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St Gregory of Nyssa

The power of God is capable of finding hope where hope no longer exists, and a way where the way is impossible.

2 Cor 4: 16-18

Therefore, we are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.

Mary Eclipsing the Eclipse

Thank you dear Mother for taking me to where you wanted me on the Solemnity of the Annunciation. You always let me know where you want me with you on each of your feast days. This time, on April 8, 2024, it would be St. Patrick’s Basilica.

What I learned only a week before is that a total solar eclipse would be happening the same day. That’s no coincidence.

Comets, binary stars, galaxies, black holes and quasars. God created it all, beautifully made to display his infinite power. Within such majesty, He loves to play for us so we can gaze with constant childlike awe. It’s a never-ending abyss of intense grandeur. Carl Sagan said, “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”

This time, close to home, He wanted His mother to eclipse the eclipse on the Solemnity of the Annunciation. The anniversary of your hearing Gabriel tell you, a virgin, that you would conceive by the Holy Spirit’s power, God’s Son, our Saviour Jesus, made a solar eclipse seem insignificant by comparison. Only the Father can do that for us.

My sister Catherine sent me a link two days before. Its title, Fatima, Divine Mercy and the Solar Eclipse, Google ranked number one out of 423,000.

I had no interest in reading anything of the superfluous spiritual speculation about what God is up to with the eclipse and Solemnity occurring together. I just wanted to rest with you Holy Mother in the truth that “God now at work in us [in the universe] can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.” (Eph 3:20-21)

So off I drove for Mass in Ottawa, about two hours. At my usual stop, St. Joseph’s On the Opeongo, I met a wonderful family who, in their celestial excitement offered me protective solar glasses.

Ottawa would see 99 percent full coverage starting at 2 pm, peaking at 3:25 and ending just as Mass began at 4:30. I arrived at about 2:30.

Never had I seen so many gathered outside, gazing skyward, glasses secured, into the western sky. I wondered how many knew it was the Solemnity of an infinitely greater event 2000 years ago.


As I’ve always done at St. Pat’s, I sat near the front within clear view of the Resurrection stained glass window high above and behind the altar in the sanctuary. It was nine days after Easter Sunday. With about 10 others, in silence, praying, a peace seemed to surround the entire earth.

I just rested in something beautiful about to take place. The bright sunlight plunging through the Resurrection window started fading slowly, silently, strangely as if evening descended. The darkness was strong but never totally hiding the Risen Lord.

As the moon continued its journey, the darkness started yielding to the light, gradually returning to its original intensity.

You, Mother of God, made me aware of the Truth that whatever the darkness and suffering in my life, it cannot completely block the Light of Christ shining in His risen glory. St. Paul’s words came immediately, “For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts to bring to light the knowledge of the glory of God on the face of (Jesus) Christ…For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Just as full sunshine returned, Fr Steve, the alter servers and readers entered to begin Mass.

I then remembered the Palm Sunday vigil Mass at the Basilica. I watched the timing of the sun's “descent” through the same Resurrection stained glass window. As Fr Stephen moved words of Consecration the sun shone through the heart of the Risen Lord.

Thank you and praise to you Almighty Father for these two Resurrection events. Thank you for your love showered on all creation, giving us the joy of your Mother, Mary, eclipsing the eclipse.




 



ACTS 4:11-12

"This Jesus is ‘the stone that was rejected by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.’ There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among human beings by which we must be saved."