Holding on to Hope

Check out this fantastic article about hope, readers:

J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings: Handbook of Hope

EMMA WARNER

JULY 8, 2019

“Where there’s life there’s hope, as my Gaffer used to say; and need of vittles, as he mostways used to add.”

In this weary world, two of the most formidable pitfalls lying in wait for our stumbling feet are the temptations of doubt and despondency. Whether the cause of discouragement lies within or without, it can be crippling to our spiritual lives. It is certainly no wonder if we feel disturbed and anxious at the prospects facing us. One need only recall the scandals racking the Church, the devious corruption that has spread throughout society, or the breakdown of the family, morality, and truth. Things look bleak and, indeed, only promise to grow darker. What course can we few take against such far-reaching evil which is taking hold and laying waste all around us?

To those discouraged by the current state of world affairs be they political, ecclesiastical, or cultural, a reading of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien’s masterpiece trilogy The Lord of the Rings will serve as an excellent remedy to despair. Whether it be one’s first or twenty-first time taking them up, Tolkien’s message of hope in the face of overwhelming odds is a resounding rallying cry to call one back to the fray that is our lot in life.

A master of mythology, lore, language, and history, Tolkien creates a palpable world in which his tale unfolds. Middle Earth is beautiful, but in peril when the reader arrives on the scene. The Dark Lord Sauron threatens to destroy it, abolishing all that is good and submitting it to his malevolent will. There is only one way to defeat him and the chance of success is infinitesimal: return Sauron’s all-powerful Ring to the place of its creation and destroy it within the flames of Mount Doom before he can reclaim it.

Despite the hopelessness of the situation, a small band joins forces to take up the desperate task: Gandalf the wizard; the hobbits, Frodo, Samwise, Meriadoc, and Peregrin; the Ranger, Aragorn; Legolas the Elf; Gimli the Dwarf; and the Captain-General, Boromir. With Frodo as the Ring-Bearer, they journey towards Mount Doom as Sauron’s dominion and desolation grows, a tiny beacon of hope in the gathering darkness.

Read more….

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3 thoughts on “Holding on to Hope

  1. I used to read Tolkien’s books but they have nothing to do with hope (on the contrary, they are permeated with strange, so-to-say pagan, pessimism) rather with the escape. Now I prefer a goblet of good light wine or some historical readings, not to mention a prayer. Cheers!

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  2. I first read the trilogy and its predecessor, The Hobbit in junior high school and then again in high school. They were wonderful, rays of bright light in a some rather dark times. I’ve been meaning to read them again since my conversion to Catholicism in 2013. I think I’ll make them my Advent readings this year!

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