[quote=contemplative]Guerric of Igny (1070 - 1157), abbot of the Cistercian abbey of Igny, lived a life of retired study and prayer and left a collection of Sunday and feast day homilies.
Later today I will dig up one of his books and type up a beautiful homiliy in which he partly reflects on candles…and then I will share.
Here is but a portion of the lengthy sermon by Guerric of Igny
Liturgical Sermons Book 1
Sermon 15 page 101
The First Sermon for the Purification
Leaving then what has been explained well enough let us rather, if it please you, discuss this charming custom of the Church of bearing lights aloft on this feast day, which may be to re-enact the deed once performed, or to bring home to us our own performance of it. I do not imagine that you cannot guess such meanings even if you have never heard them expounded. Could anyone hold up a lighted candle in his hands on this day without at once remembering that old man who on this same day took up in his arms Jesus, God’s Word clothed in flesh like a candle-flame clothed in wax, and affirmed him to be the Light which would be a beacon for the Gentiles? Surely he was the burning and radiant lamp which bore witness to the Light. For this purpose he came in the Spirit, who had filled him, into the temple: that he might receive, O God, your Loving-Kindness in the midst of your temple and declare him to be Loving-Kindness indeed and the Light of your people. Truly, O holy Simeon, in the quiet contentment of old age you carried this Light not simply in your hands but in the very dispositions of your hearts. You were like a lamp-standard, seeing so clearly how much the Gentiles would one day be lit up, while reflecting even then amidst the gloom of Jewish unbelief the bright rays of our faith. Old, yet still sincere, you can now be happy in that your really see what once your but foresaw.
Come then brethren; give an eye to that candle burning in Simeon’s hands. Light your candles too by borrowing from that Light; for these candles I speak of are the lamps which the Lord orders us to have in our hands. Come to him and be enlightened, so as to be not merely carrying lamps but to be very lamps yourselves, shining inside and out, for yourselves and for your neighbors. Be a lamp then in heart, in hand, in lips. The lamp in your heart will shine for you; the lamp in your hand or on your lips will shine you for your neighbors. The lamp in the heart is loving faith; the lamp in the hand is the example of good works; the lamp on the lips is edifying speech. But not just before men must we shine by works and word, but before angels too by prayer, and before God himself by pure intention. Our lamp before the angels is the purity of our devotion when in the sight of angels we chant the psalms with care or pray with burning ardor; our lamp before God the honesty of our intention to please him only whose approval we have won.
I am sorry I am not taking the time to share more of this beautiful homily by Guerric of Igny…it is all so beautiful.