This powerful drama was set to the immortal Bonnie Tyler soft rock hit of the 1980’s, “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” (Probably one of the strangest music videos ever. Do yourself a favor and YouTube it.) The lyrics of the song perfectly match the heart-wrenching passion of the drama –
Turn around bright eyes, every now and then I fall apart
And I need you now tonight
And I need you more than ever.
The message is clear – do not allow our hearts to be eclipsed by darkness. As Christians, we know that Jesus is the Light of the World, the “Light that shines in the darkness.” When we embrace Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we turn away from sin, darkness, and death, and avoid eclipsing our hearts.
Clothed with the Sun
By the time you’re reading this, you have most likely already witnessed the great spectacle of the total eclipse of the sun on August 21st. This event marks the first time in 99 years that a total eclipse of the sun is visible coast-to-coast in the United States. These sorts of celestial events don’t happen very often and should prove to be an entertaining couple of minutes.
August 22, is another special day. In the Catholic Church we celebrate the Feast of the Queenship of Mary. As Catholics we believe that the Virgin Mary, Jesus’ mother and our mother, at the end of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into Heaven. There, she is seated at the right hand of her Son and reigns as the Queen of Heaven. Her instrumental role in our salvation – her yes to God’s plan – allowed the Son of God, Jesus Christ, to come into the world and win our salvation from sin. It is fitting, then, that Jesus allows Mary to continue to play a role in the dispensing of grace as the Mediatrix of All Graces and our Queen.
The Prophet Isaiah wrote, hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth, “Arise! Shine, for your light has come, the glory of the Lord, has dawned upon you” (Isaiah 60:1). If we understand the Old Testament imagery of the sun and its rising, its shining light, and the dawn, to be symbolically referring to the Son, then we see that the woman is Mary, who lives only to show forth her Son, Jesus. In this way, she is clothed with her Son, making Him known to all who know her.
This year also marks the 100 year anniversary of the apparitions of Mary at Fatima. In fact, very soon on October 13th, we will commemorate the Miracle of the Sun. On that day in 1917, more than 70,000 people witnessed the sun dance in the sky. Some reported seeing the sun fall from the sky as if it would crash into the earth. The Blessed Mother’s message at Fatima still resonates in our hearts today: repent from sin, pray, offer sacrifices to God, so that peace may come upon the earth, and so that we may receive the salvation from sin won for us by Christ on the Cross.
Is all this talk of the sun a coincidence? Perhaps. But, I, like St. Augustine, don’t really believe in coincidence. Augustine wrote, “Nothing happens that the Almighty does not will should happen, either by permitting it or by himself doing it.” Today, as we marvel at the spectacle of the total eclipse of the sun, and always, let us remember the message of our Blessed Mother, the Queen of Heaven, who is clothed with sun. Let us take to heart her message of repentance and prayer, so that our hearts might not be eclipsed by darkness and sin. Let us arise and stand in the light of our Savior, and, like our mother, Mary, live to proclaim His glory.