Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

I Pray For Dawn

If I counted up all the minutes I’ve spent staring into a flame, I wonder how many years of my life that would be. Certainly more than the hours I’ve spent brushing my teeth or combing my hair. It would probably even surpass the combination of bath and shower time.

For some reason (like most Catholics) I assume God hears me better if I stick my face in a hot glowing body of flame.

Is that because Jesus calls himself the “light of the world” (John 8:12)? Because Paul instructs the Ephesians to “walk as children of Light” (Ephesians 5:8)? Because Christians light the Paschal Candle on Easter as a symbol of the risen Christ?


Or is it because something about a flame on a candle soothes me in the same way that David’s ratty blankie comforts him. The scarlet blaze generates a feeling of hope, of fierce tenacity, that whispers: “you’re not off the hook yet…hang in there.”

Last year, when I wanted to die as urgently as babies want to be born, a good friend reminded me to look for the light. “No matter how black your darkness is, there is always a speck of light. Keep your eyes on that light.”

At first all I could see was the tiniest blip of brightness, like a speck on a photograph that isn’t supposed to be there. With more time and prayer and drugs and therapy, light began to trickle in, filling the shadows here and there. And then, ever so gradually, my vision was truly illuminated, so that I not only wanted to be alive, but I could perceive goodness and beauty and love in the people and things around me.


Fire and light take us back to the beginning: to a world that began as one big gas explosion (divided into seven neat days, of course). Sometimes I wonder if my body remembers that–when fire bore life–and reconnects with history in front of a flame.

In each candle I light, I pray for a tiny crumb of hope. I pray for a beginning of light, or a dawn, like the one John of the Cross described where “the mind, in sweet tranquility, is elevated above its comprehension to a divine light.” In other words, I pray to feel good and right, though I might not know why that is.

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  • Kevin Keough

    I become very peaceful, content, and serene sitting by a fire. I let it shift my mind so it can wander a bit. I miss not having a fireplace; no excuse for not using the flame of a candle for the same purpose—so I begin again today. I’m quite sure we have memories of a sort-locked in our DNA-aka Wisdom Chain-of the entire span of evolution. We ARE stardust. We ARE the Uni-Verse. We are the Eyes of the Universe looking back at some aspect of ourselves. Life becomes much more fun when we allow certain facts to re-enter our lives. Some people gaze into the vastness of space and feel lost, alone, and cold. I’m more with Lincoln who thought a man could be forgiven for being an atheist until the sun set and the stars came out….our universal Garden of Lights….billions and billions of lights to remind us we aren’t alone. Reminds me of the shiny little chimes that twinkle in a baby’s ‘thing that hangs over their heads’…put there to comfort and amuse. Might not the stars be the same for us if only we’d let it be ? The starlight….telling us that there is something else to cling on to.Also, gets me thinking of the people who light a candle rather than curse the darkness. Anyone can light a candle. It takes something more to engage in this ancient Ritual-full of meaning-with a sacred touch. So, everybody lights up in a different way. We are unique. The lyrics below were written for Unicef to honor everyone who endeavors to light a candle. It’s very moving actually. I can picture my daughter or son, or a child, or any soul along the way. It matters. It is magical, mystical, majestic even when seen through the weary eyes of the lonely soul yearning to shed this carbon based vehicle we ride in. Anyway, lots of physicists these days make the point that we are simply ‘light’–literally. so sad, that beings of light can feel so dark. Children of Light we are–for real. a parting question—be poetic for a bit….”If we were flowers we would worship the Sun, so why not now ? Therese is doing a glorious job in exposing us to the mysteries of light. Anyone Can Light A Candle lyrics Anyone could light a candle, But not the way that you do. Anyone could light a candle. Just like a flower in the rain, You are unique, the same. Each step you take, Each dream you realize, Will open your heart, your life. Anyone can light a candle, But not the way that you do. For if we look too close, Pure magic we would be. Pure magic we would see. It’s all around each one. It’s all around within. The perfect union, Close inside your dreams. To watch in wonderment, As each day begins. They tell me You can hear this song. Anyone can light a candle, But not the way that you do. So if we look too close, Pure magic we will be. Pure magic we will see.

  • http://HASH(0xd02ea08) Beyond Blue

    Kevin one-upped you,Therese. He included, as you did, the one-ness of the universe, where every soul can look up and see stars and know they are not alone, whatever their spiritual bent. I enjoyed the gas flames in the fireplace of my old home that I lived in for nearly 30 years; it had seen two husbands, happy with me, each die in their season. And as I gazed at that fire, my mind wandering aimlessly, it would bring me back to the joy I felt in being a wife. Now, in my ultra-modern condo, there is no room for a fireplace, so candles suffice. I often light incense, not only for the scent, but for the tiny light at the top end, that slowly, but surely, extinguishes. And so goes life – we are born into the light of life, and we die when the light goes out – but does it really? Isn’t there some other “light” that comes to silently take us “home,” at the end of our days, to “go to the light,” at our final passing? I think so…

  • http://HASH(0xd031498) anon

    Candles are truly one of the things that bring light and joy to my life. I have many of them. I burn them day and night. I have all types. Some are in beautiful brass candle sticks, others are in chunky jars..still others burn in special little burners all made just to float, melt, or just burn silently….they all smell wonderful to me. It’s a part of my life that I enjoy pretty much the most actually. I look at the flames and watch them dance. I dream dreams in those flames. I turn off all the lights and sit in the silence and glow of my candles everynight. I have found fulfillment in them very much. If there is one thing that I can say about me that is positive, it would be to say that my religion and beliefs have brought me a long way into realizing that light and silence are definite joys in my life. I live to enjoy them more every moment….

