Today is the feast of John the Baptist, the prophet shouting in the desert. We have always considered him sort of our patron here at the Center for Action and Contemplation. It is now exactly six months until Christmas Eve, and the Christian version of the summer solstice. John the Baptist’s “birthday” is seen as the counterpart to Jesus’ birthday who is born when it appears to be winter, but light is already returning.
Now at the height of summer, we are reminded that the darkness is already returning too. That is often the unwelcome role of the prophet, to reveal the shadow side of things when everyone is cheering and celebrating supposed victories. John’s memorable statement that “He must grow greater and I must grow smaller” was seen mirrored in the very cycles of the cosmos. Christianity does not always realize how nature based its messages invariably are, and how we can know them just by “looking.”