“But please, please – won’t you – can’t you give me something that will cure Mother?” Up till then he had been looking at the Lion’s great feet and the huge claws on them; now, in his despair, he looked up at its face. What he saw surprised him as much as anything in his whole life. For the tawny face was bent down near his own and (wonder of wonders) great shining tears stood in the Lion’s eyes. They were such big, bright tears compared with Digory’s own that for a moment he felt as if the Lion must really be sorrier about his mother than he was himself.
“My son, my son,” said Aslan. “I know. Grief is great. Only you and I in this land know that yet. Let us be good to one another.”
the piece of information that everyone knew in the ancient world and to which most moderns are mostly oblivious. Deity rests in a temple, and only in a temple. This is what temples were built for. We might even say this is what a temple is – a place for divine rest (71).
What does divine rest entail? Most of us think of rest as disengagement from the cares, worries and tasks of life. What comes to mind is sleeping in or taking an afternoon nap. But in the ancient world rest is what results when a crisis has been resolved or when stability has been achieved, when things have “settled down.” Consequently normal routines can be established and enjoyed. For deity this means that the normal operations of the cosmos can be undertaken. This is more a matter of engagement without obstacles than disengagement without responsibilities (71-72).
Let us go to his dwelling place;let us worship at his footstool-arise, O Lord, and come to your resting place,you and the ark of your might.
For the Lord has chosen Zion,he has desired it for his dwelling:“This is my resting place for ever and ever;here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it (132:7-8, 13-14).
The character [Jupiter] produces in men would now be imperfectly expressed by the word ‘jovial,’ and is not very easy to grasp; it is no longer, like the saturnine character, one of our archetypes. We may say it is Kingly; but we must think of a King at peace, enthroned, taking his leisure, serene. The Jovial character is cheerful, festive, yet temperate, tranquil, magnanimous. When this planet dominates we may expect halcyon days and prosperity.
Aslan’s bodily presence is the concentration of the Jovial supra-personality in one place, one character. That kingship which cannot be seen in the transcendent Emperor (Aslan’s Father)…or in the broader Narnian cosmos…becomes focused in the King of the Wood. Peter and his siblings can hear the name of this manifestation of Jupiter. Better, they can actually observe him: ‘they saw what they had come to see.’ Better still, they can touch him and even stroke him…As the children come to know Aslan they find themselves living increasingly in his spirit (72).
“You may think all men so good that they deserve a share in the government of the commonwealth, and so wise that the commonwealth needs their advice. That is, in my opinion, the false, romantic doctrine of democracy. On the other hand, you may believe fallen men to be so wicked that not one of them can be trusted with any irresponsible power of his fellows.”*
“Real forgiveness means looking steadily at the sin, the sin that is left over without any excuse, after all allowances have been made, and seeing it in all its horror, dirt, meanness, and malice, and nevertheless being wholly reconciled to the man who had done it. That, and only that, is forgiveness, and that we can always have from God if we ask for it.”
“This is hard. It is perhaps not so hard to forgive a single great injury. But to forgive the incessant provocations of daily life – to keep forgiving the bossy mother-in-law, the bullying husband, the nagging wife, the selfish daughter, the deceitful son – how can we do it? Only, I think, by remembering where we stand, by meaning our words when we say in our prayers each night ‘forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us.’ We are offered forgiveness on no other terms.”