Monday, August 6, 2012
TCBS Greatnesses ... and Vitovdan
Tolkien wrote to Christopher Wiseman (then still surviving) about the difference between the greatness he imagined for himself (and TCBS themselves in general) and the greatness the recently fallen (July 1) TCBS member showed with his sacrifice.
He admitted that the greatness of the fallen one, the sacrifice, was greater. But he insisted the greatness was not the same.
Now, some people seem to have been thinking it was presumptuous of me to want the greatness of a Gilbert Chesterton and a Tolkien (not necessarily as story-tellers, though I enjoy writing Chronicle of Susan Pevensie as far as it has come), and think they do well to offer me instead the greatness of the Rob of TCBS who fell July 1 or the Cecil Chesterton who also fell in that war. And insist I need moral training before achieving that kind of greatness.
Quite so. That is why I am very satisfied with the kind of greatness TCBS Tollers and the Chesterton brother Gilbert achieved. I am not coveting martyrdom, a Christian does not have to.
But sometimes he does well to choose it still. According to the Serbian Lay of the Kossovo Battle, the Blessed Virgin offered Czar Lazar the choice between the Kingdom of Earth and the Kingdom of Heaven. One choice implied fighting Turks immediately and gaining a resounding victory (Syldavian style), and one choice implied making every soldier take Holy Communion at once and everyone getting slaughtered. He choose the Kingdom of Heaven. Everyone of 77.000 soldiers got slaughtered, except the traitor. In Serbian Calendar it is the day of St Amos the Prophet, of St Vitus (hence Vitus-Day = Vitovdan), and of the crusader martyrs of Kossovo Polje.
But if Serbia was not preserved from the Turkish yoke, France was released from the English one, when St Joan of Arc was the only martyr and all her soldiers took Holy Communion before battle.
On Harmageddon, I think Saint Joan of Arc and 77.000 Serbs will come to the release of the last Christian Emperor chosing what Lazar choose, chosing Heaven, along with Our Lord, along with the Lord they loved more than life: Jesus Christ, the King and Captain of Calvary Hill.