Friday, March 25, 2011

The Lord of the Rings and the Annunciation

It is good to talk about J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings today, and not because it is Tolkien Reading Day according to the Tolkien Society, but because today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation.

Annunciation by Fra Angelico (
In the Lord of the Rings, which Tolkien calls "a fundamentally religious and Catholic work," the One Ring was destroyed on March 25, the day the Church celebrates the announcement of the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she would become the mother of the Son of God, Jesus Christ!

On this day in Middle Earth, "the climactic attempt to destroy the ring, and in consequence the Dark Lord who had forged it, occurred on 'the twenty-fifth of March,'" writes Joseph Pearce, a Catholic author whose work focuses on Catholic English writers. Pearce calls the Feast of the Annunciation "the celebration of the absolute centre of all history as the moment when God himself became incarnate as man."

I agree with Pearce when he says: "It is, however, very comforting in the midst of these dark days that the most popular book of the 20th century and the most popular movie of the new century draw their power and their glory from the light of the Gospel."

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