Christ the Sun; Mary the Moon

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"Christ the Sun; Mary the Moon" by Kathryn Swegart (CatholicMom.com)

Image credit: By Dominic Brugger, FreelyPhotos.com, CC0/PD

Last month, the Snow Moon was an internet sensation. Did you see it and wonder about the phenomenon? By now you may know that the Snow Moon is the second full moon of the year, occurring during the snowiest month, and refers to times when the Moon is closest to the Earth in its monthly orbit around our planet.

The gigantic moon was poetry in motion. From Las Vegas to London, San Francisco to Athens, Sister Moon stole the show. Photographers captured her in full blossom-bright pink behind the Empire State Building and hovering over the Parthenon in Greece. She was the backdrop for a casino in Las Vegas and a lighthouse on the Great Lakes. I counted ten major news outlets that rhapsodized about the celestial event.

Snow Moon was a colossal magnet in the sky, teaching weary inhabitants of this world to look up from their computers, from their worries, and see transcendent beauty in the sky. For a brief time, Earth’s satellite brought the world closer together. Sister Moon struck a chord deep inside us.

This hoopla got me thinking about the moon in another way. I once heard a priest describe the Blessed Mother’s relationship with Jesus in a poetic way. Christ is like the sun who reflects His light onto Mary, who is like the moon.

In a sense, the moon is the handmaid of the sun. It has no light of its own. Our satellite shines only through the gracious light of the sun. Think of how soft moonlight is as it beams down on a glistening field of grass. It is like the gentle touch of a mother.

Now imagine a full moon hanging in the night sky. Our sinful nature is like the blackness of deep space. Here we try to hide from His blinding light of truth. He is the “hound of heaven” calling us back. We cower under cover of night. Theologian Mark Chapman writes,

The light of Christ reflects off of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the midst of darkness, as the light of the sun reflecting off of the moon.

Ponder anew the familiar face of a full moon. It is the same light as sunlight. Call it a gentler light. Think deeper. Mary shines the unbroken light of her Son-a pure reflection of His saving power.

Super snow moon, in its beauty, drew the world closer. So Mary can draw us closer to her Son.


Copyright 2019 Kathryn Swegart

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About Author

Kathryn Griffin Swegart was born in Boston and holds a Master’s degree from Boston College. Married since 1981, she and her husband have raised three children on a gentleman’s farm in rural Maine. Amidst dairy goats, chickens, and gardens, they homeschooled for twenty years. They enjoy tending their apple orchard, volunteering at church, and visiting their nine grandchildren. Kathryn is a professed member of the Secular Franciscan Order. She is the author of the popular book Heavenly Hosts: Eucharistic Miracles for Kids, now in its second edition. Her book Perilous Days was awarded the Seal of Approval by the Catholic Writer's Guild. Visit her website at kathrynswegart.com.

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