When I was younger, pre-teen and teen, I used to long for chivalry: knights in armor doing noble deeds for fair ladies, castles, heraldry, noble deeds, dragons vanquished, lofty love songs.
I searched everywhere for tastes, hints, of the magic that I was sure existed in fairyland, long ago and far away.
And now reflecting on the Holy Father and his last hours, I recall his motto: totus tuus: All yours.
I realize now that he is the “parfait gentil knight” of my childish dreams, remade more glorious.
What could be more chivalric than his most noble devotion to the Queen of Queens, Our Lady, Mary Queen of Angles and of all the hosts of heaven?
He lives in a palace and prays in the most glorious church in the world.
If you’ve ever been to high mass at St Peter’s, you’ve seen the height of heraldry, colors, incence, the ritual of the highest most royal court in all the world. Because during that mass, as during any mass, is present all the court of heaven to worship at the throne of the King of Kings, Lord of Lords: Christ, Ruler of the Universe.
And you want noble deeds? How about the fall of communism? how about vanquishing evil?
And the loftiest love songs I’ve ever heard: the Psalms chanted in the Divine Office.
The magic I had always dreamed of was right under my nose, but I couldn’t see it for what it is.
The Eucharist is the true magic, the most magical thing in all the universe: God humbles himself to become man and die an ignoble death on the cross. God humbles himself to be contained, body, blood, soul and divinity in this little sliver of bread that I hold in my hand, that I place on my tongue, that I eat and swallow. As I consume Him, He consumes me.
This is the fairy tale of fairy tales. And the Pope is definitely a charming Prince.
Good night, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to they rest!