Monday, December 29, 2014

Frodo and the Theotokos

(This post was written last Advent)

We are in the midst of the beautiful Advent season, the 43 day period before we celebrate the nativity of our Lord, and a period during which all the church hymns bring our minds to wonder at the mystery of the incarnation and its glorious salvific work for humankind.  The second Hobbit movie also just came out.  Naturally since my brother and my sister Mary are obsessed with Tolkien, I went to see it, and it inspired me to finally read the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings books.

I recently finished the Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring, and since we are in Kiahk, Frodo reminded me of St. Mary.  This humble little being had to bear the burden of the One Ring, always struggling against yielding his heart to covet its power.  As owner of the Ring, he could have worn it and used its power, but he knew that he was not strong enough to use its power for good, and that simply lusting for such power meant that his heart was already bent toward evil.  He struggled constantly, not to let his heart submit to its evil.  Some days the burden was so heavy he had to be carried, some days it was light.

It seems the same could be said of the Theotokos St. Mary.  She was given the greatest honor of all human beings, the highest power any human being could ever attain, to be the Mother of God.  We see the struggles of Christ with Satan, during His temptation, and in His final hours in the Garden of Gethsemane, but we do not know of St. Mary's struggles.  Yet surely Satan must have tempted her heart to be filled with pride, realizing her purity, realizing that she is and will always be the only human being ever bestowed with such an honor and responsibility.  Pregnancy is hard enough, yet imagine on top of that having to deal with the fact that you are going to bear the Son of God.  Forget about pregnancy, what about after Christ was crucified and resurrected, knowing that your Son rose from the dead and has conquered all things.  I doubt the devil left her alone; he probably desired the downfall of St. Mary most after the downfall of Christ.  She must have experienced the worst spiritual struggle of any human being.  But we know, she passed the test.