The upstairs windows are washed, and the glass and crystal knick-knacks on the top of the sash and sill have been wiped off. Looking out, I notice the seventy-foot maple in the neighbor’s yard is tipped in dark red. Within a week, it will flash its fall color, a glowing dark-orange.
In front of the east window, hanging from the curtain rod just below the valance is a nylon string with clear multi-faceted prisms and hand-made beads. Dozens of vibrant rainbows are drifting across the butter-yellow walls in the gabled room. The prisms are bending the crisp autumn sunlight into these splashes of color, and my office feels bright, cheery and warmed.
I have been working on a manuscript for a new book and find myself reflecting on the Fruits of the Spirit, and there are twelve: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity (CCC1832).
I see the Fruits of the Spirit in much the same way as the colors resulting from the prism in my window. When sunlight enters into the prism and bends as it exits, a rainbow is seen. In this rainbow, I see an analogy: we are the prism in which God bends himself, His Holy Spirit, through us.
We have read in the Bible, in both Romans 12:6-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:4-12, how each of us has unique gifts but are all of one body. Depending on how we are gifted by His design, and shaped by our rearing, we will change or bend the light of God’s Holy Spirit, dispersing His Light into spiritual colors through faith, hope, and charity, the virtues that are infused into our souls.
We are mentally and spiritually altered when we realize the Light of God is within us. With this awareness, we interact in a new way to the people around us. Those who see this light, or spiritual fruitfulness in us, may also be changed. They may open their hearts to His Light, and, once open, they too become a prism revealing the warmth and brightness of faith.
I think God wants us to be spiritually radiant, to bring His Light into a world grown dim. In order to be, as Gandhi said, the change we wish to see in the world, we first need to accept how we are changed to reveal the spectrum of this holy light.
I delight when I see colors and how they play about in my world, and I find joy in the colors of God’s Light. You, dear reader, are part of that glow.
Copyright 2012 Margaret Rose Realy
Read more reflections and prayers by Margaret Rose Realy, Obl OSB, at Morning Rose Prayer Garden, on Patheos Catholic channel.