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Totally Eclipsed

Dear All Saints family,

I was very blessed to see the solar eclipse in August 2017, and from that day I began planning participation in the one we just had. At the time of this writing, I’m returning back to Georgia from witnessing the 2024 total solar eclipse and am again struck with awe and gratitude for the experience.

After last week’s Divine Mercy prayer service, I picked up two brother priests, and we drove to Memphis, Tennessee. We woke up early in the morning on Monday to drive out to Pocahontas, Arkansas, so that we would be within what’s called the band of totality, the path that the moon’s shadow casts over the face of the Earth.

Praying for safe travels and good weather, we arrived at a beautiful little park next to the Black River, in plenty of time to get established, and the few clouds that hung in the sky thinned out to nothing come eclipse time.

With the special solar glasses on, I watched eagerly as more and more of the dark sphere of the moon covered more and more of the sun’s blazing face. The temperature began to drop, a cool breeze rushed through the area just before a sudden darkness enveloped us. I took off the glasses and stared in total amazement at this aura that glimmers around what looks like a void…the sun’s corona, the hot gaseous emissions that can only be seen when the moon blocks out the normal brightness of the sun. I wept. I laughed. I prayed.

There is nothing like that experience. It’s more than magical…it’s awesome, in the truest sense of the word. The phenomenon evokes awe and radiantly manifests majesty, power, and glory.

A verse of scripture kept running through my mind:

Sun and moon bless the Lord, praise and exalt Him above all forever.

Daniel 3:62

I want to see the Lord like that. I want you to see the Lord like that, to be absolutely swept up in His radiance, like Mary Magdalene and the apostles on seeing Jesus alive.

Just like the eclipse which has been “written in the stars” since the beginning, so are innumerable encounters that the Lord has set up from the beginning to have with us. I pray you and I strive for spiritual totality…making the effort to be as well-disposed and eagerly expecting to see Him as we can. His beauty will save the world.

The Lord is risen, Alleluia!
He is truly risen, Alleluia!
Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever!
All you holy saints of God, pray for us!

Peace in Christ,
Fr. Michael