I am not fond of winter. The cold creeps into my old bones and sometimes even extra layers and big, furry-lined slippers can’t warm me up. But other winter features thrill my heart. I’m an early riser so I often greet the day long before the sun peeps over Massanutten Mountain to the east. Usually, I come downstairs and go outside to glory in the magnificent clear winter sky with its profusion of stars. I look for Jupiter and Saturn and pick out the Big Dipper and Orion and can often see the creamy white of the Milky Way. One morning a falling star greeted me! What a thrill! The first I’ve seen in years.
In many ways we are living in both a societal and a liturgical winter. Both the Church and the state are suffering an ice age. Like C.S. Lewis’ land of Narnia, frigid and frozen under the rule of the White Witch, we battle numerous wicked spirits in both the Church and government. But if you remember Lewis’ story, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, there were resisters. Mr. Tumnus, the fawn, refused to turn Lucy over to the witch’s wolf police after she wandered into Narnia through the wardrobe. He suffered for it, being turned into a stone statue outside her palace. Later, Lucy and her siblings witnessed the devastation of his gutted home, the reprisal for his “treason.” The friendly beavers too became guides and helpers to the children in rescuing their brother, Edmund, sucked into the power of the witch by his selfishness and greed.
Does any of this sound familiar applied to our time? We face treacherous betrayal, diabolical tyranny, and relentless attacks on the truth! But, despite all the evil, we have allies defending the helpless, especially those “led to the slaughter.” One whom I admired greatly was Dick Retta who died recently after spending years on the front lines at abortuaries saving God’s precious babies.
The Narnia stories have much to teach adults about friendship, faithfulness, fortitude, courage, sacrifice, and, especially, love. “Is Aslan [the lion, and a Christ figure],‘safe?’” Lucy asks the beavers. “Who said anything about safe?” responds Mr. Beaver, “Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.” When many in the Church and the culture preach a fluffy Jesus who stands at the pearly gates where “all are welcome” with Cinnabon’s and chocolates, I think of Aslan, murdered by the witch at the stone table. Aslan sacrifices himself on the hard rock to save Edmund; Christ sacrificed himself on the hard wood of the cross to save all of us.
The children’s conversation with the beavers reveals an important truth about Him who is TRUTH itself and our king. Truth is never safe! That’s why evil relentlessly attacks it. Truth destroys the walls and towers and empires built by evil. But people never deliberately choose evil. That’s why it must be disguised as a good. Planned Parenthood and Compassion in Dying invent euphemisms to hide the dirty truth about abortion and euthanasia. They frame it as protecting the “right to choose.” It’s about personal freedom and sovereignty of the individual. Abortion allows the coed to continue her education. Euthanasia and assisted suicide allow the sick and the depressed to have a “peaceful,” pain free death. The population controllers hide their agenda behind names like The Good Club, a tiny elitist group of billionaires with combined assets of over 125 billion who met in 2009 to address ways to curb population. The group included Bill Gates, George Soros, Oprah Winfrey, David Rockefeller (who died in 2017), and a handful of others working to depopulate the planet. One of the means? Global vaccination. But that’s an article for another day.
We must never give in to discouragement or despair as we face evil. God only allows it for the good he can bring from it. Already we see people waking up as the madmen in government seek to crush freedom, well advanced in many places. Nevertheless, we retain the means to fight. Who was more powerful? Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth with their attack on the faith? Or Thomas More and Edmund Campion who resisted them to the death. Robespierre? Or the Carmelites of Compiegne? The Nazi camp commander of Auschwitz or St. Maximilian Kolbe?
Truth always overcomes the lie when it is grounded in Jesus Christ. He, like the Spring which already hints at its arrival with warming temperatures, brings forth new life from what appears to be death and desolation. Let us never fear, but soldier on in faith. The victory is the Lord’s who is the battle commander. As the Book of Chronicles says, “It shall not be you that shall fight, but only stand with confidence, and you shall see the help of the Lord over you, O Juda, and Jerusalem: fear ye not, nor be you dismayed: tomorrow you shall go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.” We have nothing to fear when we “stand in confidence” with the Lord who is our hope and salvation. So let us greet the dark and cold of societal Winter with the knowledge that the Springtime of hope is on the horizon. May Jesus Christ be praised!