My Light and My Salvation – Seek His Face

Pope St. John Paul II reading Psalm 27.

Dominus Illuminatio Mea” – “the Lord is my light” are the first words of Psalm 27…

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?

The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Is the darkened state of the world wearing you down? You are not alone – the whole of humanity seems to be in the same miserable boat – fearing enemies around every corner. Jesus reminds us that “Fear is useless, what is needed is trust.” (Luke 8:50)

Pope St. John Paul II, “the light of Poland,” certainly lived through some very dark times, yet he never lost his faith, his hope, or his joy. He found profound inspiration, and comfort, in Psalm 27. From the time of King David, the psalms have been a source of comfort to souls living through the darkness of trials down through the centuries. The very meaning of the word “comfort” is “with strength.” It is the strength that comes from trusting in God, knowing that in spite of the odds, God will bring about our rescue.

When evildoers come at me to devour my flesh,

These my enemies and foes themselves stumble and fall.

Though an army encamp against me, my heart does not fear;

Though war be waged against me, even then do I trust.”

Divine Mercy

We may “visit Him in His temple.” But, our bodies are also a temple; a temple of the Holy Spirit. We may seek God’s Face within the temple of our souls, “with shouts of joy, songs and praise,” in faith, hope, and trust. Jesus, I trust in You!

One thing I ask of the LORD; this I seek:

To dwell in the LORD’s house all the days of my life,

To gaze on the LORD’s beauty, to visit his temple.

For God will hide me in his shelter in time of trouble,

Will conceal me in the cover of His tent;

and set me high upon a rock.

Even now my head is held high above my enemies on every side!

I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy;

I will sing and chant praise to the LORD.

“Illumina Domine Vultum Tuam Super Nos — Mane Nobiscum, Domine!” “Lord, let the light of Your Face shine upon us — Remain with us, Lord!”

As Bl. Carlo Acutis once said, “Sadness is looking at oneself, happiness is looking at God. Conversion is nothing but a movement of the eyes.” To seek God’s Face is to be in His life-giving presence. He will hear His children when they call. He does not abandon them to their enemies. His gaze is always upon us; we need only to turn the gaze of our hearts toward Him. He will not reject us, because He is love and mercy itself! He will guide us, defend us, save us…if only we “believe, take courage,” are “stouthearted,” and “wait”…for Him!

The Holy Face of Jesus, a miracle “written in light” on the Veil of Manoppello. (Photo: Paul Badde/EWTN)

Hear my voice, LORD, when I call;

have mercy on me and answer me.

‘Come,’ says my heart, ‘Seek God’s face’;

your face, LORD, do I seek!

Do not hide your face from me;

do not repel your servant in anger.

You are my help; do not cast me off;

do not forsake me, God my savior!

Even if my father and mother forsake me,

the LORD will take me in.”

LORD, show me your way;

lead me on a level path because of my enemies;

Do not abandon me to the will of my foes;

malicious and lying witnesses have risen against me.

But I believe I shall enjoy the LORD’s goodness

in the land of the living.

Wait for the LORD, take courage;

be stouthearted, wait for the LORD!

–Psalm 27
St. Pope John Paul II “In the Eucharist, the Face of Christ is turned towards us.”

“Your life must be woven around the Eucharist. Direct your eyes to Him, who is the Light; bring your hearts very close to His Divine Heart; Ask Him for the grace to know Him, for the charity to love Him, for the Courage to serve Him. Seek Him longingly.”

— St. Teresa of Calcutta

“It is the Church’s task to reflect the light of Christ in every historical period, to make His Face shine also before the generations of the new millennium. Our witness, however, would be hopelessly inadequate if we ourselves had not first contemplated His Face.”

–Pope St. John Paul II

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