Sunday, January 13, 2013

diamonds

Album cover for Pink Floyd's
Dark Side of the Moon, 1973
"shine bright like a diamond
shine bright like a diamond" (Rihanna - Diamonds, 2012)
the dealio with prisms:  a transparent optical element with flat, polished surfaces that refract light.  at least two of the flat surfaces must have an angle between them.

the dealio with diamonds:  they reflect, refract, and absorb light.  diamonds are highly refractive with a refractive index of 2.417.  that number tells us that light travels approximately 2.5 times faster in air than it does in diamond.  it is the high refractive index and resultant colour dispersion that give diamonds their fire and brilliance.  the different wavelengths of light undergo more or less refraction; violet light is refracted most and red light is refracted least and thus when refraction of white light occurs the light is split or dispersed into a colour light spectrum.  light tends to travel in a straight line unless it encounters an obstacle such as a faceted diamond.  in that case the angle of light will change direction.  reflection occurs when the light bounces off of a surface and travels in a different direction.  refraction on the other hand results from the light changing direction, but without reflecting from a surface.  indeed, the light bounces around, for a while sometimes, until it finds a way out!  diamonds reflect, refract, and absorb light.  but nothing is a perfect reflector, absorber or refracter of light.
"He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." (Lc 3:15-22)
today, we celebrate the Feast of Our Lord's Baptism.  it should remind us of our own, of course, and of the voice that spoke up:  "you are My son.  you are My daughter.  I love you."  in baptism, we are made new creatures, we become children of God, sons and daughters of the Father, disciples of Christ, and temples of the Holy Spirit.  however, just as the light sometimes gets lost in the diamonds, the human heart is not a perfect reflector, absorber or refracter of the light of Christ.  with all the noise from our culture, and from our own personal sins, we have a hard time hearing the voice of the Father speaking:  "you are My son.  you are My daughter.  I love you."  we forget our true identity, and the light continues searching for a way out.

during this Year of Faith, let us idle no more, let us remember the grace of our baptism - the source of our holiness.  the light of Christ bounces around, for a while sometimes, but it finds a way out!  let us shine like a diamond, becoming once again light to the world, and salt for the earth (Mt 5:13-14).
"let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven."  (Mt 5:16)
peace.

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