Meditation of the Day
Sing now, ye people of the Tower of Anor,
for the Realm of Sauron is ended for ever,
and the Dark Tower is thrown down.
Sing and rejoice, ye people of the Tower of Guard,
for your watch hath not been in vain,
and the Black Gate is broken,
and your King hath passed through, and he is victorious.
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you all the days of your life.
And the Tree that was withered shall be renewed,
and he shall plant it in the high places,
and the City shall be blessed.
Sing all ye people! (Bk6 Ch5)
Thus proclaims the eagle sent from the Valar, announcing the Good News to the people of Minas Tirith—the faithful city, the citadel of the saints, a shining image of the Church militant. To sing in praise of God’s mighty deeds is one of the primary duties of God’s holy People on earth. We see the entire people of Gondor responding to the summons with all their might: “And the City was filled again with women and fair children that returned to their homes laden with flowers; and from Dol Amroth came the harpers that harped most skilfully in all the land; and there were players upon viols and upon flutes and upon horns of silver, and clear-voiced singers from the vales of Lebennin” (Bk6 Ch5).
When Queen Arwen comes to the city, she too will join in this triumphant song: “Frodo went to the King as he was sitting with the Queen Arwen by the fountain, and she sang a song of Valinor, while the Tree grew and blossomed” (Bk6 Ch6). One of the central aspects of her role as queen will be to ensure that this song of praise continues to resound through the halls and streets and homes of her realm, even when the time of jubilation is over and the hard work of rebuilding must begin. There is no temple in the city, because the entire city is meant to be a temple, continually celebrating the gift of salvation.
So it is with the ongoing role of Mary in the Church. Like her ancient namesake Miriam, who led the Israelite women in a victory song with timbrels at the Red Sea (Ex. 15:20), our Queen of Peace is a songstress who lets her hymn of praise resound through the successive generations, until her Son comes again:
He has shown strength with His arm;Luke 1:51-52
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.
As her faithful sons and daughters, consecrated to her, we form a vast choir under her expert direction. Whenever hearts grow cold around us, or inspiration falters, or wisdom dims, or the road ahead seems strewn with obstacles, it will be our task to lift up our voices in her name, for the sake and praise of her Son.
Today, the root of Jesse has produced its shoot: she will bring forth a Divine flower for the world…. Today, the Creator of all things, God the Word, composes a new book: a book issuing from the heart of his Father and written by the Holy Spirit, Who is the tongue to God….
O daughter of King David and Mother of God, the universal King; O Divine and living object whose beauty has charmed God the Creator; your whole soul is completely open to God’s action and attentive to God alone.
All your desires are centered only on what merits to be sought and what is worthy of love. You harbour anger only for sin and its author. You will have a life superior to nature – but not for your own sake. For it has not been created for you but has been entirely consecrated to God, who has introduced you into the world to help bring about our salvation in fulfillment of his plan – the Incarnation of his Son and the Divinization of the human race.
Your heart will find nourishment in the words of God, like the tree planted near the living waters of the Spirit, like the tree of life that has yielded its fruit in due time – the incarnate God who is the life of all things.
Your ears will be ever attentive to the Divine words and the sounds of the harp of the Spirit, through whom the Word has come to take on our flesh…. Your nostrils will inhale the fragrance of the Bridegroom, the Divine fragrance with which he scented his humanity.
Your lips will savor the words of God and will rejoice in their Divine sweetness. Your most pure heart, free from all stain, will ever see the God of all purity and will experience ardent desire for Him.
Your womb will be the abode of the one whom no place can contain. Your milk will provide nourishment for God, in the little Infant Jesus…. Your hands will carry God, and your knees will serve as a throne for Him that is more noble than the throne of the Cherubim….
Your feet, led by the light of the Divine Law, will follow him along an undeviating course and guide you to the possession of the Beloved.
You are the temple of the Holy Spirit, the city of the living God, made joyous by abundant flowers, the sacred flowers of divine grace. You are all-beautiful and very close to God, above the Cherubim and higher than the Seraphim, right near God Himself!
St. John Damascene
- Sing! Sing the song that arises from the depths of your heart, when your spirit perceives that God has won the decisive victory for us against all darkness, that nothing can now separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, that all things work together for good, for those who love God (see Romans 8).
To Go Deeper
- Jon Bloom, “How Can We Give Thanks in All Circumstances?“