Daily Reflection
December 10th, 1999
John Horn, S.J.
Institute for Priestly Formation
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.
Isaiah 48:17-19
Psalms 1:1-4, 6
Matthew 11:16-19

Psalm 1:  1-2, 3, 4, 6
     “Those who follow you Lord will have the light of life!”

To follow the true light of life, Jesus that Burning Babe, it helps to know something about false lights that lead us astray.

Ignis fatuus is Latin for false lights that make us foolish if we follow them.  Ignis fatuus is the root meaning of our English word infatuation.  

The experience of infatuation is normal enough, but it burns and harms us as a false light.  Whenever we follow infatuations in relationships, hoping that they will provide real love and relieving warmth, we are fooled.  Only friendships and spousal love based on sacrificial loving provide true light.

Following false lights is understandable, but more importantly forgivable.  We so often don’t want to follow Jesus, that Burning Babe, into the night of faith.  Here great trust is evoked.  So often we also want to avoid the ordinary pain of being humanly frail.

Yet, our experience in faith teaches clearly and encourages us.  Following the false lights of infatuations only increase and compound pain.  These false lights offer no real relief.

Being with and following Jesus, that Burning Babe resting in the manger, always yields warmth that comforts our pain.  He reveals the beauty and sanctity of our human frailty.  This is the true light of love.

Jesus the Lord who is Life always shines in the night.  Burning with real love, He tells us who we are as He befriends our frailty and so espouses our human desires.  We are his beloved!

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.
Online Ministries
Home Page
for Sunday
Online Retreat
Daily Readings Texts
from the
New American Bible
Daily Readings Texts
from the
RSV Bible
Spirituality Links
Saint of the Day
Collaborative Ministry Office 
Home Page
University Ministry
Home Page
Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook