For the purpose of displaying the various types of topics that we'd like to address on this weblog, I will share some messages already posted on our KIC email list in the past month or so.
The following excerpt is mine, and the topic will receive quite a bit of attention in our first issue of the Keeping It Catholic (paper version) newsletter, due for end of fall release. (Subscriptions are $20 in the U.S. for four quarterly issues, and may be made payable to:
604 S. Main St., Suite 224
Lapeer, MI 48446
**********************************Now onto just a "few tidbits" about LOTR: RETURN OF THE KING! MORE TO COME IN THE FIRST ISSUE of the KEEPING IT CATHOLIC NEWSLETTER!
As many of you already know, LOTR's "The Two Towers" was released at the end of August 2003 and "Return of the King" is due to appear in movie theatres this December.
LOTR is absolutely fantastic when it comes to the "layers within layers" but especially in how it provides examples in regard to the "Communion of Saints," the role of free will, the responses of characters to certain events and opportunities, the effects of evil even when resisted, etc.
These books, and even the movies, can act as examples to our children, and us, about how to apply Catholic principles in real life.Their "resurrected" popularity is well-deserved for so many reasons!
How many times have lines from the characters come to mind, whether humorous or serious? What of Sam's lines about hope in "The Two Towers" (the movie) which can apply to each and every one of us, when we are tired and weary but know we must carry on? And what of Frodo, upon whom fell a very hard task, but who also knows "he wouldn't have gotten very far without Sam"? What of the events surrounding each character, often unbeknownst to the others of the Fellowship, that brought fear and doubt but, in the end, lead to victory? Think of Merry and Pippin, who went along, partly out of friendship and partly because they were natural adventurers, but who also had their own roles to play? And courageous Boromir, tempted so sorely but in the end, dying nobly? What of Saruman, rejecting the chance to repent and repair at least some of the evil for which he was responsible, only rejecting the opportunity out of fear and pride? What of Gollum, who still had his own role to play - for good or for bad? And what of that which happens after the Ring is destroyed? For all his sacrifices and sufferings, Frodo was not highly honored by his own people, and he suffered throughout his life from those terrible wounds inflicted upon him by the Nazgul and Shelob.
All of this brings me to my next point. Of late, I am extremely interested in Tolkien's original book, "The Return of the King" for a very particular reason. In fact, our whole family has discussed this intermittently throughout the spring and summer, sometimes reading the prophecies and then comparing them to Aragorn's role in LOTR.
I have often wondered if Tolkien - a Catholic - was well-acquainted with the Catholic prophecies of the "Great Monarch" to come sometime in our future. Aragorn seems to parallel those prophecies in many respects. For example, the true identity of the Great Monarch will be hidden for quite some time. He will be of a royal line believed to be extinct, who will experience much hardship and face many battles against a great evil that has covered most of the earth, who will "come into his own" around the age of 40 (or his mid-life, however long his life will be) and who will, with the help of God and a future Pope, do much to restore a true Christian (meaning Catholic) society world-wide.
I myself knew nothing of these prophecies in regard to a "Great Monarch" or "Great Prince" until the last year or so, and I still did not make the connection between them and "The Return of the King" until this past winter. I have heard nothing "official" regarding Tolkien in regard to these particular prophecies, but still, one cannot help but wonder!
Art imitates life, as the old saying goes...and there is much to ponder when art sometimes seems to precede that which may happen in real life. ~MCB