Post tenebras spero lucem


These days there are many unfavorable comments about Pope Francis all over the Internet, there are also reports about the Pope declaring this or that outrageous thing. Many of us are disconcerted because we can’t quite trust the media and we cannot be researching all the time about the accuracy or even the veracity of such statements.

I have defended Pope Francis in the past when his words were obviously distorted, I have defended his passion in seeking those who are “in the peripheries of the human condition,” something that Our Lord did without any doubt. Having said that I am on the other side of the fence when it comes to have a monument to Luther in the Vatican gardens, for example – and that will be the only example used here to avoid a litany of shocking actions – so many that I can’t honestly research them all.

I do not claim to know what is going on in the the upper echelons of the Church’s hierarchy. I rather follow the example of David: “I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.” Psalm 131:1 – I am a mere soldier.

My line of reasoning is simple:

  • I know God is in control
  • I know God is good
  • I know God is a benefactor

Everything that God gives us – even those things that appear to be bad – will work for our benefit. Father John Hardon, SJ used to say that Christ selected Judas, among other things, to let us know how bad bishops look like. That is a very profound insight. We must walk with Judas and the other eleven if we want to walk with Jesus. There will be bad bishops and some will be the Bishop of Rome. We had a few bad apples there in the past and the Church survived because God is in control, God is good, God is a benefactor and everything He gives us will work for our benefit. We admit that much every Easter when we recite the O felix culpa … “O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam which gained for us so great a Redeemer!” Without Adam’s fall there is no redemption by Jesus. One only has to be patient and let the hand of God work. The results are guaranteed to be perfect.

Post tenebras spero lucem means “I hope for the light that follows darkness” [1] because we know that since the first days of this Earth, every night has been followed by a morning, every sunset by a sunrise. That is God’s system: order emerges from chaos, the radiant dawn follows the darkest hour of night. Since we are going through a time of darkness in so many ways, we should expect a luminous morning to dawn on us at any time. The night before the Crucifixion Peter denied the Lord in front of the people of Jerusalem… but only five weeks later Peter’s courageous words drew many into the Church at Pentecost. There is a Peter of darkness and a Peter of light. In the end all worked out well for the Church.

St John Paul II confirms this vision of the Pentecost in his homily of May 31, 1998:

“In the Acts of the Apostles, Luke presents them to us gathered in the Upper Room in prayer with the Mother of Jesus (cf. Acts 1:14). What better words than these could express their prayer: “Veni, Sancte Spiritus” — the invocation, that is, of the one who moved over the face of the waters at the beginning of the world (cf. Genesis 1:2), whom Jesus had promised them as the Paraclete?  The hearts of Mary and the Apostles at those moments were longing for his coming, alternating between ardent faith and the confession of human inadequacy. The Church’s piety has interpreted and passed on this sentiment in the hymn “Veni, Sancte Spiritus”. The Apostles know that the work Christ has entrusted to them is arduous, but decisive for the history of humanity’s salvation. Will they be able to complete it? The Lord reassures their hearts. At every step of the mission that will lead them to proclaim and witness to the Gospel to the furthest corners of the globe, they will be able to count on the Spirit promised by Christ.The Apostles, recalling Christ’s promise on the days between the Ascension and Pentecost, will focus their every thought and sentiment on that veni — come!”

That day of Pentecost, 33 a.D. the disciples had gone through the pain of Calvary, the shame of their own cowardice, the contemplation of Christ’s Resurrection, the great relief of knowing themselves pardoned for their inadequacy, and finally the joy of receiving the great commission of evangelizing mankind. The darkness of their own failure before the Cross was transformed by Jesus into a luminous mission that would send them to the ends of the world proclaiming the arrival of the eternal kingdom of justice. Post tenebras spero lucem.

In this our moment of darkness we enjoy some advantages that the early disciples did not have. First, we know that light comes to dispel gloom. It has happened many times. In fact we know that: the deeper our present darkness is, the brighter tomorrow’s light will be. We can prepare ourselves for this New Pentecost. Our hope should be much stronger than that of the disciples of 33 a.D. since we have two millennia of experience that they did not have back then.

We must prepare for the extraordinary evangelization that will shine bright upon us very soon. We have to know the faith and help others to know it even if the Church hierarchy is busy doing other less important things. One thing we learned in this last 2,000 years is that every time our leaders lost the way, it was the simple faithful who kept the faith intact until God sent them better pastors.

