Light a candle to pray better.

SHARE THE TRUTH

 7,878 total views

Quiet Storm by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, 08 February 2024
Photo by Irina Anastasiu on Pexels.com

Last Friday was the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus to the Temple (February 2) also known as the Feast of the Candlemass wherein candles were blessed outside the church after which the people led by the priest enters to begin the Mass in a procession with lighted candles.

Candlemass is a beautiful celebration, especially when done properly by priests. Its origin dates back to more than 1500 years ago in France where it started when people incorporated the blessing of candles into the Feast of the Presentation then known with its Eastern title as “the Encounter” to refer to how Simeon with the Prophetess Anna met the child Jesus being offered by his parents Joseph and Mary to the temple 40 days after Christmas. According to St. Luke, Simeon sang the following upon meeting the child Jesus Christ.

Presentation in the Temple painting by Fra Angelico from fineartamerica.com.

“Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”

Luke 2:29-32

In proclaiming Jesus Christ as the “light” of salvation for the nations, the early French Christians thought of having the blessing of candles and procession of lighted candles to signify Jesus as the only and true light of the world. Thanks be to God for those pious early French Christians!

Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

Though candles are no longer used as a major source of lighting in homes and other places, it is still used in almost all churches, monasteries and other houses of worship around the world, gaining a renewed popularity among the younger generation. It is a most welcomed development in our modern time as more and more people are rediscovering the need for spiritual growth of whatever label. And right in the midst of this is the candle as a tool for better prayer periods.

Unfortunately, this beautiful tradition of the candles is dying in our country. How ironic that we who belong to the Third World have switched to electric vigil lamps and candles while those in the First World still use the traditional candles in their homes and churches.

Go abroad like in North America and Europe, one finds a plethora of all kinds of beautiful candles used and sold even in the simplest churches and stores! During a Holy Land pilgrimage in the 2017 Easter Season, one of the things I appreciated and admired next to the pilgrim sites were the lovely and regal designs of paschal candles in the churches we visited that made me wonder why nobody makes them here in our predominantly Catholic country.

Candles have always have a special place in the life of our faith and the Church since its early beginnings. From the Latin words candere and candela that mean “to shine”, it evolved into the Middle and Old English words candele and candel.

Aside from lighting the gatherings of the early Christians especially in the catacombs to evade arrests during the persecution, candles have always been used to signify Christ as the light of the world guiding our paths as Christians in every celebration, from Baptism to Weddings and Funerals.

Candles do not only make rooms shine but most especially the souls and the hearts of those who cultivate a prayer life. It has that unique warmth that can soothe and calm those who are agitated or worried with life’s many trials and challenges.

Every time we light a candle during prayer periods, our inner selves are made brighter as they evoke in us so much feelings of the Divine presence. Their little lights that flicker remind us of our feeble selves whose life could be easily snuffed out with a single blow.

The scent of burning candle permeates our senses, calming us within, inviting us to leave all our worries in life as we lay our cards out in the open to God. A candles warmth can dissolve every hardness within us, purifying us within and becoming empty and open for God’s grace to work in us.

Photo by Emre Kuzu on Pexels.com

In a sense, candles may be considered as a sacrament too which is defined as a visible sign with invisible power.

The very act of lighting a candle is already the start of prayer, something like the making of the sign of the Cross. I strongly recommend for those who wish to aid their prayer periods with candles to use matches not lighters that are artificial.

Lighting up a candle for prayer especially in the morning can rouse our senses. The striking of the match with its sudden burst of light to kindle the candle is like an angel had suddenly come down to assure us that our prayer is heard by God, that God is with us at the very moment or at least reminds us we have turned into the mode of praying.

The strong scent of the burning matchstick also adds flavor and aroma to the prayer period especially in the early morning when the whole world is still dark and everyone still asleep with you as the only one awake with God. Lighting a candle first thing first upon waking up can help us avoid from getting our cellphones or turning on the radio or the TV. A lighted candle can prevent us from being distracted by these modern gadgets that keep us away from God and from one another.

My altar with lighted candle at night; see the candle snuffer at the foreground.

Lighting a candle during a prayer period in our room or home works like the candlelight dinner that sets us to a lovely communion with God our beloved. The slow burning of a candle reminds us even in our busiest morning that we are at prayer in the presence of God, that we need to slow down too in our lives, to be conscious of our selves, surroundings and time so we can set our sights to God alone like a beloved in a candlelight dinner date.

At night time, the sight of the candle burning in one’s room is most dramatic as we close the day. Actually, it is during night time that the Church prays the Canticle of Simeon.

