Candles and incense

Symbols for what we must burn within for our prayers to be heard

November 11th 2012
In churches and temples, it is the custom to light candles and burn incense. Why is this? Because lighting candles and burning incense symbolizes sacrifice, that is to say the transformation of raw matter into the subtler matter of light and fragrance. The light and fragrance that accompany the prayers of the faithful rising to the Lord represent what they must burn within themselves if they are to be heard. None of the actions a person performs happens by chance. Even those that appear insignificant contain deep meaning. So, each time you light a candle or a fire, you should be struck by the depth of the nature of sacrifice, and bear in mind that in order to gain access to the higher planes of the soul and spirit you must always burn something in yourself. There are so many things we have accumulated inside ourselves that are for burning! All the impurities, all the selfish, passionate tendencies – those are the materials we must burn if we are to bring forth a light that will never leave us.