Yesterday I was watching formed.org, a study video on the Eucharist. In truth, it wasn’t the most informative thing for me (though I really enjoyed the cinematography) but I really wanted Spencer to hear it, and he was sitting on the couch reading a book. The nice thing about knowing my kids is that I know what attracts them. TV is really attractive to him, even with a book in hand.
Sneaky Mommy for the win.
As we were watching, he flipped a page in his book (A Harry Potter Guide – thanks Jacqui & James), and I was struck by the image and juxtaposition of images (recreated here:)
Have your gears already started grinding? Cause I’m just flabbergasted at myself for not seeing this before. And as I googled it, I’m just kind of slow, as this is not a completely new thing for some. But that’s okay.
Imagine Me This
Voldemort is the antagonist supreme. JK Rowling’s character is a classic bad guy – one with little to no chance of redemption. We have our equivalent in our salvation history too – Satan.
In The Lord of the Rings, which draws heavily from references of salvation history, at the beginning of the world, there is a fallen “angel” – Melkor. Long story short (and I mean loooong), he establishes his domain in Middle Earth, and there he makes his own creations (or reworks them, if you’re a purist), which are mockeries of all Eru Ilúvatar has created. The orcs as a mockery of the Elves. Trolls a mockery of Ents. And so forth.
Horcruxes are like this – they are a mockery of the sacraments. They establish a sick and twisted reality that is similar in fashion. Let’s check it out more.
Bring Us Closer To What?
Sacraments are outward signs of an invisible reality. We are able to touch them, to feel them, to be transformed by them. Their ultimate purpose is to bring us into closer unity with God. In particular with the Eucharist, we consume the body and blood of Jesus so that we are transformed – so that we can become more like him.
Horcruxes also carry this. They are signs of that invisible reality. When Voldemort is eliminated physically with Harry’s death, he is no longer visible to those around. But, he has found a way to exist without that physical body.
I will not go into explanations of how these vile things are made (it’s been almost 10 years since we learned about Horcruxes, people, google it), but suffice it to say that they carry the essence of Voldemort in another object without changing its form. The diary, the locket, the ring…they look and act exactly like those objects. But there’s more to them that is invisible to us. Okay, at least until an attempt to destroy them arises, then we see their invisible nature, to some degree. Arguably, we also sometimes see the invisible nature of the Eucharist, just look at any number of Eucharistic miracles.
With both the diary and with the locket, we see an aspect of these objects that projects its essence onto the person in contact with it. The diary – seeks to control and make its user a vessel for itself. At the end of The Chamber of Secrets, Ginny is completely used up in order that the essence can be made manifest. The locket, when worn by Umbridge in Deathly Hallows, brings out a more vile nature within her – it builds upon what is already there and makes it worse. She is becoming the essence of Voldemort. This, oddly, is the exact thing we should expect from the Eucharist, except the Eucharist is the pure, the beautiful, the good, and the true.
Smart as a Cookie. Or Something.
Voldemort intended to make seven horcruxes, we know, because in his conversation with Slughorn, he reveals his aggressive desires:
“Yes, sir,” said Riddle. “What I don’t understand, though – just out of curiosity – I mean, would one Horcrux be much use? Can you only split your soul once? Wouldn’t it be better, make you stronger, to have your soul in more pieces, I mean, for instance, isn’t seven the most powerfully magical number, wouldn’t seven -?”
Chapter 23, Half-Blood Prince
In Voldemort’s reality, he believes destroying his soul will bring him eternal life. He, also, does not share that information with anyone else because he wants that glory for himself alone.
In our reality with the sacraments, we believe that building up the soul through intimate relations with Christ is what brings us eternal life. And Christ doesn’t keep this to himself – he offers the reality of eternal life to everyone.
Whereas Voldemort keeps the ‘eternal life’ for himself, he influences others to lead them into death through his horcri (lol, what’s the plural, peeps. I just recalled some serious debate about this in my earlier years). Horcruxes do not influence one to build up the soul – they, in their own way, also destroy it. The end result of coming into prolongued exposure to these things seems to be (only from what we see in the books), death.
Okay. My brain’s about done. I’m sure there’s more in here, but there’s just too much going on.
What relationship do you see between horcuxes and sacraments?