Model of Consecration: Gimli

Meditation of the Day

Galadriel’s unexpected gesture of compassion to Gimli the Dwarf, as relatively minor as it may appear at first, has profound and transformative consequences for the remainder of his life.[1] Not only does he become an Elf-friend, and develop a strong personal bond with Legolas thereafter, but he becomes devoted to Galadriel herself in a way that goes far beyond admiration; it can only properly be compared to the courtly love that a medieval knight would exhibit to a lady of high standing (typically, the wife of his liege lord).[2] Later, in the land of Rohan (Bk3 Ch2), upon encountering Éomer and being suspected of being a “net-weaver and sorcerer” for having the favour of the Lady of the Golden Wood, Gimli is ready to fight and die on the spot, in defence of her honour. It appears that Galadriel, for her part, also understands him as forever devoted to her service: in her message to him through Gandalf the White, she dubs him “Lock-bearer,” calls herself “his Lady,” and brings him surpassing joy with the consoling words, “Wherever thou goest my thought goes with thee” (Bk3 Ch5; notice the use of archaic personal pronouns here, which is likely a nod to the medieval ethos).[3]

All this can easily be transposed to the living out of consecration to Our Lady. If we place ourselves humbly, sincerely at her service, and seek to do great deeds solely for her honour, with no thought of self-interest, we can be sure that she will respond with special protection and marks of favour toward us. If, in addition, we endure hardship and incur contempt (as Gimli initially did for his short and stocky stature), she will be even more ready to encourage us. She is the most gracious Queen we could ever desire to serve.

Prayer

Ave Augustissima, Regina pacis, sanctissima Mater Dei, per Sacratissimum Cor Jesu Filii tui Principis Pacis, fac ut quiescat ira ipsius et regnet super nos in pace. Memorare, O piissima Virgo Maria, non esse auditum a saeculo quemquam tua petentem suffragia esse derelictum. Ego tali animatus confidentia ad te venio. Noli, Mater Verbi, verba mea despicere; sed audi propitia, et exaudi, O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria. Amen.Hail, thou that art most Venerable, Queen of Peace, most holy Mother of God; through the Sacred Heart of Jesus thy Son, the Prince of Peace, cause His anger to cease from us, that so He may reign over us in peace. Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who sought thy prayers was forsaken by God. Inspired with this confidence, I come unto thee. Despise not my petitions, O Mother of the Incarnate Word; but in thy loving kindness hear and answer me, O merciful, O kind, O sweet Virgin Mary. Amen.

Musical Selection

Action Points

  • Pick three things (or more!), great or small, that you can do solely for Mary’s honour.
  • Reflect on some simple ways to spread devotion to the Immaculate.

To Go Deeper


[1] And on his afterlife: we learn at the end of Appendices A and B that alone of all Dwarvenkind, Gimli was granted the unheard-of privilege of sailing to the Undying Lands with his friend Legolas. “It is said that Gimli went also out of desire to see again the beauty of Galadriel; and it may be that she, being mighty among the Eldar, obtained this grace for him” (Appendix A). In Letter 154 to Naomi Mitchison, Tolkien would write in 1954 that Gimli was a “unique exception (. . .) as friend of Legolas and ‘servant’ of Galadriel.”

[2] Gimli “devotes himself to Galadriel in much the way a medieval knight devotes himself to his lady (an image of courtly dedication which in its highest form is transferred to the Lady, to Mary, the mother of Christ).” Marjorie Burns, Perilous Realms: Celtic and Norse in Tolkien’s Middle-earth, p. 152; cited in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, The Lord of the Rings: A Reader’s Companion, 2d ed. (London, U.K.: HarperCollins, 2014), p. 340.

[3] We may even surmise that Gimli’s lifelong celibacy is a sign of his ongoing sense of consecration, even after the War of the Ring.