Happy Feast day all. The 25th March is a very significant day, not only in the infinite dimensions of our Redemption, but also for Tolkien. It is also believed (by some, I don't know enough to comment) to be the actual date of Our Lord's Crucifixion. You may remember that 25th March was the day on which the One Ring was destroyed; you may also remember that the day on which the Fellowship set out from Rivendell was 25th December. Presumptuous though it may seem for one so blackened by sin to comment upon the Incarnation, I venture to say that I am eternally grateful to God. I'm sorry I couldn't come up with some fantastic and insightful post today, but I am just an instrument. What I would recommend, though, is reading Stratford Caldecott's chapter A very great story, The Lord of the Rings, in his book Secret Fire. He compares the heroic virtues of Frodo (showed forth in weakness and humility rather than the more conventional heroes of legend) to Christ in many more ways than I could have imagined. This quote from The Field of Cormallen will have to suffice:
'''Lo! lords and knights and men of valour unashamed, kings and princes, and fair people of Gondor, and Riders of Rohan, and ye sons of Elrond, and Dúnedain of the North, and Elf and Dwarf, and greathearts of the Shire, and all free folk of the West, now listen to my lay. For I will sing to you of Frodo of the Nine Fingers and the Ring of Doom.'
''And when Sam heard that he laughed aloud for sheer delight, and he stood up and cried: 'O great glory and splendour! And all my wishes have come true!' And then he wept.
''And all the host laughed and wept, and in the midst of their merriment and tears the clear voice of the minstrel rose like silver and gold, and all men were hushed. And he sang to them, now in the Elven-tongue, now in the speech of the West, until their hearts, wounded with sweet words, overflowed, and their joy was like swords, and they passed in thought out to regions where pain and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness.'' (The Lord of the Rings, Book VI, Chapter IV, The Field of Cormallen).
Art: Ted Nasmith. It depicts the end of Sauron's realm and his great shadow, rising up in towers of gloom, terrifying but impotent. Upon Gandalf, however, no shadow fell.