Where do these first and last things come together in Tolkiens writing

The Lord of the Rings carries themes of Death and Immortality, Memory and Longing, Grace and Nature, and of course, Time and Eternity. But first let us look at Tolkien's personal view. Tolkien had a profound attachment to the mystery of the Fall of Man. He had known great grief and sorrow in his life from being orphaned. He had seen horrific atrocities in WWI and many of his friends die. He had seen the aftermath of war, then witnessed it happen all over again with the outbreak of WWII though...

The Lord of the Rings is in fact very Sacramental

The book itself, holds a presence which points and reflects something deeper and True. As Tolkien maintains himself, the very nature of myth does this, it draws one into a deeper understanding of life and existence but it does so in pointing to the Christian understanding of experience of life it points to Him who has loved us beyond our comprehension. We've already spoken about the sacramental effect of the music of the Elves lets look at them a bit more In the race of Elves we find this...

Allegory

There has always been controversy whenever the word allegory is mentioned around the Lord of the Rings. Tolkien didn't like any form of allegory being associated with this work, especially that of World War II or the allegory of nuclear weapons and their power. As for any inner meaning or message, it has in the intention of the author, none. It is neither allegorical nor topical. LotR p.2 preface to 2nd edition , There is no 'allegory', moral, political or contemporary in the work at all....

Priest Prophet King

Three ministries foreshadowed in the Old Covenant, and fulfilled in the messianic Jesus, are very much echoed in the Lord of the Rings Priest, Prophet and King. This parallel, mentioned by Steven D. Greydanus in his article and Stratford Caldecott in his essay, involves the characters of Aragorn, Frodo and Gandalf decentfilms.com - article here, Celebration p.29 . All of these are Christ-like and reflective of him in some aspects. But certainly as Tolkien himself says There is no embodiment of...

Preternatural gifts

preter Greek for beyond These are what are called the 4 As. Infused knowledge - God gave them knowledge. Adam knew the nature of each creature when he named them and he knew many other things without having to be taught. They had a harmony with nature and also received a conscience so that they knew how to behave and live. Integrity - there was complete harmony within themselves. Their reason was obedient to God and hence the powers under their reason e.g. the will were obedient. There was no...

Respect for Nature

Tolkien's love of nature began as a child in the semi-rural region of Sarehole. He climbed in the trees near by his house and enjoyed walks in the fields. Later he witnessed the destruction of this homely land as industry slowly encroached many trees were cut down or burnt to make way for factories, plants, foundries and machines. He saw the small villages in rural England transform into industrial cities where men became numbers and products were mass produced merely for greed or war. The...

Think it is true that I owe much of this character to Christian and Catholic teaching and imagination about Mary

But what is Catholic imagination about Mary To fully appreciate similarities in Tolkien's female characters and the Blessed Virgin Mary, it is worth considering what Catholicism thinks of her. The early Church understood Mary's place to be special and more than just a human vessel in which God came to his people see here for the Church Fathers . The Church believes that Mary was consecrated and set aside by the Lord for this special task. She was preserved from sin and kept immaculate by a...

There was Eru the One who in Arda is called Iluvatar and he made first the Ainur the Holy Ones that were the offspring

These 'Holy Ones' are the Ainur, or Valar, or angelic guardians who have been created by Eru before all else Letters p.387 . They are the 'offspring of his thought'. First of all, we have One Being, existing before all else who is eternal, all-powerful, infinite and divine. He is also 'good' and acts with love. His actions and thoughts prove this. He is the One-God of Middle-earth. This is the first major and critical parallel in the mythology with the Judeo-Christian God. Next, we have the...

Am [obviously much in love with plants and above all trees and always have been and I find human maltreatment of them

Treebeard and the Ents have come to life in the story through this love of nature and trees that Tolkien possessed. The destruction of the Shire and Fangorn forest are also caught up in this theme. The crushing affect of what Saruman did in the Shire is shown by the text It was one of the saddest hours of their lives as the Hobbits witnessed the aftermath of the destruction. LotR p.993 The box of dust gifted to Sam by Galadriel to help rehabilitate the Shire is another illustration of the...

The Lembas

Tolkien stated once that the lembas also has a much larger significance, of what one might hesitatingly call a 'religious' kind. This becomes later apparent especially in the chapter 'Mount Doom'. Letters p.274-275, 1958 This 'religious' significance of the Lembas that becomes apparent in Mordor is the ability to rely solely on the sustenance provided by consuming it, and the strength it gives to the wills of Frodo and Sam. The Lembas had a virtue without which they would long ago have lain...

Frodo undertook his quest out of love to save the world he knew from disaster at his own expense[Letters p327

There are very distinct elements of the Carrying of the Cross in Frodo's and Sam's trek towards Mt Doom. The text has so many points of similarity between the burden of the Ring ol Evil that Frodo carries, and the burden of Sin symbolized by the Cross that Jesus bore, it is astonishing. An extraordinary passage, also noted by Joseph Pearce, relates the parallel of Frodo's burden to that of 'the suffering Christ' Frodo seemed to be weary, weary to the point of exhaustion. He said nothing, indeed...

Have failed he says But Aragorn says to him No You have conquered Few have gained such a victory Be at peace [LotR p405

Aragorn words are not just for Boromir's comfort before death, but they are the truth. Boromir, before he dies, sees his fault and asks forgiveness, he gains a victory over himself in seeing how the Ring tempted him he repents and dies in peace. This act of Boromir, through providence, is crucial in helping the Quest succeed. Frodo and Sam make for Mordor alone, Pippin and Merry come to Fangorn, and Aragorn, Gandalf and the others ride to the help of Rohan. Once again the lesson is that God can...

Therefore when they [the Valar beheld them [Elves and Men the more did they love them being things other than

Of Iluvatar reflected anew, and learned a little more of his wisdom, which otherwise had been hidden even from the Ainur. Sil p.7 But Melkor, desired rather to subdue to his will both Elves and Men and he wished himself to have subjects and servants, and to be called Lord, and to be master over other wills. Melkor desires to be God, like Satan. Sil p.8 Then Iluvatar brings all things into Being 'Therefore I say Ea Let these things Be. And I will send forth into the Void, the Flame Imperishable,...

A guardian who had been a father to me more than most real fathers [Letters p53

Tolkien learned much about his faith under Father Francis and developed his keen sense of charity, mercy and forgiveness. He read many of the lives of the Saints and received excellent teaching on Scripture and Doctrine. The sorrow of his mother's death remained with him for the rest of his life and his faith became a deep source of spiritual and emotional consolation. Tolkien understood the impact of the sacrifice from his mother in passing on the faith to him, Later he wrote When I think of...