Imagine that scene at the temple when Simeon sang as he held the Child Jesus in his arms – of his readiness to die, to go in peace, after seeing Christ the light of salvation. In the darkness of the night punctuated only by a burning candle, we are able to examine our hearts of the many things we have done and failed to do the whole day. These become clearer in the light of the candle that penetrates our hearts and conscience, piercing and rending our souls to remove the darkness within us, exposing the festering anger or bitterness and sadness hiding inside, melting them away with its warmth so we may go to sleep clean and ready to continue with life – here or hereafter like Simeon.

By Kay Bratt in Facebook, 13 December 2023.

One last note about candles as we end this reflection. Monks use a candle snuffer in extinguishing candles in their chapels and monasteries.  These are long metal instruments with tips like a bell that monks hover above a candle, slowly covering it until its light is snuffed out, hence, the name candle snuffer.

If you want to be serious in praying better with lighted candles, you may buy those small candle snuffers for home use available at some candle shops in the malls. If there is no candle snuffer, one may use the cover of the candle to snuff out the light. What is important is that as we close our prayers with the lighted candle as companion, we don’t simply blow its light to abruptly end its glow.

When blowing the candle used in prayer, do it slowly as if you are whispering. Do it with solemnity. Every candle used at prayer becomes blessed, demanding some sort of reverence as companions in our prayer life and journey. Of course, it would be good if you can have your candles blessed by the priest for use at home to ward off negative vibes but more important than that is we grow in our prayer life, we become like lighted candles who give light to others in Christ. Like our candles, we also become a prayer to God in our very selves. Amen.Have a blessed Thursday.

Veritas Editorial

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

Cybercrime

 76,674 total views

 76,674 total views Hindi natin maitatanggi, kapanalig, na talamak ang cybercrime sa ating bansa. Parami ng parami ang konektado sa internet sa ating bayan, at parami rin ng parami ang mga kriminal na nagnanais na gamitin ang kondisyon na ito bilang oportunidad para kumita. Kapanalig, kung dati, ang mga krimen na karaniwan nating naririnig ay lokal

Read More »

Financial Inclusion

 88,320 total views

 88,320 total views Limitado ang pagkaunawa ng maraming mga Filipino ukol sa financial inclusion. Marami sa atin, basta mapabilang o makasali lamang sa mga e-wallets o mga financial platforms, tinuturing na agad itong financially inclusive. Hindi ganun kasimple ito, kapanalig, at panahon na upang mas lumawak pa ang ating pag-unawa sa financial inclusion. Ayon sa Bangko

Read More »

Blue Economy

 97,567 total views

 97,567 total views Ang Pilipinas ay isang arkipelago – napapaligiran tayo ng katubigan. Kaya’t napakahalaga, kapanalig, na pamilyar tayo sa konsepto ng blue economy. Nakataya dito ang ating buhay at kinabukasan. Ito ang pundasyon ng ating lipunan. Hindi lamang pagkain, trabaho, at libangan ang dala nito. Ang mga karagatan ang nagpo-produce ng kalahati ng oxygen ng

Read More »

Sundan ang hakbang ng Negros Occidental

 103,364 total views

 103,364 total views Mga Kapanalig, pinuri ng tatlong obispo mula sa Negros Occidental na sina Bishop Patricio Buzon ng Bacolod, Bishop Louie Galbines ng Kabankalan, at Bishop Gerardo Alminaza ng San Carlos ang pamahalaang panlalawigan dahil sa inilunsad nitong programa na tinatawag na “SecuRE Negros: Ensuring Power Security with Renewable Energy.” Layunin ng programang magkaroon ang

Read More »

Sundan ang hakbang ng Negros Occidental

 115,752 total views

 115,752 total views Mga Kapanalig, pinuri ng tatlong obispo mula sa Negros Occidental na sina Bishop Patricio Buzon ng Bacolod, Bishop Louie Galbines ng Kabankalan, at Bishop Gerardo Alminaza ng San Carlos ang pamahalaang panlalawigan dahil sa inilunsad nitong programa na tinatawag na “SecuRE Negros: Ensuring Power Security with Renewable Energy.” Layunin ng programang magkaroon ang

Read More »

Watch Live

catholink
Shadow
truthshop
Shadow

Related Story

Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Why pray at all?

 3,639 total views

 3,639 total views 40 Shades of Lent by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Tuesday in the First Week of Lent, 20 February 2024 Isaiah 55:10-11 <*((((>< + + + ><))))*> Matthew 6:7-15 Photo by author, 2019. Jesus said to his disciples: “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Lent is seeing God in others

 3,639 total views

 3,639 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Monday in the First Week of Lent, 19 February 2024 Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18 ><))))*> + + + <*((((>< Matthew 25:31-46 Photo by Mr. Jay Javier in Quiapo, Manila, 09 January 2024. Today I pray dear God to

