I am grateful to him who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because he considered me trustworthy
in appointing me to the ministry.
I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and arrogant,
but I have been mercifully treated
because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief.
Indeed, the grace of our Lord has been abundant,
along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance:
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
Of these I am the foremost.
But for that reason I was mercifully treated,
so that in me, as the foremost,
Christ Jesus might display all his patience as an example
for those who would come to believe in him for everlasting life.
To the king of ages, incorruptible, invisible, the only God,
honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
C.S. Lewis, Letter 1953
You know, over here people did not get that fairytale feeling about the coronation. What impressed most who saw it was the fact that Queen herself appeared to be quite overwhelmed by the sacramental side of it. Hence, in the spectators, a feeling of (one hardly knows how to describe it) awe – pity – pathos – mystery.
The pressing of that huge, heavy crown on that small, young head becomes a sort of symbol of the situation of humanity itself: humanity called by God to be his vice-regent and high priest on earth, yet feeling so inadequate. As if he said, “In my inexorable love I shall lay upon the dust that you are glories and dangers and responsibilities beyond your understanding.”
Do you see what I mean? One has missed the whole point unless one feels that we have all been crowned and that coronation is somehow, if splendid…a tragic splendor.
I Vow to Thee My Country
I vow to thee, my country
All earthly things above
Entire and whole and perfect
The service of my love
The love that asks no questions
The love that stands the test
That lays upon the altar
The dearest and the best
The love that never falters
The love that pays the price
The love that makes undaunted
The final sacrifice
And there’s another country
I’ve heard of long ago
Most dear to them that love her
Most great to them that know
We may (we may not count her armies)
We may (we may not see her King)
Her fortress is a faithful heart
Her pride is suffering
And soul by soul and silently
Her shining bounds increase
And her ways are ways of gentleness
And all her paths are peace