“Into the West”, performed by Annie Lennox, composed by Howard Shore, from the LOTR soundtrack, (2003)
Thinking about my father, gone from this mortal coil some 33 years now, and still fresh in my memory as if I had coffee with him yesterday. Wishing, with all my heart, I could sit down and talk with him about things I have learned in those 33 years.
Death takes everyone … death is what binds us all together … no one escapes, no one buys their way out, no one. No one, no matter the extreme sacrifices made on the alter of self to appease the gods of our secular lives, no matter the banality of the attachments of this world of flesh and passion and decay.
No matter the pride and achievements in this short night in this bad hotel … no one … escapes … Brother Death.
Pippin: I didn’t think it would end this way.
Gandalf: End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path. One that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass… then you see it!
Pippin: What? Gandalf? See what?
Gandalf: White shores… and beyond. A far green country, under a swift sunrise.
Pippin: Well, that isn’t so bad.
Gandalf: No. No, it isn’t. ― J.R.R. Tolkien,
Here, at the end of all things, Brother Death takes our hand and leads us towards the light at the end of the tunnel of the tomb … and the light … is the glorious light of Eternity’s Sunrise, or the smoldering glow of Mount Doom.
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien,
“Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ shall come again“, sung or chanted after the consecration, the Memorial Acclamation, at every Catholic Mass. This is the Christ who died, descended into Hell, then rose that Death shall have no dominion.
We live, if we live at all, in Him. He is The Eternal Sunrise. Lord, by your cross and resurrection, you have set us free. You are the Saviour of the world.
Praying for Humility … at the end … of a short night …