Illuminations

The Light of the Cross

When Jesus took the chosen three to the top of Mount Tabor, he was transfigured before their eyes, and his raiment became dazzlingly white, purer than any fuller's soap could make it. Perhaps Jesus was what Milton called "dark with excess of bright," because Peter's first impulse is to contain the light, to house it. "Lord, it is good for us to be here," he says. "Let us erect three skenai," three structures with awnings, we might say, "one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elias." He didn't know what he was saying. Then a cloud from heaven overshadowed them, just as the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary, and a voice . . .

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Anthony Esolen is a professor at Magdalene College of the Liberal Arts in Warner, New Hampshire, and the author of many books, including Life Under Compulsion (ISI Books), Real Music: A Guide to the Timeless Hymns of the Church (Tan, with a CD), Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture (Regnery), and The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord (Ignatius Press, 2019). He has also translated Dante's Divine Comedy (Random House). He is a senior editor of Touchstone.

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