At home over Easter I was listening to the soundtrack from the Chronicles of Narnia, Prince Caspian as I was helping to clean the house. When I finished the soundtrack I did something I've never done before, I turned on the same movie to listen to it in the background as I continued to work. I really enjoy the building of charicters and dialogue between the characters that C.S. Luis creates. As a child I always loved watching movies such as the Chronicles of Narnia and the Lord of the Rings; even today I really enjoy watching movies like these. The last half of the movie I ended up sitting down and watching because my work was done. After the movie was over I was struck with great emotion and I could not figure out why. Honestly I was glad I was by myself. I began to think about what had unfolded in the movie and my own reflections and thoughts became a prayer.
I would like to share my prayer with you. As children we all dream of being a hero in some way whether that is a sports hero, traveling the world and climbing Mount Everest, or using sword and spear to go out and conquer a dragon or the evil villain, and capture the beautiful maiden’s heart. These desires are natural and good. As we grow up we grow out of our idealistic tendencies and fall into the practicalness and pessimism of the world. We lose sight of our adventure and the battles which we must fight. We fall into the mediocrity and the mundane rhythms of life and settle for a normal and comfortable life. When watching movies like Braveheart, The Patriot, or Chronicles of Narnia the old childlike tendencies of being a warrior can be stirred up in that little child in us who wants to be a hero, and cries out once more.
I then asked the Lord where are my battles? Where has my sense of adventure gone? Where the evil foes I must fight? Where is the sword in my hand and shield at my side as I march off to battle to defend justice against the evil foe and dastardly villain?
Here is the answer I heard in reply. Your battle is not in fairytales or comics. It is not in the past nor in the future, you must fight today, your battle is today. Stop trying to look for battles in the past these are all but gone. In the movie at one point Queen Lucy asks Aslan; would so many have died she would have followed him from the beginning? Would all the Narnians have died? Alsan replied, one can never know what would have happened but, she can follow him now. We will never know what would have happened if we had done something differently, if we had said something or did some action differently these are all things of the past and we cannot change the past, but we can move forward and we must move forward in the today, for today is the day that we are given. We cannot live under fear of our past, only learn from it and move on. The future is not yet come, we only look to the past and then look towards the future only long enough in order to allow us to act in the now.
Where are the battles I must fight today?
The battles are now! There are in the mediocrity and mundane present moment. Do heroes think that they are heroes in the present moment? When Pope John Paul II was fighting communism did he feel like a hero? When Mother Teresa was fighting for the dignity of the poor and dying, did she feel like a hero? When Cardinal Dolan was fighting for the dignity of the unborn and for the freedom of religion did he feel like a hero? The beauty of the hero is that in the present moment, the moment of greatest courage they acted first out of a desire to do the just and moral action. Heroes never act out of a desire for attention. There was not epic pump up music in the background pushing them to be a hero they were living their lives in the present and mundane moment. They saw a need in society that had to be addressed and they ran to meet it with courage even looking death in the face and being scared, yes, but then going ahead and acting in justice for those in greatest need and for the common good. They did not act out of fear of the past or look for fame in the future rather they acted out of justice and integrity in the very moment.
There are times when I see the battles that are set before me and I am tired of fighting, the glamour is gone, and all that is left seems to be blood, sweat, and tears. As I struggle with dyslexia, I persevered and battled it as if it were the evil foe, the dragon that has needed to be slaughtered for over 15 years, and I really enjoyed the challenge. All the people that encouraged me when I was in grade school are now gone, and I seem at times to be fighting alone. Indeed there are moments I want to give up the fight, because I wonder if it ever can be won. The glory of this battle is long gone and there many times when I've wanted to give up, throw in the hat, and say I can not do it, curl up in a ball and throw a pity party for my self. So what if the glamour is gone, I must continue to fight with dyslexia, and in all the battles that I face on a daily basis, day in and day out. Boredom must never get the best of us, we must fight to the end in the present moment of today. In all the epic movies it is precisely at this time when all hope seems to be gone but the battle must go on and evil must be conquered. They must renew their strength in the blood, sweat, and tears and fight on. In the Chronicles of Narnia Prince Caspian all of Narnia is vastly outnumbered and they had lost many of their warriors. Then we get a panoramic view of the seen and see another legion of Telmarines are fresh and marching forward forming ranks. The Telmarines are strong and ready for battle. Kings Peter and Edmond look at each other and then charge back into battle renewed in strength. They never admitted defeat. Nor can we admit defeat today or any other day. The greatest battles in life are not the ones you see in the newspaper or in the movies but the day to day battles in life that we must preserver to over come day in and day out. They my not be glamorous but they are more noble then those battles in the movies. I have my battles and you have yours they are different but we must fight them together. Today is the day we go into the fray and we enter into the battles of our daily life renewed by hope because death no longer has power over us, Christ has won the battle and has risen from the dead. Alleluia!!!
St Michael the Archangel, Pray for us
Men in Christ, Men of the Church, Men of others