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Lent, a pilgrimage to God

 3,634 total views

 3,634 total views 40 Shades of Lent by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Sunday Recipe for the Soul, Lent I-B, 18 February 2024 Genesis 9:8-15 + + 1 Peter 3:18-22 + + Mark 1:12-15 Photo by Walid Ahmad on Pexels.com Pope Benedict XVI eloquently described Lent in his first papal Lenten message in 2006 when he wrote, “Lent

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Lent is self-confrontation

 3,628 total views

 3,628 total views 40 Shades of Lent by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Friday after Ash Wednesday, 16 February 2024 Isaiah 58:1-9  + + +  Matthew 9:14-15 Photo by author, 2020. Thank you, dear Father for this lovely season of Lent when everything is in hue of violets representing the future, the imagination and dreams, while spiritually

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Life is Lent

 3,628 total views

 3,628 total views 40 Shades of Lent by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Thursday After Ash Wednesday, 15 February 2024 Deuteronomy 30:15-20 +++ Luke 9:22-25 Photo from petalrepublic.com. Our most loving and merciful Father, thank you for this new season of Lent, in giving us this most wonderful occasion to reflect on life’s meaning we always confuse as

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

True love leads to freedom: Ash Wednesday on Valentine’s Day

 3,628 total views

 3,628 total views Forty Days of Lent by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Ash Wednesday, 14 February 2024 Joel 2:12-18 + 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2 + Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18 Illustration from Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, 14 February 2018. This is not the first time that Valentine’s Day falls on Ash Wednesday, the start of the holy season of Lent of 40 days

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Praying on the eve of Ash Wednesday

 3,628 total views

 3,628 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Tuesday in the Sixth Week of Ordinary Time, Year II, 13 February 2024 James 1:12-18 <*((((>< + ><))))*> + <*((((>< + ><))))*>  Mark 8:14-21 Photo by Dra. Mylene A. Santos, MD, at Bgy. Tagalag, Valenzuela City, 2023. On this

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Sigh, and be kind!

 6,621 total views

 6,621 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Monday in the Sixth Week of Ordinary Time, Year II, 12 February 2023 James 1:1-11  ><))))*> + ><))))*> + ><))))*>  Mark 8:11-13 Photo by author, Lake of Galilee in Israel, May 2019. Dear Jesus: I love that word “kind”

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Approaching Jesus, approachable like Jesus

 7,313 total views

 7,313 total views The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B, 11 February 2024 Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46 ><}}}}*> 1 Corinthian 10:31-11:1 ><}}}}*> Mark 1:40-45 Photo by Ms. Analyn Dela Torre in Caypombo, Santa Maria, Bulacan, 04 February 2024. We have seen

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

God does everything so well

 7,553 total views

 7,553 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Friday in the Fifth Week of Ordinary Time, Year II, 09 February 2024 1 Kings 11:29-32, 12:19  ><)))*> + ><)))*> + ><)))*>  Mark 7:31-37 Photo by Dra. Mylene A. Santos, MD, an orange-bellied flowerpecker (Dicaeum trigonostigma) somewhere in the

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Wisdom of Solomon

 8,015 total views

 8,015 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Wednesday in the Fifth Week of Ordinary Time, Year II, 07 February 2024 1 Kings 10:1-10  <*((((>< + ><))))*> + <*((((>< + ><))))*>  Mark 7:14-23 Photo by Ms. Analyn Dela Torre at Caypombo, Santa Maria, Bulacan, 04 February 2024.

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

God our foundation

 8,126 total views

 8,126 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Tuesday, Memorial of Sts. Pedro Bautista, Paul Miki & Companion Martyrs, 06 February 2024 1 Kings 8:22-23, 27-30  <*[[[[>< + ><]]]]’>  Mark 7:1-13 Photo by author, Jerusalem 2017. Dear God our Father, thank you for being for us, thank

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

We are God’s dwelling, praying for cancer patients

 8,103 total views

 8,103 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Monday, Memorial of St. Agatha, Virgin & Martyr, 05 February 2024 1 Kings 8:1-7, 9-13  <*((((>< + ><))))*>  Mark 6:53-56 Photo by Mr. Boy Cabrido, kids playing “piko” outside patio of the National Shrine of St. Michael & the

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Real power empowers

 8,566 total views

 8,566 total views The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B, 04 February 2024 Job 7:1-4, 6-7 ><}}}}*> 1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23 ><}}}}*> Mark 1:29-39 Photo by The Good Brigade/Digital Vision/Getty Images via cnn.com. There’s another “war” happening that had actually

Read More »
Latest Blog
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Lalog II

Praying to see Christ, the true light

 6,787 total views

 6,787 total views The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Friday, Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, 02 February 2024 Malachi 3:1-4  ><}}}}*> + ><}}}}*> + ><}}}}*>  Luke 2:22-40 Presentation in the Temple painting by Fra Angelico from fineartamerica.com. On this most joyous feast of the Lord’s Presentation

Read More »

Latest Blogs

Scroll to Top