The other day I was sitting in church at the end of the day, when the afternoon sun comes in low through the windows on the St. Joseph side. One of the windows in front of me as open, and the sunlight was beaming through. In the sunbeam I could see particles of dust hanging in the air or moving about. This sight fascinated me when I was little, and I still enjoy it.
As I continued to consider the illuminated dust, I noticed how strong a metaphor it is for ourselves. We are hardly anything, unnecessary and entirely contingent. That we are anything worth noticing--indeed anything of beauty--it is only because at certain moments we catch the Light and become illuminated by Grace. We would be dirt on the floor, except that the quickening heat of the Light bears us up so that we might float on the currents of the Spirit, Who blows where He wills. To have this habitually is what holiness means.
'Dust to dust,' as someone will pray of us one day as our bodies are committed to the earth, but in this time in between, we have a glimpse of the world to come as particles of dust made beautiful, shiny, buoyant, and warm in the Light.