Venus has always fascinated me. Her orbit is closer to the sun than that of our native planet, so when we are gifted with her appearance, it is always at dawn or dusk, earning her the name of “Morning Star” or “Evening Star” as the case may be. Only in the twilight, that evocative and transitional time when the sky is just dark enough, can we see her, yet the sun is never far away. Astronomers tell us that her surface is hidden from the strongest telescope by a thick veil of cloud which also acts as a reflective mirror, giving her that brilliance which so enthralls the heart. Last week, during my predawn watering of our vegetable field, I was able to see her shining in the all too cloudless sky. Venus seems to me to be a good image for the contemplative Poor Clare Nun. She is hidden from the world in her cloister, but she radiates a light that is not her own; it comes from Christ, the near center of her life’s orbiting.
The drought which occasioned my extra watering also gave me moments of beauty to enjoy. When I finally thought to get my camera, the drought ended. So this picture is from the handy Internet and will serve to introduce a poem called…
The morning star appears before the sun,
A diamond on the trailing veil of night;
The mirror surface ever turned upon
Him whose rising is her very light.
Does any brilliance penetrate the cloud
That makes of her a beacon in the dark?
Or is her sky a misty glaze allowed
To seal her face, setting her apart?
Gathered now in arms of dawning Day,
She disappears in His embracing ray.