assuredly that was as great a triumph when our Lord, rising by his own power from the tomb, cast hell into dismay; but to our souls, so abruptly drawn from the abyss of sorrows on Golgotha, the suddenness of the victory caused a sort of stupor to mingle with the joy of that greatest of days. In presence of the prostrate Angels, the hesitating Apostles, the women seized with fear and trembling, one felt that the divine isolation of the Conqueror of death was perceptible even to his most intimate friends, and kept them, like Magdalene, at a distance.

Mary’s death, however, leaves no impression but peace; that death had no other cause than love. Being a mere creature, she could not deliver herself from that claim of the old enemy; but leaving her tomb filled with flowers, she mounts up to heaven, flowing with delights, leaning upon her Beloved.  Amid the acclamations of the daughters of Sion, who will henceforth never cease to call her blessed, she ascends surrounded by choirs of heavenly spirits joyfully praising the Son of God. Nevermore will shadows veil, as they did on earth, the glory of the most beautiful daughter of Eve. Beyond the immovable Thrones, beyond the dazzling Cherubim, beyond the flaming Seraphim, onward she passes, delighting the heavenly city with her sweet perfumes. She stays not till she reaches the very confines of the Divinity; close to the throne of honor where her Son, the King of ages, reigns in justice and in power; there she is proclaimed Queen, there she will reign for evermore in mercy and in goodness. (Dom Prosper Gueranger)


When the chosen apostles beheld upon the mountain of the Transfiguration
the overwhelming flood of Your Light, O unoriginate Christ,
and Your unapproachable divinity,
they were caught up into a divine trance.
The cloud of Light shone around them on every side.
They heard the voice of the Father
confirming the mystery of Your Incarnation,
for even after taking flesh, You remain the Only-begotten Son,
and the Savior of the world! (Orthodox Vespers of the Transfiguration)

Come, O people, let us sing today to Christ our God a song of David!
“The virgins that follow her,” he said, “shall be brought to the King.
With joy and gladness shall they be brought!”
For she, through whom we have been deified, is of the seed of David,
and gloriously and ineffably commends herself into the hands of her own Son and Master!
Praising her as the Mother of God
we cry out to her and say:
Save us who confess you, O Theotokos,
from all distress and tribulation!  (Orthodox Vespers of the Dormition)

Day 9 (August 14)

On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him (Lk. 9:37).
For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, (1 Cor 15:53-54)
Even in this world we are God’s children by grace. What we are going to become as a result of this adoption had not yet appeared. It will appear when God’s lightenings have shaken the earth to its foundations, and those who have been justified will rise to glory. “They will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father”. Their bodies will be resplendent like that of Christ on Tabor; they will be transfigured by the very same clarity that illuminates the incarnate Word. Saint Paul makes it clear: “He will refashion this lowly body of ours, conforming it to the likeness of his own glorified body”. We shouldn’t assume that on the holy mountain the sacred humanity of the Lord was endowed with all the splendor now beaming from it in Heaven. The disciples saw only a single ray of that glory—yet it was enough to lift them out of themselves. It was an overflowing of the Godhead upon the sacred humanity. Eternal life was always hidden in Christ, but at that hour something of that light flamed out from its glowing center and set his very body on fire. It was no borrowed light, coming from without, but rather a manifestation of the ineffable majesty always contained and concealed within our Lord. For love of us, Jesus usually hid the divine life that was in him under the guise of mortal flesh and blood. At the transfiguration the Word set his glory free to irradiate the humanity he has assumed. What we must be convinced of is that holiness consists in our likeness to Christ Jesus. It is a flowing through us of the divine life. It is not perfect now nor is it something we achieve of ourselves. Our baptism was a dawning of this holiness through the grace of Christ. As Scripture puts it: “God predestined us to be conformed to the image of the Son”. Little by little this likeness grows. Our work is to be faithful to the action of the Holy Spirit, as deepening and developing it even to the fullness of eternal life. The Spirit does this by teaching us to love one another truly and daily. Then, when the Kingdom has fully come, all will be able to see the transformation that has taken place. It will be an inexhaustible spring of joy for us. It will be our divine adoption made perfect by our sharing of the Trinitarian life that is divine love. (Bl. Columba Marmion)
Mary bore only one Son. In heaven, he is the only-be-gotten of the Father; on earth, likewise, he is the only-begotten of his mother. She is the only virgin mother and glories in having borne the only-begotten of the Father, embracing that same only-begotten of hers in all his members. Therefore, she is not confused when she is called the mother of all in whom she recognizes her Christ brought to full stature, or in whom she knows he is continually growing…. Thus the Blessed Mother of Christ, knowing that she is the mother of all Christians by reason of this mystery, shows herself a mother also by her care and loving attention. For her heart is not hardened against these children as if they were not her own; her womb carried a child only once, yet it remains ever fruitful, never ceasing to bring forth the fruits of her motherly compassion…. Then again, is it not true that her children seem to recognize her as their mother? They manifest a kind of instinctive devotion which faith gives them as second nature, so that first and foremost in all their needs and dangers they run to call upon her name just as children run to their mother’s breast. So I think it is quite reasonable to understand of these children the promise of the prophet to her: Your children shall live in you, provided that the prophecy is always understood to refer principally to the Church. Actually we already dwell in the help of the mother of the Most High; we do live in her protection, as if under the shadow of her wings. And afterward by participating in her glory we shall be cherished as if we were in her bosom.  (Bl. Guerric of Igny)
O Lord, today, on Mount Tabor,
You have revealed the glory of Your divine image
to your chosen disciples, Peter, James and John.
For they looked upon Your garments that gleamed as the Light,
and at Your face that shone more than the sun!
Unable to endure the vision of Your brightness which none can bear,
they fell to the earth, powerless to lift up their gaze,
for they heard a voice that spoke from above:
“This is My beloved Son
Who has come into the world to save mankind! (Orthodox Vespers of the Transfiguration)

O pure and most holy Virgin,
the multitude of angels in heaven and mankind on earth
extol and venerate your falling asleep,
for you are the mother of Christ our God and Creator of all.
Never cease to intercede with Him on our behalf
for next to God we have put our hope in you,
O greatly-honored, unwedded Theotokos! (Orthodox Vespers of the Dormition)

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