Lux in Tenebris Lucet
"All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle."
-St. Francis of Assisi
oil on canvas
36 x 24 in
Sometimes, our world can seem so dark and full of immorality that the future seems hopeless, as if the darkness has won. Yet we must always remember that darkness has no power over the Light of the World, and it will not overcome the Light that is within each of us: that of Christ. Whether it be the darkness we witness around us, or the darkness we battle inside ourselves, it is incapable of blowing out this Candle, which is continually living and burning within us.
This painting, whose title in Latin means, "The light shines in the darkness," attempts to depict this reality between the Light within us and the darkness of a fallen world. A distressed yet peaceful girl gently smiles as she cries amidst the darkness. She is well aware of the darkness around her and is saddened because of it, yet she possesses the Light and Love of God, as depicted by the single candle illuminating from within and radiating on her face. It is her conviction and faith in the endurance of this Candle that gives her hope, strength, and confidence to carry on. At the same time, this Light serves as a witness of hope to others. Since darkness entails a multitude of concepts and emotions, the solid black background simply represents "all the darkness" in the world, which strikingly contrasts with the gentle light of this girl. Through the murky and distressed rendering of the figure, this piece also showcases that the darkness of this world may soil us on the outside, but it cannot soil our inner Light.