When I was ordained to the priesthood Bishop BASIL told me to keep the fire in my heart – the vigil candle – in my heart aflame at all times. He cautioned me to not let the fire die out. This has stayed with me for the almost 8 years of my priesthood.
The Light of the World is also the lamp of the body. Once the lamp is lit, it is our responsibility to see that the Light is never extinguished. There is a synergy of God, the Father, and man at work. God can bring light suddenly and unexpectedly to fill up our hearts and minds. But expectation and effort can prepare our hearts to receive light from the Light. We are in the light and yet we are not the light. We take on the properties of God without becoming what He is in his essence. The theological term for this participation is Theosis. We can, by grace, become like God is in His nature.
The best example of Theosis is an historic one. We can picture a sword being place in a fire. The sword takes on all the properties of the fire. It becomes hot and turns red. It can set other things on fire. The energy of the fire permeates the sword and it picks up the properties of fire. But, it never becomes fire.