Playback speed
Share post
Share post at current time

Lux In Tenebris Lucet: Friday, December 9

Day 12 of our 28-day Advent journey of mini-dispatches to give you pause and light.

"PRIOR: This angel. She's my favorite angel.
I like them best when they're statuary. They commemorate death but they suggest a world without dying. They are made of the heaviest things on earth, stone and iron, they weigh tons but they're winged, they are engines and instruments of flight.
This is the angel Bethesda. Louis will tell you her story.

"LOUIS: Oh. Um, well, she was this angel, she landed in the Temple square in Jerusalem, in the days of the Second Temple, right in the middle of a working day she descended and just her foot touched the earth. And where it did, a fountain shot up from the ground.
When the Romans destroyed the Temple, the fountain of Bethesda ran dry.

"PRIOR: And Belize will tell you about the nature of the fountain, before its flowing stopped.

"BELIZE: If anyone who was suffering, in the body or the spirit, walked through the waters of the fountain of Bethesda, they would be healed, washed clean of pain.

"PRIOR: They know this because I've told them, many times. Hannah here told it to me. She also told me this:

"HANNAH: When the Millennium comes...

"PRIOR: Not the year two thousand, but the Capital M Millennium...

"PRIOR: I'm almost done.
The fountain's not flowing now, they turn it off in the winter, ice in the pipes. But in the summer it's a sight to see. I want to be around to see it. I plan to be. I hope to be.
This disease will be the end of many of us, but not nearly all, and the dead will be commemorated and will struggle on with the living, and we are not going away. We won't die secret deaths anymore. The world only spins forward. We will be citizens. The time has come.
Bye now.
You are fabulous creatures, each and every one.
And I bless you: More Life.
The Great Work Begins."
—Tony Kushner, Angels in America: Perestroika

"How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house; and You give them to drink of the river of Your delights.

"For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light..."
—Psalm 36

Earlier essays on Advent:

Share Cathleen Falsani: This Numinous World

Give a gift subscription

Cathleen Falsani: This Numinous World
Cathleen Falsani: This Numinous World
Cathleen Falsani