In the Apocalypse, the Woman crowned with twelve stars who the Church has unceasingly taught to be the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, stands with the moon under her feet, "clothed with the sun". The imagery is quite apt to an eclipse.
I was interested to find out why we are warned particularly not to look at the eclipse and found some information here. The expert says...
...in a nutshell, solar eclipses are dangerous because the sun can come out from behind the moon and "surprise you" before you have a chance to look away. And this is actually even worse than when you normally look away from the sun because during the total eclipse, it is dark out, and your pupil therefore dilates so that it can let in enough light to get a good picture. Then, when the sun reappears and starts flooding the area with really bright light, not only are you staring straight at it, but your eye is in a state where it is wide open, and actively trying to let in as much light as possible.
The sun is symbolic of Christ, the Sun of Justice, who radiates light and warmth upon mankind. The moon is symbolic of Mary who has no light of her own, but radiates as a mirror the light of her Divine Son. When the moon covers the sun, it does not simply 'block out' the sun, but has the effect of magnifying or intensifying the beauty of the sun. Our Blessed Lady, in the Magnificat says, 'My soul doth magnify the Lord.'
Our Lady leads us to and shows us her Son. She is the cause of our joy, a singular vessel of devotion. What to the physical eye during an eclipse is dangerous is to the soul, life and intense light, light so bright it illuminates all those who 'sit in darkness'. Mary, whose light is not her own, comes between us and her Divine Son, not to block out her Son, but to magnify Him. Because unlike her Son, Mary is not God, we could gaze upon her during this heavenly eclipse and our spiritual eyes dilate to get a good picture. In this imagery, we cannot simply look at her Son as He is in his glory because 'nobody can see God and live'. She prepares us to behold her Son in Heaven when we have been purified from every sin and imperfection.
The only question is...does that analogy make much sense? I'd really like it to. Perhaps it needs adjusting. Can anyone help it make sense? I'm not sure it does!
By the way, upon the Feast of St Joseph, I obtained a job as an English language teacher.
Therefore, a belated public thank you to St Joseph!
BBC say they are going to get 'further analysis' of the spot at 10 o'clock. Is that a flare, or something else?