Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wednesday Afternoon Lights

Praying with a full heart in the transept chapel of our church last Wednesday, Thanksgiving eve, I received a mighty jolt as a gracious light illuminated Jesus Christ's face in the icon that hangs over our rack of votive candles. I thought it must've been filtering through the branches and leaves of a tree growing on the south side of the church.

Last week, the light moved directly over the child's face in the center of the image. This week (you knew I'd check!), the upper-right corner of the icon began to glow at about 12:03 p.m. The circular wash, smaller than last week, again moved from north to south along the wall, this time just grazing the top of Mary's halo. I took the above-left photo at about 12:07. The photo at right, from last week, shows the light heading south, away from its (and therefore my) startling encounter with mother and child. As for what's changed in seven days, I'm sure declination and right ascension have something to do with it.

Being of a thoroughly scientific, post-Enlightenment bent, this week I tried to establish the source, which, rather than being a direct beam through a southerly window, was apparently a reflection involving the east-facing windows high in the chapel wall. I jumped up and down and waved my hands back and forth, but I couldn't reach high enough to be able to say which window or combination of windows was producing the effect. Probably better that way.

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