Monday, November 17, 2014

And then her heart changed, or at least she understood it; and the winter passed, and the sun shone upon her.

Blessed be the LORD! for He has shown me the wonders of His love in a besieged city. Psalm 31:21

But who knows what she spoke to the darkness, alone, in the bitter watches of the night, when all her life seemed shrinking, and the walls of her bower closing in about her, a hutch to trammel some wild thing in?

So of course the besieged city verse led my thoughts to The Return of the King, the gleaming stabs of truth that pierce even the darkest cold before the dawn. Fierce beauties that slide between heart and mind and sing forth His joy.

In rode the Lord of the Nazgûl. A great black shape against the fires beyond he loomed up, grown to a vast menace of despair. In rode the Lord of the Nazgûl, under the archway that no enemy ever yet had passed, and all fled before his face.

All save one. There waiting, silent and still in the space before the Gate, sat Gandalf upon Shadowfax: Shadowfax who alone among the free horses of the earth endured the terror, unmoving, steadfast as a graven image in Rath Dínen.

"You cannot enter here," said Gandalf, and the huge shadow halted. "Go back to the abyss prepared for you! Go back! Fall into the nothingness that awaits you and your Master. Go!" 

The Black Rider flung back his hood, and behold! he had a kingly crown; and yet upon no head visible was it set. The red fires shone between it and the mantled shoulders vast and dark. From a mouth unseen there came a deadly laughter.

"Old fool!" he said. "Old fool! This is my hour. Do you not know Death when you see it? Die now and curse in vain!" And with that he lifted high his sword and flames ran down the blade.

And in that very moment, away behind in some courtyard of the city, a cock crowed. Shrill and clear he crowed, reckoning nothing of war nor of wizardry, welcoming only the morning that in the sky far above the shadows of death was coming with the dawn.

And as if in answer there came from far away another note. Horns, horns, horns, in dark Mindolluin's sides they dimly echoed. Great horns of the north wildly blowing. Rohan had come at last.

And yes.

There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tower high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty forever beyond its reach.

And yesterday I received yet another email from the man who knelt down in the middle of the high El Camino to give thanks to the Almighty God.

Greetings, I hope you are well and I wish both you and the family, I write these lines because this morning something profound happened to me I would like to share contigo. Like every day I was meditating, and at the end I begged our Father to send a sign of His love and He filled my mind with the image of you putting your hand on my leg in front of the cathedral, and I knew great joy, because He had responded to my prayers and my doubts were put to rest instantly. Gracias for existing and transmitting the work of God.

And yesterday I too exactly shared this great joy because gleaming stabs of truth pierced the darkness which had descended and wrapped its strong arms around me so I could but barely breathe.

And yes, this Shadow is but a passing thing. There is light and high beauty forever beyond its reach.

For You will give me everlasting felicity and will make me glad with the joy of Your presence. For I put my trust in the LORD; because of the loving-kindness of the Most High, I will not fall. Psalm 21: 6-7

Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought me in safety to this new day: Preserve me with your mighty power, that I may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all I do direct me to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.