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Whether or not they're supernatural, reflections of light certainly can occur at poignant times.

We like the ones that are captured at high moments during Mass (or at shrines, or at special religious events).

There's little question that so much can be explained by natural means: dust on a lens, moisture, simple refractions of light -- especially in this day of the digital cameras, which seem to present more photographic artifacts (and also bequeath us with vastly more pictures than hitherto).

Does the Holy Spirit cause slight inflections into the physical to make subtle points (or underscore something)?

This seems less questionable: Who can exclude the power of God to do anything, let alone tap a little of the supernatural into the natural?

"We were amazed to see this reflection on our garage door," wrote Tim Jobst of Ottawa, Illinois. "We have never seen this before and are not sure what to think."

Nor are we.

There is such a thing -- is there not? -- as happenstance.


Perhaps it's all about context.

Reflections glance off objects at peculiar times or the sun comes streaming at an important moment through stained glass.

Many of you have sent us photographs of such reflections, and some are rather striking, whatever the cause. In France, during the Church-approved apparition at LaSalette, celebrated later this month,  Blessed Mother arrived in what could be called an orb or oval of light.

When we think of lights, we can also mention halos. Many seem to radiate. We see this represented with saints. Holy figures such as John Paul II and Mother Teresa seemed to emanate white light. There was a brightness around them.

Can it actually translate into a photographic glance?

Hard it is, to take the words of one scholar: navigating between the Scylla of credulity and the Charybdis of relentless cynicism.

A thin line: whether something is supernatural, or superstitious. As a Pope reputedly once said, better to believe than not. Who are we?


Recently, a non-denominational pastor set up a video camera that seemed to capture a luminosity he insists is a protecting angel (video is from CBS News; see video clip at end of this article). You discern.

So many times orbs or unusual lights are photographed with a meaningful result during marriages, funerals, baptisms, and especially consecration. Do we glimpse grace? (The truest radiation comes from the Eucharist.)

God is the author of coincidence. You know that expression: it's His way of remaining anonymous. Perhaps -- just perhaps -- sometimes (just sometimes) He communicates in unexpected fashion.

Take a look at the Pope during a blessing [right]. (Do "orbs" of light seem to be descending like bubbles of sanctification?) Or, there is another photo of him during that truly dynamic visit to Brazil [left].

Some mystics have said that spirits arrive in balls of such light.

Just refractions, flashes, reflections, correct?

Of course.

 Of course?

Take what is good; leave the rest.

Most importantly: operate with faith.

[resources: The Spirit Around Us and The God of Miracles]

[Spirit Daily pilgrimage to John Paul II canonization]

[See also: Angels caught on tape?]

[Picture of many orbs in church at Medjugorje is from Medjugorje Miracles]

[Print article]


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