Last week Michelle Francl-Donnay, a fellow chemist and Ignatian spirituality enthusiast wrote a post on luminescence (you can find the orginal here). She writes ‘Luminescence is light that comes from within a material, photons shed as atoms and molecules change state’. In other words, the luminescence comes from within the substance.
Hijacking that idea to use in spirituality, this would be an ‘inner fire’. An internal source of light.
A day or so later, watching a lecture given by Philip Endean (found here) I stumbled into a sentence used by Gerard W. Hughes (in a paper found here). ‘The Exercises are not a battery-charging operation but a way of learning how to be self-charging in our ordinary occupations’
To me, these things seem closely related. Both authors are talking about a self-sustained, internal source of energy. As a person who has relatively little energy I find the idea quite compelling. I have begun to notice that there is a distinct difference between the areas of my life which are demanding but not draining, and those areas which are not particularly demanding but seem to be utterly draining. Of course, there the worst are those which are both demanding and draining!!
The idea of luminescence (and self-charging) has afforded me a new refinement tool in my discernment kit.