Some time ago I wrote a blog post about the friendship between C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. On my book page I wrote this:
To cut to the chase, let me suggest a book that seems perfectly tailored for reading in trying times. A Hobbit A Wardrobe and A Great War: How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-1918, by Joseph Loconte, (2015). The book is not for the faint of heart. It is not a children’s book. It speaks of history and friendship and the dreams of these men of epic myth making. I write about it in my blog post: In Time Of trial: On Hobbits and Narnians. There is a link to that post on my book page.
Those men both served in the first world war. Tolkien’s son Christopher served in the second world war. In the United States today we are living in a time of great civil unrest, the murder of innocents, the destruction and looting in some of our cities, the tearing down of statues that remind us of our history and the sacrifices that were made so that we might live free. There are people creating unrest in America who want us to be at war with each other. Those who want to remove the mention of God from all of our documents, buildings, and statues. People who want, in fact, to remove all mention of our history. But the onslaught goes beyond the public things. Some news sources refuse to tell of the children and innocent young people being murdered in our cities. The plague of COVID 19 and been imported into our midst and makes us afraid and separated one from another. Many churches have ceased to have normal worship together, but instead are holding virtual services that we can watch from our homes on the internet. Elderly people in nursing or senior living facilities are kept under lockdown, isolated from family members.
What we need is a Eucatastrophe:
The mythic dimension of their stories now reaches its zenith: like the best fairy tales, they provide the consolation of the happy ending, “the sudden joyous turn” toward rescue and redemption. It is the reversal of a catastrophe, that Tolkien calls the eucatastrophe, a decisive act of Grace that promises to overcome our guilt, restore what has been lost, and set things right. [p.189 and Tolkien, Tree and Leaf]
These United States were begun as one nation under God. Those of us who still believe in God need to pray that there is a eucatastrophe, a great act of grace, that restores what has been lost and set right what is now so wrong. Many among us are despairing of the chaos that presently reigns in so many of our cities. Many of us are saddened by the division of families and friends because of the political climate we are now living in.
Today, and every day, pray that we are delivered from the scourge that has befallen us and that God grants us a eucatastrophe that sets things right again.