I love C.S. Lewis and re-read much of his canon periodically. In my heart I am an honorary member of the Penvensie family. One of my favorite scenes in his sublime THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, comes near the end right before the final battle between Aslan and the forces of the White Witch. And I quote:
"Of course," said Aslan, "And now! Those who can't keep up--that is, children, dwarfs, and small animals--must ride on the backs of those who can--that is, lions, centaurs,unicorns, horses, giants and eagles. Those who are good with their noses must come in the front with us lions to smell out where the battle is. Look lively and sort yourselves.
And with a great deal of bustle and cheering they did. The most pleased of the lot was the other lion, who kept running about everywhere pretending to be very busy but really in order to say to everyone he met, "Did you hear what he said? US lions. That meant him and me. US lions. That's what I like about Aslan. No side, no stand-off-ishness. Us lions. That meant him and me."
To be sure there has been nothing in my life that has given me the peace and satisfaction that I derive from attempting to be my Lord's undershepherd on Sunday Mornings (on all mornings) during the conduct of the Mass (the Divine Service). But, I readily admit that I am also like that "other lion" whenever I have the opportunity and joy to congregate with my brother pastors. As I get ready to depart for Zion-on-the-St. Joe and the four day annual symposia, I am filled with both humility (well, a little humility) and sanctified pride, that I am in the same "Office" with my hero brethren. Yes, I stand in the footsteps of Petros, Paulus, Timotheus, and Thomas...but they can't drink a beer with me or share a cigar, or ... look me in the eye quite the same way as my 'brothers-in-arms.' I start to get excited and jump around just like that "other" lion in Narnia that I get to be with men that I admire and aspire to imitate. No, I will never preach as well as Fr. David Petersen, teach as well as Fr. Mark Braden, or influence the hearts and minds of my peers as well as Frs. Eckhardt, Curtis, Berg (both John "M", "W" and Peter) and Beane... but darn it.... I baptize as well as they do; I pronounce the absolution with the same authority and reality, and I give out the identical True Body and True Blood of Our God/Man Christ Jesus for the forgiveness of sins.
It doesn't get much better than that. Let them be the Aslans...I GET TO BE the other lion...and together we are: