Saturday, May 23, 2009
When the archangel Gabriel appeared to the humble maiden, the Blessed Virgin Mary, all creation held its breath in silence waiting for her response. Indeed, her answer would decide the doom of the world. Neither the great armies of ancient Egypt nor Babylon nor Persia nor Alexander the Great nor even the great Roman Legions could save the world from from its doom of eternal slavery to Mordor (Satan and his minions). Only the Humble Maiden and her divine Son could do this. The humility of this simple, humble maiden overcame Satan's pride and made it possible for the Son of God to take flesh and save us from the doom that was brought about by Adam's sin.
Such was God's plan for saving the human family; it is his "method" of heroism. The heroism found in Tolkien's writings are a faint but wonderful reflection of God's plan of heroism: "In both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, the ways of providence, often managed and interpreted by Gandalf, are to use unheroic, humble figures ... in a heroic manner. The world is to be saved by humble, ordinary people, not the mighty, powerful and wise." [Colin Duriez, The J.R.R. Tolkien Handbook (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1992) 114]
It is beyond doubt that we are saved by the Incarnation and Redemption of Jesus the Christ. In other words, the Son of God became man and died on the Cross and rose from the dead to redeem us and save us from the evil clutches of Satan. It is only through his Redemptive Act that we are saved; however, the Blessed Virgin Mary had a wonderful role of cooperation and consent (and suffering) to make our salvation possible, that is, to provide her living flesh so that the Son of God would become flesh. God chose to give her---and through her all who would be saved---the wonderful opportunity of saying "yes" to God's awesome plan.