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The Talking Beasts

“Creatures, I give you yourselves,” said the strong, happy voice of Aslan. “I give to you forever this land of Narnia. I give you the woods, the fruits, the rivers. I give you the stars and I give you myself. The Dumb Beasts whom I have not chosen are yours also. Treat them gently and cherish them but do not go back to their ways lest you cease to be Talking Beasts. For out of them you were taken and into them you can return. Do not so.

Has it not struck you that the certain result of neglecting the faculties that make us different from the animals is the descent once again of humanity into beastliness? If you don’t practice those spiritual, intellectual, and emotional disciplines such as forgiveness, reflection and careful deliberation, compassion, generosity and selflessness, how long can you avoid forfeiting your claim to be human? We recall the tale of Pinocchio turning into a mule, and Prince Rabadash suffered the same fate. More recently we laughed as Dudley was given a pig’s tale and Draco turned into a ferret, while Emperor Kuzco became a llama.

It is a far uglier prospect to consider the reverse; the person turned into an animal on the outside may still retain some dignity and personhood, but the person who has turned to an animal on the inside can retain no such dignity. It is the same result as if a pig, or a snake, or a spider, were turned human on the outside only, but inside retained its animal nature. It is this fate that we risk today; the stories we have been told have turned things inside out, for the purpose of better showing us ourselves.

So use your spirit. Pray, meditate and reflect, think long, think hard. Forgive others and put others first. Abandon yourself to the pursuit of things bigger than yourself and your own needs by pursuing God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and the truth that will set you free. Reflect on God’s plan for humanity and reflect on God’s word, so you constantly have before you in your mind the picture of what humanity can and should be. Don’t succumb to the death of the only things separating you from the animals!

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