Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Looking Toward The Light

Trisha Hannon Smith

    For more than four decades I have visited the eye doctor annually.  I have had the same conversation over and over:


    Eye Doctor: Read the lowest line you can see.

Me: E.


I was the unlucky winner of the genetic lottery, inheriting the family “lazy eye.” I was four years old when I first got glasses. It is one of my earliest and clearest memories.  I cried in the eye doctor’s office that day knowing that I would look different and therefore wrong. My red plastic frames were accompanied by an eye-patch and years of insecurity.

The patch technique corrected my lazy eye but I had to continue wearing glasses for my nearsightedness. Despite years of unflattering frames, my glasses slowly became a part of my persona. Hot beverages still make them fog up, and trying new frames makes me realize how very crooked my ears are; but ultimately, I embrace my nerd-chic.

A strange cultural phenomenon happened a decade or two ago. Glasses, once a symbol of weakness, suddenly represented intelligence and high fashion. The hipster look had arrived. Trendsetting youngsters sported frames that held nothing but non-prescriptively bent glass for the sake of being on point.

My children disagree with me that the eye doctor is the most painless of all doctors. (They detest the machine that blows air into their eyeballs.)  But we all agree it is our favorite checkup because most visits end with the selection of new glasses. My sons both embrace that life is too short to wear boring glasses. They accept their diagnosis of nearsightedness with enthusiasm and a penchant for picking out stylish frames.

My eldest son is the latest to be prescribed glasses in our clan. It did not go unnoticed that his diagnosis came in conjunction with the feast day of Saint Lucy, whose name means “light,” in the midst of the darkest part of the year.

The Patron of Blindness is a fierce role-model for our sons and daughters. Saint Lucy lost her life during the persecution of Christians in the early fourth century, choosing to have her eyes gouged out rather than falter in her loyalty to follow Christ. She is often portrayed in paintings with a golden plate holding her eyes and often holds a palm branch, a symbol of victory over evil.

    I’ve reached the age where my eyes are subtly changing, and my eye doctor warns that bifocals may soon be in my future. I am working to accept this with grace, knowing it is a natural progression of life.  However, I will pray...

O St. Lucy, you preferred to let your eyes be torn out instead of denying the faith and defiling your soul; and God, through an extraordinary miracle, replaced them with another pair of sound and perfect eyes to reward your virtue and faith, appointing you as the protector against eye diseases. I come to you for you to protect my eyesight and to heal the illness in my eyes.


O St. Lucy, preserve the light of my eyes so that I may see the beauties of creation, the glow of the sun, the color of the flowers and the smile of children.

Preserve also the eyes of my soul, the faith, through which I can know my God, understand His teachings, recognize His love for me and never miss the road that leads me to where you, St. Lucy, can be found in the company of the angels and saints.

St. Lucy, protect my eyes and preserve my faith. Amen.


Prayer taken from