A Person Made of Light

light shining down from the sunSuppose there were a reality faster than light, so superenergized that it would be at rest, everywhere at once. Every object we see—though it appears rock-hard—is actually just another form of energy: e = mc2. Couple that with all we know from religion; encounters with God are so often described as burning bushes and fiery pillars and tongues of flame. I Am is the pool of energizing existence out of which everything draws its “is,” “the dearest freshness deep down things.” It may not help everyone, but when I pray, I pray to a Person made of light.

—Excerpted from God—The Oldest Question by William O’Malley, SJ


  1. More than a concept. May our world and our vision welcome the glow of divine light. As the sun rises over Kenmare Bay in Southern Ireland I will watch it lighting up our world with his love.

  2. I was not feeling very Catholic because I didn’t like the idea of the beatific vision as an image for heaven. It seemed to me that it would be like watching a big blue TV set for eternity. I liked the heavenly banquet and loved the thought of paradise but beatific vision not for me. I thought I heard the Lord say “Chuck you’ve got it all wrong. The beatific vision will be like seeing glistening light shimmering off every molecule of heaven. “ so now I am excited as I sit beside my prayer pond and watch the light play across the water that perhaps that beatific vision is in my future.

  3. William,
    A beautiful insight! I have a daughter who has studied with the Jesuits at Berkley and is beginning to write her PhD dissertation in Theology. Her just completed comprehensive Theological exam focused on Karl Rahner’s writings about the Trinity. Your reflection fits so perfectly into his insights AND describes so beautifully who my daughter Loretta is for all of us who know her and love her – a person of made of light!

  4. Going to Mass this morning, I was aware gradually of being there in the church and being surrounded by deep, clear and pure water, freshness and light flickering through the depths of the water and filling the space all around me. I felt at home, at peace, both satisfied and comforted.
    Thank You, a gift to remember, and wonder about.
    Freshness deep down describes it perfectly!


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