"For a long time I have held my peace, I have kept myself still and restrained myself; now I will cry out like a woman in labor, I will gasp and pant" (Is 42:14)

Day 30: The Phases Of The Moon

would like to use one beautiful piece of creation we are blessed to look upon each night, the moon which is as steady and unwavering as the sun. The traditional lunar and lunisolar calendars continue to be used throughout the world to determine religious festivals and national holidays, e.g., Rosh Hashanah, Easter, Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr, and Eid al-Adha, the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Mongolian, and Nepali New Year, the Mid-Autumn Festival and Chuseok, Loi Krathong, Vesak (Buddha's Birthday) and Diwali. A lunar calendar is based on the monthly cycles of the moon's phases (synodic months, lunations).

The moon serves as a perfect indicator of the most important and most festive events in all human cultures. One very common trait in all the celebrations is the fellowship over specially prepared food which in turn becomes nourishing for everyone in the community. Anaxagoras (500-428 BCE) was the first to explain that the moon shines due to reflected light from the sun. Sometimes the dark portion of the moon is faintly visible due to earthshine—the indirect sunlight reflected from earth's surface up or down onto the moon.

Only one side of the moon called the "far side" is permanently hidden from earth's view. The far side is sometimes called "dark side" which is a misnomer because there are periods in the year that sunlight reaches that part, albeit we just do not see it. The side of the moon that always faces the earth is called "near side"—moon's visible view from earth. Even though the moon is always there and always on the move together with our earth around the sun, the moon looks different from earth's northern and southern hemispheres. Someone looking at the moon from our north pole would see it upside down compared to someone seeing it from the south pole. And someone on the equator would see it at various orientations throughout the day. Sometimes it is hidden only to come out again at another time.

I liken spiritual highs and lows or consolation and desolation to the lunar phases. As the moon orbits earth in a period of about a month, it cycles through eight distinct lunar phases. The moon is directly illuminated by the sun, and the cyclical revolution and orbiting of the moon around the earth and around the sun cause the lunar phases. Since the moon does not have a light of its own except that which shines from the sun, similarly, all spiritual consolation and desolation are temporary because everything depends on the source who is the Creator. This is why in every discernment process it is wise to attach and ground ourselves into the source of all consolation and we need to cultivate holy indifference towards the consolation or desolation that come from the Creator.

On day thirty of the Season of Creation may we see the moon as God's way of continuously looking after us. Anytime we catch a glimpse of the moon, we use that moment to thank God for the littlest graces we receive. When we glance up at it, let us together pray, "The Lord bless us and watch over us; the Lord make his face shine upon us and be gracious to us; the Lord look kindly on us and give us peace." 8thWorker.us


  1. Amen🙏 what a beautiful spiritual space this is Fr JM!


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