  • http://HASH(0xd0317d0) D GENN

    Candles are lit before you pray as a symbol. Not to stare in to. It is true that staring into a candle can be calming that is not the traditiional intent. A candle is a symbol of the praying you have completed , going to heaven, GOD Praying is another subject.

  • http://HASH(0xd033998) Premika

    Candles! I love candles! I loved them even before they became fashionable! Sometimes I’ll keep the electric lights off at night and just use candlelight. I find it very soothing. I have two candles, usually votives, on my home altar, and like to light them (and some incense) before I meditate or pray. If I pray for someone, I will do my own version of a novena: I will light a tealight candle and say a prayer for that person, then let the candle burn out, doing this for nine days in a row. Sometimes I ask a saint or discarnate holy one for help; sometimes not. I also recycle old candles by making my own jar candles! How about you?

  • http://HASH(0xd033cbc) Laura

    I thank all of you for your input. How wonderful to find this beyond my daily inspiration. I feel connected. In sharing your memories, thoughts, and experiences, you have reflected my own, and helped me to join you in adding to light, casting out darkness in my soul and helping me to remember others. I understand more about myself and why I have inclinations beyond my childhood environment. My journey is both painful and joyful and I would not take any of it back. The payoff has been worth it.

  • http://HASH(0xd03502c) Lou Ann Pleva

    I love reading your articles. You’re so real and intimate and fearless in your honesty. It makes my struggle easier to have such masterfully written expression so closly mirroring my own. I’m lighting a candle for us all right now.Blessings.

  • http://HASH(0xd035894) Bonnie Reynolds

    Just to somehow connect with people of kind heart reminds me of the love that we were born to know and feel. All others, need not apply. Bless All,Bonnie Reynolds

  • http://HASH(0xd036bbc) Gwen

    Candles burn with hope and love. They show love in your eyes. They show care and compassion. They show some things that you can’t see with just the regular eye. They show how much you care about someone when you can’t say it………….. you’re eyes say it all.

  • Randy

    What a beautiful post and comments. :-)
    Candles release a warming glow that reminds me of Spirit. The Holy Spirit can be felt and percieved however, like the glow of the candle, it cannot be held in our hands. I have felt the awesome power of the Holy Spirit. So much so at times that I could hardly contain such a gift from the Lord. Like the power of flames we mere humans know that the infinite is beyond our grasp in this current state of life we are in. It certainly is reassuring, though, to have the love of our creator kindly share the warmth of Gods presence here with us. Yes, a candle is very much a wonderful symbol of His love, peace, and infinite Spirit.
    God Bless you all,
    Luv ya,

  • Stardustiam

    Hope. We have Hope through the Light of the World.

  • Ruth

    Every thing I talked to God about last night and this morning was answered. I did not have the money for my phone, car, other bills. Last night I was talking to God about a job, my bills and the light I use to have in my eyes that I could see and people that met me would always say, you have a light in your eyes. Through the years I have lost it, I asked God this morning to please help me. My youngest daughter came over this morning and everything I had talked to God about was answered. I then came to this page and saw the conversation about a light in a person eyes. That is what I asked God to give me back this morning. God is talking to me, and I am listing. For anyone that do not believe, trust me I can give a testimony.

  • James Davis

    Being a practicing pagan myself, I have long understood the value of good candle to light the darkness so to speak.
    That part does not require a religious focus, the relaxation and meditation just works better if there is at least a strong philosphival background with it.

  • The walker

    It is nice to use them to pray since it represents the insight light each one has. It is nice to remember who had been with us and they are not anymore, and miss them.
    In the other side,it is dangerous if you cannot use properly your candles and create a fire in your own home. Or misuse its power to send negative energy to other human being.
    However, the candles are very attractive for adults and kids. We use them in different ways. For the ones who believe in God and represent His presence with the candle’s light. The love that you feel to the beloved ones and to your own couple is also represented by the candle.
    See; the candle can enlight your life if you can exchange the fact of the melting process of the candle by the enlarging and making grow and strenghten your faith at the same time. So when the candle is going smaller your spirit will grow bigger and stronger. Then, you will be capable to face the trails you have to face in life without fear because you will see and feel that the Power of God and His endless love is always there to assist you. You will never be alone anymore, I asure you.