This modest blog is the “tip of the iceberg” of a continuous effort to help in the new evangelization of the world. Our Blessed Mother, the Morning Star, has been up guiding us for 100 years, since the days of Fatima, reflecting the light of the Sun hiding just below the horizon. The last hour of darkness is passing quickly. Prepare for battle as the morning breaks.

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and self-discipline. – 2 Timothy 1:7

I have set the LORD always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. – Psalm 16:8

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You. – Isaiah 26:3

But they that are learned shall shine as the brightness of the firmament: and they that instruct many to justice, as stars for all eternity. –  Daniel 12:3 Douay-Rheims

[1] From the Vulgata Latina, Job 17: 11-13

11 Dies mei transierunt cogitationes meaedissipatae sunt torquentes cor meum.
12 Noctem verterunt in diem et rursum post tenebras spero lucem.
13 si sustinuero infernus domus mea esta intenebris stravi lectulum meu.

11 My days have passed away, my thoughts no longer torment my heart.
12 Night has turned into day,  I now hope for the light that follows darkness.
13  And I have made my bed in darkness as my house has become my grave.


2 thoughts on “Post tenebras spero lucem

  1. Excellent as always. The days and the seasons are powerful analogues or living metaphors for the dynamic balance of opposites that enable free will to exist. Am reading Tom Bethell’s Darwin’s House of Cards – more than halfway through. I am reading it with a thought in mind that came to me years ago as a possible insight. The thought was that the cost of free will is immense, nearly uncountable. We poor creatures are so easily blown off track by puffery that we have to be protected from certain TV commercials. Peter fled the courtyard after being pointed out as a possible disciple. So how can God, for whom the universe is but a thought, hide Himself in plain sight so that we, his creatures, can exercise our free will? He becomes the still, small, voice in the midst of tumult, earthquakes, fire and wind.

    If the sun is the analogue for divine love, and the cold darkness of space is the analogue for sin, then our living arrangement (the earth) must be placed at a perfect distance from the all-consuming Love and the complete negation of vacuous cold-dead space. It is 93,000,000 miles. A curious number, at least in miles, with the suggestive 9 and 3 making 12 making 3. But that is not enough. The habitat must be spun like a rotisserie to spread the life giving light. That in turns means that light and dark have to alternate in equal measure lest one become overwhelming. But even that is not enough, there is a heavenly body placed close enough to the habitat that it appears as an equal diameter to the sun. The moon mediates the darkness at night with reflection of the Divine Love. It is much closer to us. We have touched it. And it drives our tides. Even so, it is only full for a time and waxes and wanes even to the point of going dark. All of this has been done so that we are not to be overwhelmed with forces we haven’t the strength to resist. In the tension between all of these forces and negations, we are able to point our feeble wills – either toward the light or toward the dark. The whole set-up has been done to enable us to choose.

    And in the analogy or living metaphor, there are seasons and phases and the rising of light and the setting of light. It is always there, but our sight of it is lost according to seasons and phases and hours. When we are not paying attention, when we are distracted, renewal is always a surprise. Yet, renewal is designed in. If it were not, the darkness would prevail.

    What does this have to do with Darwin’s House of Cards? Just this. Darwin, atheists, materialists and progressives can’t believe in free will, only materialistic determinism. Mind is an attribute of molecular arrangements. The science that they have hidden behind for a hundred and fifty years, is moving away from them and revealing their utter nakedness. One cannot have free will and progress for the simple reason that the one is a moral consideration and the other is a material consideration. The progressives deny the moral dimension (whether they are aware of the denial or not). They are interested in making the “new man” that will, by material composition alone, end suffering. Increasing perfection by micro-steps “guided” by natural selection (and of course a conscious raised elite vanguard to help natural selection along at gunpoint). Ha! Suffering is ultimately a moral issue. And the Darwinistas are forgetting about the seasons!!! The play of light and dark. The cycles that flesh is heir to.

    The latest data from the evolution field shows that mutations and adaptions tend to return to center when temporary environmental challenges are removed. It’s all about the seasons! Thank you for your insights.

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  2. Progressives are people who wholly reject the past as a source of wisdom, declaring it ‘outdated, but believe they can know the future. Their certainty that their ideas will take us to Utopia is unshakeable.

    Aye, Mr Darwin is in serious trouble. The mathematicians and information theorists, in particular, have found him out. Unlike Christianity, his is a religion that can actually be disproven. And that master of mathematicians, Mr Gödel, has holed the positivists well below the water-line.

    A fine essay, Carlos, very apt as we head towards Lent.

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