Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Sheep or Shirelings?

One of the most difficult aspects of defending the Shire is that so many hobbits living in it and elected or hired to govern it have fallen prey to what Mark Shea correctly discerns as the curses of the book of Leviticus:
But if you do not heed me and do not keep all these commandments... I will make [them] so fainthearted that, if leaves rustle behind them, they will flee headlong, as if from the sword, though no one pursues them; stumbling over one another as if to escape a weapon, while no one is after them--so helpless will you be to take a stand against your foes! (Leviticus 26)
In addiction to slavery to disordered passions, the prophet Isaiah speaks well of the post-modern denizens of the West: "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way" [Is. 53,6]. Hooray. "I did it meh-eh-eh-eh-eh way..."

Have you ever, even in your wildest dreams, pictured sheep turning and fighting attackers, predators? Neither have I. Therefore, my hope for the defense of the Shire is not built upon a massive uprising from the common species of the ovis genus any time soon or late, for that matter. The defense must come from the uncommon species of "sheep," but one that has precedent in the West: those who know the Good Shepherd "who lays down his life for the sheep" [Jn 10,11b].

There is only One Who has the "ontological substantiality" of God who can lead us sheep: the Word made flesh [Jn 1,14], Jesus Christ the Eucharistic Lord of the Church. He has shown us what true life is, given us the means of grace to live it, and promises to be with us till the end of time [Mtt 28,20]. He's told us love our enemy, and so we shall; enough to propose Christ to them, and not kowtow to a batch of writings from redactor of Jewish, Christian, and Persian scripture. Love will even need to take the form of legitimate defense [CCC Nos. 2263-2267].

Sheep may begin remembering in Whose image they were made, repent of their cowardice and lack of faith (and hope and love), and begin living as Shirelings once again.

No comments: