EARTH HOUR: where were you when the lights went out?


Earth hour 2010: The hour when millions of people all over the world switch off the lights to make a stand against climate change. ‘Yes’, I thought when I heard that, ‘What a good idea!’  Then alas, I forgot about it but others remembered and now I’m so glad that they did! 

It so happened that this was the occasion when a small international group of our younger sisters – English, Irish, French, Romanian and Maltese – had come to spend the week-end with us.  They came to pray, share and reflect together on the life and charism of our founder, Marie Madeleine.  By 8.30 on Saturday evening, we were sitting around the table talking and enjoying a leisurely meal together.  We heard about how much our guests were enjoying their time together, about how inspirational it had been to reflect again on Marie Madeleine’s life, her spiritual legacy and its relevance for our own times. Then someone remembered Earth Hour and all lights were switched off!

This left us sitting around our oval table in a sea of darkness. There was candlelight only, dancing on faces, on hands, on plates.  We had formed a kind of human lantern around the flickering light and our group took on an added intimacy.  I thought immediately of Caravaggio’s wonderful painting, Supper at Emmaus, depicting Jesus breaking bread with two of his disciples. In the painting, he is engaging them in spiritual conversation and their faces are brightened by the special light of Jesus’ presence. And here were we sisters, Faithful Companions of Jesus, from five countries, privileged to be sharing bread and food and thoughts – a Eucharistic experience which had been richly enhanced by our decision to take part, with millions of others  , in Earth Hour 2010.

Our founder Marie Madeleine always treated God’s gifts with respect and reverence.  For her it was an important part of religious poverty not to waste or abuse the gifts of God’s creation.  Climate Change would not have been part of her vocabulary but I’m sure that she would have been happy to join our human lantern around the table for Earth Hour 2010.  In fact, in spirit I reckon she did just that!

One Response to “EARTH HOUR: where were you when the lights went out?”

  1. Claire T fcJ Says:

    Je suis émerveillée de voir comment ce moment fut riche pour les unes et les autres et que cela soit exprimé de façon si poétique. L’image de la mer “sea of darkness” avec tous les reflets qui s’y projettent me parle beaucoup et je pense que cela représente ce que j’ai vécu à ce moment là. Merci beaucoup d’avoir su l’exprimer et de le partager.

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