Christian the Lion

3 Responses to Christian the Lion

  1. jeanne breunig says:

    Thank you-I cried.

  2. Eucharist Minister & Reader says:

    The chief liturgical divisions of the Mass are: the penitential rite, the liturgy of the word, the liturgy of the eucharist, the communion rite, and the concluding rite. For the sacrifice as such, only the double consecration is essential. Hence Pius XII taught, “When the consecration of the bread and wine is validly brought about, the whole action of Christ is actually accomplished. Even if all that remains could not be completed, still, nothing essential would be lacking to the Lord’s offering” (Vous nous avez, To the Liturgical Conference of Assisi Sept 22, 1956). Hence the Great Amen is not the offering, it is a sort of extension, to give us further opportunity to join with Christ. The Communion follows up, giving us a share in the Divine Victim as He has commanded.

    The Mass brings forgiveness for venial sins for which there is sorrow, and for temporal punishment commonly left over after forgiveness of sins.

    The Mass is known as the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass because it celebrates the death of Jesus at Calvary and his resurrection. It is also known as the Lord’s Supper because it is a meal. The faithful are present as well as the Communion of Saints.

    We must not drift from this. Thank you Fr. Rutler.

  3. Barbara says:

    When I read Christian the Lion I immediately thought of:

    “Millions of people have been moved by the amazing affection between Christian the lion and his human friends, John and Ace.

    Just as Elsa the lioness, returned to the wild all those years ago by George and Joy Adamson, awoke a respect and fascination for lions so, I believe, Christian can be another ambassador for these wonderful animals. Now so critically reduced in numbers, across Africa.

    Have you seen the film “Born Free”?

    This led me to thoughts of Lions in Christian literature especially the Bible.

    In one of the more memorable lines in “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” the question is raised about whether Aslan, the lion in the story, is `safe.’ The reply is “No, he is not safe, but he is good.” This certainly fits the image of lions in the Bible.

    Of the dozens of biblical texts about lions, most remind us of the strength, fierceness, and roar of these predators. There were lions in Israel during biblical times, and shepherds, farmers and travelers seem to have encountered them most often. The lion often attacked flocks unexpectedly, and was ruthless and usually unstoppable. The roar of the lion was audible for miles, but he was deadly silent when in attack mode.

    Most of the references to the lion in the Scriptures are about his powerful voice (Job 4.10; Ps. 22.13; 104.21; Prov. 19.12; 28.15; Jer. 2.15,30; Ezek. 22.25; Hos. 11.10; Zech. 3.3; 11.3; Rev. 10.3). The usual response is fright and flight, and so it is not surprising that Amos 3.8 says “the lion has roared; who will not fear?” It is probable that far more persons had heard a lion than had seen one, and this only added to the imagined fierceness and strength of the animal.

    Given these circumstances, it is no surprise that the lion was often used metaphorically in apocalyptic literature to refer to rulers, particularly strong or ruthless ones (see Ezek. 1.10; 10.14; Dan. 7.4). We frequently find lion gates in archaeological ruins, from the Hittite sites in Turkey to the Babylonian and Persian sites in Iraq, or the Assyrian and Egyptian sites. It was a popular symbol of royalty, and it is not a surprise that the lion was seen by many as the king of the predators, or even the king of all beasts. In fact we know that Ramses II and Asshurbanipal II kept live lions.

    Nor is it surprising that even a small kingdom like Judah, as a part of its PR, would choose the lion as its symbol. In Gen 49.9, Jacob’s blessing includes a reference to the tribe of Judah being like a lion. This text later became the basis of considerable messianic expectation and speculation in early Judaism (cf. 1QSb 5.29; 4 Ez. 12.31-33).

    There are texts in 1 and 2 Kings which refer to God using lions as agents of divine punishment. There are even texts in which God’s just actions are said to be lion-like: “I will rend and go away, I will carry off and none will rescue” (Hos. 5.14). Yet the lion is also an image of injustice or wickedness-the Psalmist says about evil humans that “like a lion they will tear me apart; they will drag me away with no one to rescue.”

    In the New Testament, even the Devil is seen as analogous to the lion, for we hear how he preys on people like a lion (cf. 1 Pet. 5.8; 2 Tim. 4.17). By no means, then, is the lion always used as an image of God, a good king, or goodness or majesty as abstract qualities in the Bible.

    Is Jesus the “lion of Judah”?

    Not surprisingly, killing a lion is seen as one of the ultimate acts of courage in the Bible (Judg. 14.5; 1 Sam. 17.34; 2 Sam. 1.23; 1 Chron. 11.22; 1 Macc. 3.4). A truly brave person could be called lion-hearted (2 Sam. 17.10), and a warrior be said to have the face of a lion (1 Chron. 12.8).

    A king especially might be said to have the courage, strength, wrath like a lion (Prov. 20.2). And when a biblical writer wanted to conjure up the ultimate image of peace, would speak of a day when the lion would cease being a predator and lie down with the lamb (Is. 11.6).

    That’s why Revelation’s image of Christ as both lion and lamb, almost melded together, is so remarkable. It is perhaps this last image which C.S Lewis had most in mind when he conjured up the wonderful character Aslan in the Chronicles of Narnia.

    Although the dominant image of Jesus in the book of Revelation is the slain, but now triumphant lamb, its author does use the lion image. Revelation 5.5 says that the lion of the tribe of Judah has already triumphed, not through final judgment on the wicked, but rather through his atoning death which opens up the possibility for all to be saved. He is worthy to unseal the judgment scroll because he has already effected salvation through his death as the slain lamb of God who takes away the world’s sin.

    Is it correct to portray Jesus as the lion of Judah? Yes, but we need to remember that his triumph comes through his sacrificial death, not primarily through last judgment “payback.” Revelation was written for Christians under fire, and it encourages them to follow the path of non-violent and sacrificial death, as Jesus did. This is why the book’s central image is Jesus the slain lamb, not Jesus the lion.

    C.S. Lewis knew this, of course. So while he chooses the lion Aslan to represent Jesus, he has him play the role of sacrificial lamb-a combination that is all the more striking because it goes beyond the biblical text.



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