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To the Lighthouse: 2011

The Parable

The Church is the Great Lighthouse on the rocky coast. True, the coast has many other lighthouses, both bigger and smaller, but they are only poorly-lit copies of the Great Lighthouse.

Large numbers of people sit outside the Lighthouse, not bothering to go inside. They prefer not to see the Light above them, but to look at the sea and even play dangerous games on the rocks, jumping from one rock to another, trying to cheat the death that awaits them in the waves below.

Many sail up to the Lighthouse and yet remain in their ships and boats, taking photographs, lacking the courage to get out, or else they are discouraged by those who sit on the rocks outside the Lighthouse. They are at the first stage.

Others have approached the Church, but been shipwrecked on the rocks which surround Her. They are at the second stage.

Neither of these groups wishes to make the necessary sacrifices, to change their way of life, in order to enter the Lighthouse.

Yet others have managed to sail to the lighthouse, get out of their boats unwrecked and enter the lighthouse. They are at the third stage.

Then they face the climb up the stairs to the light. They are at the fourth stage.

The Interpretation

Those who simply sail up to the Lighthouse and do not even get out of their boats and ships are the spiritual tourists. Their only interest is in the outside, the architecture, it is intellectual, in books, in the mind and in the imagination. They merely look from afar and criticise.

Those who are shipwrecked are those whose interest is only in the emotions, the feelings, the soul. These are they who drown in their sentiments.

Neither of these groups actually enter the Lighthouse and do not know Her, which is why they criticise the Lighthouse, mistaking the waves and the rocks for Her.

Those who do successfully enter the Lighthouse are those whose hearts - in the spiritual, noetic sense, not in the emotional sense - are alive.

Then they face the steep climb up the lighthouse, as it is buffeted by the chill winds and storms of this world. But they are spiritually comforted by the sacraments of the Church and their preparation by prayer, fasting and almsgiving for the sacraments. Up the steep, narrow and winding staircase, glimmering down to them, the Great Light awaits.

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