Model of Consecration: Aragorn

Meditation of the Day

Even though the Dark Lord has been vanquished, the One Ring and everything constructed with its power have been destroyed, Elessar has been crowned King and has begun his reign in mercy and justice, even still his joy is not complete. He wishes the Companions of the Ring to remain by his side, because the end of their story has not yet come. “I would have you wait a little while longer: for the end of the deeds that you have shared in has not yet come. A day draws near that I have looked for in all the years of my manhood, and when it comes I would have my friends beside me.” (Bk6 Ch5). Even after everything he has gone through to enjoy this moment of glorious triumph, Aragorn the humble Servant-King does not trust in his own worth or in the value of his colossal accomplishments. Even though he has met Elrond’s impossible conditions, he does not take it for granted that his beloved bride will now be his. He submits his desire to the will of heaven, and as Gandalf explains, he “waits for a sign.”

The sign takes the form of a tender young sapling of the White Tree, sprung up unexpectedly from a seed planted centuries earlier. It is growing in a hallow unvisited by anyone since the line of kings failed, but Gandalf the White, messenger of Eru, has led Aragorn there. What was true of his own lineage is true of the Tree that guarantees divine blessing upon his dynasty. “There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots” (Isaiah 11:1). “On that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, and repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old” (Amos 9:11). Aragorn is the embodiment of righteous, anointed kingship. Like David, he is a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam. 13:14). It is only because he continually submits his human will to the will of God that he deserves to reign, and to be united to Arwen Evenstar.

Then at last, on the Eve of Midsummer, comes the fulfilment of Aragorn’s desire. “Last came Master Elrond, mighty among Elves and Men, bearing the sceptre of Annúminas, and beside him upon a grey palfrey rode Arwen his daughter, Evenstar of her people. And Frodo when he saw her come glimmering in the evening, with stars on her brow and a sweet fragrance about her, was moved with great wonder, and he said to Gandalf: ‘At last I understand why we have waited! This is the ending. Now not day only shall be beloved, but night too shall be beautiful and blessed and all its fear pass away!’” (Bk6 Ch5).

Consecration to Mary will form in us the same heart that was in Aragorn, a heart that seeks the will of God above the highest honours and riches of this world, a heart that readily puts others above oneself, a heart that is fit to be an instrument for the accomplishment of God’s own purposes in the world.

Prayer

Hail, Mary, Mother of God, venerable treasure of the whole world. You are the lamp that is never extinguished, the crown of virginity, the rule of orthodoxy, the incorruptible temple containing the one whom nothing can contain, the mother and virgin, through whom the one who comes in the Name of the Lord receives in the Gospel the name of “Blessed.”
We salute you, who have borne the immensity of God in your virginal womb. Through you, the Trinity is sanctified. Through you, the Cross is venerated in the whole world. Through you, heaven is filled with joy. Through you, the angels and archangels rejoice.
Through you, demons are sent flying. Through you, the tempter devil is cast out of heaven. Through you, the fallen creature is elevated to heaven.
Through you, the whole universe, possessed by idolatry, has attained the knowledge of the truth. Through you, holy baptism comes to those who believe. Through you, the oil of gladness reaches us.
Through you, churches are established in the whole world. Through you, peoples are led to conversion.
Through you, even more, the only-begotten Son of God has radiated like light upon those who sat in darkness and the shadow of death.
Through you, the prophets have announced their message, and the Apostles have proclaimed salvation to the nations.
Through you, the dead rise, and kings exercise their royalty, by the power of the Holy Trinity.

A father of the Council of Ephesus (431)

Musical Selection

Action Points

  • Identify two or three areas in your life where you might be tempted to rely on your own strength, wisdom, or worthiness. Surrender these areas fully into God’s hands, through the hands of Mary.
  • Beg God to send His people leaders after His own heart, both in civil society and in the Church.

To Go Deeper

Galadriel | A New Eve, Who Overcomes the Tempter

Meditation of the Day

“Who is she that comes forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array?”

Song of Songs 6:10

The above description of the Bride has been applied typologically by our Catholic spiritual tradition to the Virgin Queen, who strikes terror in the hearts of the enemies of God. But paradoxically, she can only exercise such fearsome power now because during her earthly life, she continually chose to be nothing more than a lowly maidservant, as she declares both to the archangel Gabriel at the Annunciation and to her kinswoman Elizabeth (Luke 1:38,48). By her humility she undid the knot created by Eve’s pride in wanting to “be like God” (Gen. 3:5). She who humbled herself has now been exalted.

Galadriel makes the same choice as Mary. In her encounter with Frodo she is tempted—exactly as Eve was—to use the Ring to seize for herself the goddess-like status that would allow her to defeat the Enemy. Her prophetic sense, though, allows her to see very clearly what the end result would be: “All would love me and despair.” This would be the very opposite of what she desires and has always striven to achieve. It is her total clarity of vision, achieved by fidelity to contemplation, which allows her to unmask the temptation of the Ring for what it is, to reject the path of pride, and firmly to choose to remain herself, Galadriel. As she knows full well, this means that she will eventually have to relinquish her queenship and leave Middle-earth. “Suddenly she laughed again, and lo! she was shrunken: a slender elf-woman, clad in simple white, whose gentle voice was soft and sad. ‘I pass the test,’ she said. ‘I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Galadriel’” (Bk2 Ch7). At that moment, she is a worthy icon of the humble handmaid of Nazareth, who proclaimed that the Lord “has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly” (Luke 1:52).

We observe that the temptation presents to Galadriel’s conscience not an outright evil, but a good purpose: defeating Sauron, freeing those who live under his dominion, restoring justice and peace. However, as she knows very well, the end does not justify the means. If the means involves dominating other wills, robbing persons of their God-given freedom, it must be rejected as evil.

The Enemy in successive forms is always ‘naturally’ concerned with sheer Domination, and so the Lord of magic and machines; but the problem: that this frightful evil can and does arise from an apparently good root, the desire to benefit the world and others–speedily and according to the benefactor’s own plans–is a recurrent motive.

J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 131 to Milton Waldman (1951)

Having overcome every deceit of the wicked tempter, having crushed his proud head underfoot, our Mary is a most powerful recourse for us whenever we are subject to temptation. Entrusting ourselves fully to her is the quickest and surest means of avoiding the snares of the evil one, who loves to draw us away from the simplicity of children (or of hobbits) and entangle our minds in convoluted, perplexing inner debates.

Prayer

PRAYER OF CONFIDENCE IN MARY

Most Holy, Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary! To thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the Advocate, the Hope, and the Refuge of sinners, I have recourse today, I who am the most miserable of all.

I render thee my most humble homage, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces thou hast conferred on me until now, especially for having delivered me from Hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, O most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise to serve thee always and to do all in my power to make others love thee also. I place in thee all my hopes; I confide my salvation to thy care.

Accept me for thy servant and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, deliver me from all temptations; or rather, obtain for me the strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask a perfect love for Jesus Christ. Through thee I hope to die a good death. O my Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me at all times, but especially at the last moment of my life. Leave me not, I beseech thee, until thou seest me safe in Heaven, blessing thee and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen. Thus, I hope. Thus, may it be.

St. Alphonsus Liguori

Musical Selection

Action Points

  • Promise Our Lady that you will fly to her the next time you are seriously tempted.
  • Learn about the Novena to Mary Undoer of Knots.
  • Fully entrust an infernally tangled situation in your life to the New Eve.

To Go Deeper