Meditation of the Day
Then the heart of Éowyn changed, or else at last she understood it. And suddenly her winter passed, and the sun shone on her. (Bk6 Ch5)
In the presence of the gentle, wise, patient love of Faramir (one who has been as deeply wounded by life and by the Shadow as she has), Éowyn undergoes a miraculous transformation: from despair to hope, from the grim pursuit of death to the joyful service of life, from self-protection to the vulnerability of intimacy, from the prideful desire to be a queen to unconcern about rank. She vows, “I will be a healer, and love all things that grow and are not barren.” Overjoyed, Faramir proposes that they make a home in Ithilien, a once fair garden land that was blighted by its proximity to Mordor. They will be renewers of the land. “All things will grow with joy there, if the White Lady comes.” She has come into the fullness of her spiritual stature (see Eph. 4:13). She will be a human counterpart to Galadriel, and an even more luminous icon of our Blessed Lady than she already was.
All this magnificent potential lay within Éowyn, but as Tolkien suggests, she did not understand her own heart. God had to reveal it to her, through a long, dark tunnel of suffering (shame, rejection, the feeling of being trapped, the soul-and-body-breaking encounter with the Witch-King). If only there could be an easier way, for her and for us! But grace prevailed in her, over the dark temptations, and prepared her to take the risky step of allowing Faramir to see her, with the eyes of love. Her stay in the Houses of Healing (another Marian image!) was the final catalyst. “Now that I have leave to depart, I would remain. For this House has become to me of all dwellings the most blessed” (cf. Luke 1:42).
Our Lady desires to oversee a similar process of inner transformation within each of us: away from the false self, often constructed as a defence against outside threats, and toward the true self, “which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24; cf. Col. 3:10). If we invite her, she will begin to delicately peel back the layers of inauthenticity that we may not even realize are covering our hearts. She will introduce us to her Son, the true Bridegroom of our souls, whose redemptive love is the only remedy that can make us whole.
|Alma Redemptoris Mater, quae pervia caeli |
porta manes, et stella maris, succurre cadenti,
surgere qui curat, populo: tu quae genuisti,
natura mirante, tuum sanctum Genitorem,
Virgo prius ac posterius, Gabrielis ab ore
sumens illud Ave, peccatorum miserere.
|Mother of Christ, hear thou thy people’s cry,|
Star of the deep, and Portal of the sky!
Mother of Him who thee from nothing made,
Sinking we strive, and call to thee for aid:
Oh, by that joy which Gabriel brought to thee,
thou Virgin first and last, let us thy mercy see.
- Invite Mary to be the midwife of your truest self, your deepest spiritual identity. Give her permission to lead you to her Son, whose love will make you a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17), day by day.
- Find a concrete way of expressing your desire to place yourself resolutely at the service of life.
To Go Deeper
- Stephen C. Winter, “Éowyn and Faramir Declare Their Love as Éowyn Understands her Heart at Last“
- Souls and Hearts Podcast – Taking Risks and Asking Mary to Reveal the Thoughts of our Hearts (Ep. 10)