Saturday, August 28, 2010
August 29 – Be Strong and of Good Courage
As the cheering went on in one crescendo after another in the streets, the choir inside the Abbey took up a ten century-old anthem, the “Confortaré” of King Edgar’s day of enthronement.
“Be strong and of good courage,” they sang. “Keep the commandments of the Lord and walk in His ways.”
Those who have been with us from the beginning in this Cor Unum experience will remember that the first words spoken by the new arrival in a Carmelite monastery are . . . “Passio Christi, conforta me! . . . Passion of Christ, comfort me!”
Elizabeth would need it. She would be faced within days with the a most heavy, difficult, knotty problem, one that would not end well for her sister, Margaret, although it ended best, thanks to Elizabeth’s wisdom and patience.
The crowned Queen had much in common with those Carmelite Sisters are crowned as well, on the day of the Profession of their Final Vows. Usually the crown is a garland of flowers, but that diadem means at least as much to them as Elizabeth’s did to her. She was preparing to reign as Monarch, servant to a nation, wedded to a People. Monastic men and women all over the world give their lives to reign in life as servants of God, betrothed to Jesus Christ, and servants to those whom He loves.
If ever she had been her own woman before, that life had come to an end, but she willingly gave herself to the Recognition and Anointing and Investiture she had received . . . not so very far removed from a monastic choice, is it? Not far at all removed from our lives, rightly lived, here in Cor Unum.
(including, far left, Philip's great aunt,