[And this brings me to] the other sense of glory—glory as brightness, splendour, luminosity. We are to shine as the sun, we are to be given the Morning Star. I think I begin to see what it means. In one way, of course, God has given us the Morning Star already: you can go and enjoy the gift on many fine mornings if you get up early enough. What more, you may ask, do we want? Ah, but we want so much more—something the books on aesthetics take little notice of.
poets and the mythologies know all about it. We do not want merely to see
beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else
which can hardly be put into words—to be united with the beauty we see, to pass
into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.
That is why we have peopled air and earth and water with gods and goddesses and
nymphs and elves—that, though we cannot, yet these projections can enjoy in
themselves that beauty, grace, and power of which Nature is the image. That is
why the poets tell us such lovely falsehoods. They talk as if the west wind
could really sweep into a human soul; but it can’t. They tell us that “beauty
born of murmuring sound” will pass into a human face; but it won’t. Or not yet.
For if we take the imagery of Scripture seriously, if we believe that God will
one day give us the Morning Star and cause us to put on the splendour of the
sun, then we may surmise that both the ancient myths and the modern poetry, so
false as history, may be very near the truth as prophecy.
At present we are on
the outside of the world, the wrong side of he door. We discern the freshness
and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle
with the splendours we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are
rustling with the rumour that it will not always be so. Someday, God willing,
we shall get in. When human souls have become as perfect in voluntary obedience
as the inanimate creation is in its lifeless obedience, then they will put on
its glory, or rather that greater glory of which Nature is only the first
From The Weight of Glory
Compiled in Words to Live By