Tolkien and the Mystery of Faith

Jen sent me the following quote of J.R.R. Tolkien to his son Christopher:

Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament. There you will find romance, glory, honour, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves on earth…by…which alone can what you seek in your earthly relationships (love, faithfulness, joy) be maintained, and take on that complexion of reality of eternal endurance, which every man’s heart desires.

I have read it before, but am stuck now on the way he expresses the relationship between the Eucharist and the chivalric ideals of “romance, glory, honour, fidelity.”  Indeed the Jesus in the Eucharist is “eternal endurance” itself.

Tolken expresses The Mystery of Faith well:  “out of the darkness,” “the one great thing to love,” “which every man’s heart desires.

One thought on “Tolkien and the Mystery of Faith

  1. I had read the following perhaps in Humphrey Carpenter’s biography of Tolkien, but read it most recently in a post:
    As a linguist and expert on Old English and Old Norse literature, Tolkien was a tenured professor at Oxford University from 1925 until 1959. He was also a tireless instructor, teaching between 70 and 136 lectures a year (his contract only called for 36). But the best part is the way he taught those classes. Although quiet and unassuming in public, Tolkien wasn’t the typical stodgy, reserved stereotype of an Oxford don in the classroom. He was known to begin classes by barging into the lecture hall, sometimes in era-appropriate chain mail armor, and bellowing the opening lines of Beowulf at the top of his lungs. As one of his students put it, “He could turn a lecture room into a mead hall.”

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