The Jesus Chronicles


I will keep your vigil. Now keep mine. Keep your candle lit for me.

Keep the Vigil. Bring more light into the world.


I began A Course of Love on December 1, 1998 and finished the first book, “The Course” on December 1, 1999. I had not, at that point, had a single “conversation” with Jesus. A little less than a month later, I asked Jesus if he would talk to me, and a few days after that, he did. On New Year’s Day, 2000, he spoke the words that inspired me to start this page:

I will keep your vigil. Now keep mine. Keep your candle lit for me.

After finding some of these old typed pages last year, “Keep your candle lit for me” was the most touching part. It brought tears to my eyes.

Keeping vigil is often seen as what comes most fully in the hours of darkness—not only when one is usually asleep and is less likely to have other duties or things on one’s mind, but when we are feeling disoriented…or deceived. Yet, as Thomas Merton knew, keeping vigil is also a confrontation with our own heart and soul.

Many of us have heard of, and practiced vigilance, for a long time. Some see vigilance as an alertness to God’s presence, and others as keeping alert to a false self.

But what does it mean to “keep vigil” for someone?

One definition of keeping vigil is “an attentive openness to the work of God in our lives and in our world.” Some people keep vigil during Holy Week. I have done this myself on Holy Thursday. We may talk of keeping vigil when someone is dying or missing. Here in Minnesota, the Jacob Wetterling family kept a light burning for their missing son Jacob for decades. We light candles for peace, for solidarity, for an end to war or hardship.

To call for the light of love is a new response, and as old as time itself.

As I begin a new phase in my life—with my partnership with Mary Love, with this incredible Course that came into my life 20 years ago, and with you, I am calling for those of us who have received it fully, to move beyond the “words” of the book, to the living of its message. To, in being who we truly are, keep our candles lit for the new life coming…for our collective exit from the cave.

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