Saturday, December 1, 2012

"Soon and very soon..."

It seems fitting on this last day of the liturgical year, which, as does the Solemnity of Christ the King, symbolically puts us in mind of the end-of-time, to share a reflection from the end of C.S. Lewis' The Magician's Nephew.

Before departing Narnia for their home world, this world in 1900, Aslan gives Digory Kirke and Polly Plummer a dire warning rooted in the now non-existent world of Charn, to which Polly replies, "But we're not quite as bad as that world, are we, Aslan?" The majestic lion responds:
Not yet, Daughter of Eve... Not yet. But you are growing more like [Charn]. It is not certain that some wicked one of your race will not find out a secret as evil as the Deplorable Word and use it to destroy all living things. And soon, very soon, before you are are an old man and an old woman, great nations in your world will be ruled by tyrants who care no more for joy and justice and mercy than the Empress Jadis. Let your world beware.
Queen Jadis of Charn, set loose in London

It would be too much to say that Lewis was prophetic because The Magician's Nephew, while chronologically the first book of the Chronicles of Narnia, was actually the sixth book of the series to be published, being published in 1955, that is, after the unleashing of the atom bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima and the firebombing of Dresden and other German cities at the end of World War II, at the height of the Cold War.

In Revelation the end time is depicted as the cosmic Mother-of-All-Battles. Keeping this in mind, let us not lose sight of something terribly important, a matter of life and death, something that St. Paul so emphatically taught is his letter to the Church at Ephesus:

"Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground" (Eph. 6:11-13). Or, prepare ye the way of the Lord.

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