I am writing this post from the Indianapolis International Airport while waiting for a return flight to Seattle.

Several months ago when I booked flights home for a post-Easter break, I could not understand why the flights were so full and the cost was more than usual. Last weekend, it dawned on me – Indianapolis was one of the best places in the country for viewing today’s total eclipse of the sun! By God’s Providence, I was able to spend the day with my sister, Sr. Nicolette and the community of Benedictine Sisters at Our Lady of Grace in Beech Grove.

Sr. Nicolette and myself watching the eclipse from Our Lady of Grace Monastery in Beech Grove, Indiana.

I’ve never experienced a total eclipse of the sun before, and it was an exceptional experience! It took about an hour for the moon to fully eclipse the sun. As the sky began to darken, it felt like I was wearing polarized glasses as the atmosphere took on a very different ‘look’. I was prepared for the darkness, but was curious just how dark it would get. The total eclipse lasted about three minutes. What I did not expect was the temperature dropping about ten degrees. Stars were visible, and, most notable, the birds began to chirp as if dawn was breaking all over again.

As the title for the blog says, the psalm refrain came to mind: “Sun and moon, bless the Lord!” This was a most powerful way to live that blessing.

Additionally, as the birds were chirping, I could not help but recall the Gospels that tell us when Jesus died on the cross, it was about noon, and a great darkness filled the sky, and lasted until around 3:00. While this was probably not a solar eclipse, I thought about the significance of Christ’s death winning the victory over the darkness of sin. Especially, during that darkness, did the birds sing as they did during this eclipse, as if announcing the dawn of a new day? A new covenant? I would wager they did!

This experience was a beautiful way to celebrate today’s feast of the Annunciation. The Angel Gabriel visited the earth to bring God’s greeting and message to Mary. Today, the Creator announced his glory to the world once again!

Wherever you are today, may you be blessed, and may your life bless the Lord as did the sun and moon today!