|Roger Fenton 1855 photo from Crimean War|
O Radiant Dawn,splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death. Gospel acclamation for December 24The photo above is one of the most famous photos depicting the devastation of war. Respecting Victorian strictures of decorum, Fenton covered this war without showing any photos of dead bodies, of which there were many. This devastated landscape filled with canon balls and shot is all that remains of a normal landscape after the horror of war. His titled this "Valley of the Shadow of Death."
It is into this world that the Sun of Justice, the Radiant Dawn, comes as a person who was and is "fully human and fully divine." As Luke writes in the Canticle of Zechariah,
My prayer this Christmas is that this peace will be within me, that peace will characterize my personal relationships with family members and friends, that our political life will be governed by a sense of peace and respect, and that the nations of the world seek to walk the path of peace. I am able to be a factor in some of these spheres; in others my personal impact is remote or non-existent. I pray that I do not fall victim to despair but am able with the grace of the Divine One to construct a viable sense of hope for us all.In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace. Luke 1:78-79