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  • Writer's pictureTaryn Watkins

A Tale of Three Sunsets

The first sunset was shared by friends. The second was in solitude. The third was a community of strangers. From the rising of the sun to its setting, praised be the name of the Lord.

The first sunset was with friends around a fire. The fire was bright and bold and hot, and the sky was filled with cool pastel pinks and purples, and changing clouds which caught the colors and transformed them brighter than themselves. The sun was covered by these clouds at times, they made a dance of it. I turned to my friend. It's amazing that because the sun is hidden behind the clouds we can see the sun more clearly. We can see the colors more brightly because these clouds take on the colors of the Sun. Without the clouds the sunset would be less radiant. The clouds make the sunset more beautiful. This reminds me of how it is with the Lord. Sometimes our poor eyes cannot see God himself, as himself… at times because his light is so bright and blinding, it can be overwhelming and painful and we cannot see. In hiding himself, we can see him, until we are strong enough to see him face to face. Sometimes when we want to see God, want to be near God and he feels hidden by clouds we are not ready to see him as he is, so he wants to show us himself in the beautiful colors, these different ways that he manifests himself to us in our daily lives. If we have eyes to see, he shows himself in the way we can see.

The second sunset was in solitude. I was sitting in the Shrine of the Martyrs about an hour north of Toronto. I was sitting overlooking the land where blood was shed for the love of Christ, where the Spirit first planted seeds of faith. There was a gentle breeze. I sat watching the Lord paint the most beautiful sunset, thinking about these martyrs, the saints who watched the same sunset in the same place. The Lord paints in this ever ancient, ever new way. Every sunset is the same and every sunset is unique. We are together in glorifying the painter of the universe who paints dark and luminous pinks and purples in the sky and paints reds with the blood of his martyrs in the earth.

The third sunset was in the company of strangers. At the Shrine of St Joseph in Montreal the church is enormous, the expanse of the sky, more. This place that had been built for the glory of God and for the honor of Saint Joseph, is also a place where strangers come to see God's brushstrokes. There was a crowd of people that had come, perhaps not to worship God, perhaps not to see Saint Andre Besset, but certainly to see the sunset. The church created a space where anyone and everyone could come to see God's painting… that desire for beauty brought these strangers together. At the moment the sun set there was a round of applause. From the rising of the sun to its setting, praised be the name of the Lord.

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