Day 34: Look to the Light

Lent Day 34: Look to the Light

BY CORA ANTONIOMarch 27, 2023
Today’s Readings

“Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
 for you are with me.”
Psalm 23:4 

The reading that struck me today was the Responsorial Psalm, Psalm 23:4: “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” I’ve thought about this verse a lot, for I’ve walked through many dark valleys in my life. I’ve gone through a severe depressive episode that lasted three years, resulting in two hospitalizations. I’ve been in jail. I’ve been houseless. I held my father in my arms as he took his last breath. These were valleys of foreboding darkness, to be sure. But they pale in comparison to the valley of deep despair and loss when I was separated from my two youngest daughters for seven years. The last time I saw them they were 8 and 10 years old. And I did not see them again until they were 15 and 17, respectively.

Lent Day 34: Look to the Light

However, I am quite thankful that I went through those valleys because ultimately, God grew my faith to put trust in Him and not the empty promises of this world or the circumstance that was consuming me. Specifically, through those long seven years of separation from my daughters, I’ve learned three things. First, I’ve learned that if you are ever walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death….DON’T STOP; keep walking. So often, we unnecessarily spend time focusing on the circumstances that consume us—so we end up wallowing in sorrow longer than we should. 

Second, I learned that shadows cannot hurt us. Have you ever been run over by the shadow of an 18-wheeler? If so, it did not harm you. Also, shadows can appear larger than the actual object that is casting the shadow. Have you ever noticed that? The evil spirit will try to throw us off our prayer life and worship of God by causing us to focus on the shadow, which is a false reality. It does not mean that whatever you are going through is not real, not at all. But the reality of the harm it can cause is magnified beyond the truth.

Lastly, I learned this…have you ever noticed that for every shadow, there needs to be a light source? A shadow would not even exist if there was no light. Why is it that we spend so much more time focusing on the shadows of our circumstances, rather than on the Light? The Light will guide us through that valley, and out of it. The Light will give us warmth in the cold stillness of the valley. The Light is far bigger and far greater than any shadow. The valley will not last forever. We must remember to look to the Light, the Light of God through his Son, Jesus.

For Reflection:

  • What casts a shadow over your life? How do you stay oriented toward the Light?
  • God can work with anything; how has God acted during your own time walking through the dark valley?



9 replies
  1. Candace Fisher
    Candace Fisher says:

    Your story took my breath away. As if you haven’t suffered enough already, when I read about your children, I could only imagine your pain, as the thought of my children’s absence was more than I could bear. (They are both grown and gone now, but in a good way) Yet you did bear it, and your story will inspire others as it has inspired me.

  2. Amiel
    Amiel says:

    Thank you so much. This is God’s grace, illuminating my mind. I often forget God’s goodness when facing an actual event, something serious, emergencies, and tensions in my life, I often resorted to negative responses, and thank you for sharing this truly riched experience from you. I pray that the Holy Spirit will strengthen me, and be able to stand in any untoward challenges and be ready at all times.

  3. Domingo
    Domingo says:

    This touched me beyond words and, I can truly say, it has transformed me…an inspiration.

    God bless!

  4. Margareta
    Margareta says:

    Thank you for these inspiring reflections. I often find myself in conversations where I tell others these things, especially that everything may be transformed, that God works with anything, and I do take away some very useful images. I think “walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death….DON’T STOP; keep walking” was my favourite. And, as clearly as I see this in the sometimes desperately deep shadows of others, I too often forget to lift my eyes to the light when walking through my own, much lighter ones. Thank you for letting such treasures grow out of your painful experiences.

  5. Kathy
    Kathy says:

    Wow, so honest and vulnerable and enlightening. This meditation moved me. I loved and will remember, “Don’t stop but keep walking, shadows can’t hurt us, and there has to be a light source for all shadows”. Isn’t it so true when we look back on our times of deep darkness that all three of these ideas are true.

  6. Scott Hill, OMI
    Scott Hill, OMI says:

    Thank you for confirming an insight I had earlier, as I entered into my daily prayer. Many a morning my heart is heavy with the feeling that I don’t understand the feeling of emptiness that companiions depression. I keep questioning “way?” The question goes up unanswered. Yet, with the help of therapy and medication, I’m learning that the question “way?” has no answer and all I can do is keep walking through the shadows.

  7. sonja
    sonja says:

    We can use the darkest times in life to grow close to God. You can take away much from me, but you can not take away my faith. And it is often during the darkest times in my life that I was closest to God. The source of light behind the shadows is there regardless of our personal circumstances.


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