[The Lord of Silence: general index]

24    Inner Light

(John 1:4-5; 3:19; 8:12; Romans 13:12; 1 Peter 2:9)

Surely silent worship favours the perception of an inner light that comes from God - a light unseen by human eyes but spiritual that comes from on high to illumine human consciousness and reason.

For the Christian the divine light of truth and life was revealed by Christ Jesus and is still expressed through him, whenever and wherever the Word is preached. All this is equally true for Quakers from George Fox on. Fox said that every one was illuminated by the divine light of Christ.

However, since the light and the spirit existed before the Scriptures were revealed, this light can be perceived by everyone, even without the Scriptures and independent of them. The encounter with the light makes the believer responsible - "good stewards of God's varied grace" (1 Peter 4:10). The steward faces the divine giver, his neighbour, and every other creature ready to seek his will and live according to the written and unwritten Word.

In order to bring the gift of the inner light into expression it is doubtless necessary to create an opening by retiring if only briefly from the clamour and worries of the world - in silence perhaps in solitude or also in the heart of community worship. If one succeeds to some degree, it is truly possible to live that light, to see what is good to do and what is not, good to say and not, good to nurture and good to abandon. One can become a conscious worker for peace and justice, a witness to truth, and an ambassador to the Kingdom of heaven.

Just as we are, with our humble powers able to accomplish only small things measured by the yardstick of all human society, we can let the inner light of Christ illumine us. Thus we express that a divine spark lives in us and so can more easily become his co-workers. "For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building." (1 Corinthians 3:9)

Verbania, 24 VIII 1991

Translation by George T. Peck

[Original Italian]

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