So I’m just finishing up the first book in the Lord of the Rings series and loving it! If you enjoyed the movies, you HAVE to read the books. I would argue that the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien far outshine the Hollywood movies.
Anyway- last night I came across this passage that struck me;
“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all the lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater“ ( p. 454, Fellowship of the Ring)
The quote is from a secondary, less important character, so I won’t focus on who said it, but rather what was said. Doesn’t this sound like our times? Peril, dark places, grief…. I have to think of recent elections, disunity, extreme weather emergencies, hateful speech, pandemics, radical movements, angry protests, evil laws being passed…
Yet even in the darkest of times, there are things that are fair and love that is greater. Though these words come from an elf in a storybook, they are profoundly true today. We can fix our eyes on the dark, chaotic and oppressive events, or we can seek out the beautiful, lovely, life giving and authentic events that continue to take place.
Perhaps a good question to ask ourselves is: What do I choose to see in the world each day ? Am I contributing to the darkness, or do I shine like the stars that give light in the night ?
On the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, I came across a magnificent quote by Saint Gregory the Great (in my Magnificat prayer/mass book). I had recently watched the movie Planet Earth II ( which I highly recommend- very well made, adorable & inspiring) which rather unexpectedly, renewed in me a sense of wonder, awe and beauty for our home here on earth. So with these sentiments already in my heart, and a thankfulness for God’s gift of nature, I read the following words of Saint Gregory the Great with a blissful and joyful heart:
“When the king of heaven was born, the heavens knew that he was God because they immediately sent forth a star; the sea knew him because it allowed him to walk upon it; the earth knew him because it trembled when he died; the sun knew him because it hid the rays of its light”
Even the great and uncontrollable weather systems and created world bow before the King of the universe. The earth and all it’s beauty are simply a glimpse into the wonderful being of God, our Father and Creator. If we appreciate and are amazed by the complexity of the galaxies, the seasons that bring forth change, the animals and plants that bring life, then we have received an incredible gift. A gift meant to bless us, amaze us, and ultimately, bring us back to the Giver of the gift. Back to God. Back to the Author of beauty.
I pray that 2020 be a year of deep encounter with the wonders of God that have been painted all around us. May the black and white view of the world, that so often threatens to bring us down, or deceive us, be replaced with a vivid and magnificently bright and colourful lens.