Friday, August 22, 2008
Queen of Heaven
Today the Church remembers Mary as "Queen of Heaven." There's a bit at the end of The Return of the King, when Sam and Frodo are trudging through Mordor, thirsty and exhausted. As Frodo lies down to sleep, Sam looks up through the black smoke and sees a single, silver star thousands of miles above. The star's constancy gives him great comfort: whatever his own fate, there is something good and beautiful that goes on. I wish I had the passage here with me... Mary's beauty is like that star.
"Far above the Ephel Duath in the West the night-sky was still dim and pale. There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor 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. His song in the Tower had been defiance rather than hope; for then he was thinking of himself. Now, for a moment, his own fate, and even his master's, ceased to trouble him. He crawled back into the brambles and laid himself by Frodo's side, and putting away all fear he cast himself into a deep untroubled sleep."