These last few days have seen some major media attention on the full lunar eclipse of the sun which passed through 10 different US states in the space of 90 minutes. An eclipse is always an impressive thing. One commentator in the US who witnessed it said it was “a religious experience.”
Not sure what he meant by that; perhaps like many natural wonders he meant it was a numinous experience, something that takes one out of oneself reminding one of the transcendent and omnipotent Divine. Well I can relate to that. I was in Ephesus at the shrine of the House of Mary (Miryam) in August 1999 when a total eclipse was witnessed by millions from Falmouth to Syria and more. I will always remember that strange sensation when the sky turns dark and the temperature drops [though at the height of summer in Turkey that’s not much of a drop] and you feel that bizarre wonderment of being in the midst of something almost apocalyptic. By that I mean an “unveiling” of something rather than an end of the world/doomsday type of thing.
The “unveiling” for me that day at the last earthly home of the Queen of Heaven where she was assumed body and soul in to heaven was one of a new realisation that like Mary, we too as disciples of the Lord must be “lunar” models of the Church. That is to say, like the moon we must reflect the light of Christ in the darkness of the world around us so often without that light. We must shine as reflectors of His glory and wonder. We will never do it as beautifully as Mary Immaculate for unlike her we all too often “eclipse” the light of Jesus by our sins. But it’s by turning often to Her who is the Refuge of Sinners, who has the Moon at her feet as a symbol of her sovereign power and closeness to the Redeemer, that we will shine once again with grace and truth and beauty. In these days of continued commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima and her monthly messages to the child seers and through them to us, let us renew efforts to be close to Her through the power of the daily rosary. We face uncertain futures in this fragile world so full of terror, war and threat of devastating war. The Holy Rosary is and must be our preferred weapon of choice to fight the ultimate battle we all face every single moment of every single day.