Long Live The Queen!

By Kathryn Jean Lopez Published on September 12, 2022

“Many religions have festivals which celebrate light overcoming darkness … They seem to speak to every culture, and appeal to people of all faiths, and of none.”

Light and Life Are Greater

That was the beginning of Queen Elizabeth’s 2020 Easter message. This wasn’t one of the royal traditions — there were no previous Easter messages, nor any to follow. But she knew her people needed guidance, encouragement, and direction during the uncertainties of the COVID pandemic.

People were feeling the darkness heavily that spring. “As dark as death can be — particularly for those suffering with grief — light and life are greater. May the living flame of the Easter hope be a steady guide as we face the future,” the queen said. She wasn’t afraid to offer her Christian faith as an example and inspiration to her country.

Sustained By Faith

Faith and family were always close to her heart. Just last month, she wrote to Anglican bishops: “Throughout my life, the message and teachings of Christ have been my guide, and in them I find hope. It is my heartfelt prayer that you will continue to be sustained by your faith in times of trial and encouraged by hope at times of despair.”

Whoever you are, whatever you do, make your years count. Let your example inspire others.

The West has become increasingly secular — even growing hostile to religion. But Queen Elizabeth gave the impression that religious faith was at the root of not only her own life, but civilization itself.

The Power of Forgiveness

She demonstrated very personal Christian forgiveness in Ireland in 2011. As the Jesuit editor of America magazine, Matt Malone, has put it:

When Lord Louis Mountbatten was killed by agents of the Irish Republican Army in the summer of 1979, the queen suffered the loss of one of the most beloved members of her family, the uncle of her husband and the godfather of her first son. It was a truly extraordinary moment, therefore, when she laid a wreath at a memorial garden in Dublin dedicated to the memory of ‘all those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish Freedom.’ She had somehow found the courage within her to forgive, to rebuild, to begin anew.

According to the queen: “Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families, it can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God’s love.”

Spirituality Has a Practical Purpose

At the end of the first year of the new millennium, she said: “For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life. I, like so many of you, have drawn great comfort in difficult times from Christ’s words and example.”

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It’s important to note that she saw in Christianity not only a refuge in times of trouble but also a realistic program for living: “Many will have been inspired by Jesus’ simple but powerful teaching: love God and love thy neighbor as thyself — in other words, treat others as you would like them to treat you. His great emphasis was to give spirituality a practical purpose.”

Her words over the years remind us that there is much more to life than what is in headlines, what is on our to-do list, and what is most vexing us. Most won’t live as long as she did — 96 years. Whoever you are, whatever you do, make your years count. Let your example inspire others.

As she put it in 2002: “Each day is a new beginning. I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings and to put my trust in God.”

Though the queen may be dead, her example will live on.


Kathryn Jean Lopez is senior fellow at the National Review Institute, editor-at-large of National Review magazine and author of the new book A Year With the Mystics: Visionary Wisdom for Daily Living. She is also chair of Cardinal Dolan’s pro-life commission in New York. She can be contacted at [email protected]

COPYRIGHT 2022 United Feature Syndicate

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