  • Tamara Hall

    Candles are a wonderful Thing , changes all of your Moods ,From Being real Nasty and verbal abuseive to Mellowing Out . They will enlighten your Life and Make you a Better Person in the Long run ,It will Make you a Happy Person Toward your self and to OTHERS or as you May see it .in a Different world
    and you will never Be alone again
    It is all about The Power Of God and The angela .That is a Promise

  • Joy

    I thought, I am the only one who are using candle. I cant sleep without the lights of the candle. The lights is the opening how to communicate God. He will send a message like the old Testament. He will the message thru dreams and God will talk you. He will give you THE MOST POWERFUL LOVE. And this Love have a secret which you can’t explain to the people. The LOVE OF GODS is POWER! I almost 15 years of using candles. Why? I dont know. I feel very comfortable and if you are tired, he will give you a good rest. And Gods Love cant defeat anyone. He is the one who is controlling our lives. First, is to accept him. If you are trying to catch fish and no fish at all? Talk God, he will accompany you to catch fish. And be thankful for every blessings and Graces!
    You dont believe? I faced the trial in life. This trial is one at a time. There is my divorced, there is a car accident, there is a my mother was sick, there is financial problems, there is you lost your favorite younger sister and followed my loving father, there is no house to live ( you are staying with a stranger, just to survive the crisis). I am always crying and praying in the night. If you see the lights of the candle, there is bluish aura surrounded by the lights. And then try to talk God thru lights. Feel that you are child and tell this to God. If you want to cry? Pls cry and talk him.
    Also those people who are experience of this, the natural beauty makes you younger. Because our souls needs food thought. That is OUR SOUL AND OUR BODY IS BALANCE. We need the candle. He is the HEALER! He gives you BEAUTIFUL.

  • CJ

    Just passed thru this site and say these eautiful Comments. I DO Believe In God and know I am not alone. But I Feel Very Alone. I am a Single Mom with 2 Boys in the Correctional System.
    My Oldest Son 21 just got handed a 3 year sentence to Prison, I called to check on him yesterday and they informed me he was no longer being held in our county, and was put on the bus to serve him term. Even though I knew our days were numbered, I was not ready for this.
    WHAT TO DO PRAY ALOT And Maybe Have Faith thru A Candle?

  • Linda Sheridan

    God Bless all !
    Candles are beautiful and soothing, warming our souls.
    There can never be too much light in the world.
    As I light my candles I send love and light out into the universe!
    Believe in The Power of God and the Universe – see your life as you want it to be!!

  • Trish

    To the mother with her children in prison.My heart goes out to you. Keep th afaith and although it may not seem like it Life will get better and hoefully your kids will learn from tis. I also have 2 sons and one of them is 15 he is using hardcore drugs on the run from his probation officer and I worry 24 hrs a day. If this is any consolation
    I light a candle every evening and lift him up to GOd. I keep a candle burning for him just so that I feel like I am doing something. Keep your head up and smile your not the only one gong through the fire…

  • Eileen

    I too love candles and when its a low day for me which is quite often these past months, I light candles to help me relax, write in my journal, listen to music and meditate also.. I also want the mother of the 2 boys in prison to remember she is not alone,,, there are many people in your situation as well and to know that “we” on this site are concerned about you and your situation… Please know that I will be praying for you… This site is a wonderful blessing in itself to communicate when you feel no one understands or listens…. But we do and we are….here for you!! take care…. Greeneyez in Pa.

  • DEB

    THE LIGHT OF GOD LEADS US… THE LOVE OF GOD SURROUNDS US…THE POWER OF GOD PROTECTS US…This is my family’s daily prayer…and also my ‘candle lighting’ prayer… you can actually feel the ‘power’ in this ceremony..It proceeds all things and keeps us ‘centered’ no matter what may come.. GOD BLESS!!

  • DEB

    For CJ: Say the above prayer whenever you need strength and guidance.. Teach you’re son’s to also say this prayer in prison..As many times a day that you need His intervention and peace… Again, GOD BLESS!!

  • Your Name

    At Christmas time candles are lit everywhere as a reminder of the “light of Christ.” We go to Xmas Eve Service for a Candlelight Service paving the way for the coming of our Lord, celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is supposed to be a happy time and a time for celebration. But, in reality, it is a time for reflection, meditation, and a humbling of what we need to do within our lives to prepare the way for our Lord. This is not necessarily a happy reflection. We are reminded time and time again, that we are only human, and as humans, we fall err to the flesh. In our time of reflection, we are also humbled and give ourselves again to God. It is a time for forgiveness, healing and then, yes celebration as we are yet renewed again in the spirit of reconcilliation with our Lord. Light your candles and rejoice in the spirit of our Lord! Merry Xmas

  • AC

    it is indeed an extremely human manner to have the opportunity of many many readers see and listen (in the literal sense) what many of us feel, live and are able to express even in a few seconds. i as well would like to add that my prayers go out to the parents as we all gather to meditate and pray as we each light a candle every day. May there be abundant peace and more respect and love for one another. let’s all pray for a new yr of better reflection and always be thankful to our Lord the one and only. or God who guides as keeps as strong through thick or thin. we’re all together in worship. amen !

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