Daily Mortifications and the One Ring

Mae govannen, readers!

This may seem like an odd title for a post, and a little unusual – not the more obvious sort of Catholic content that you would read about in The Lord of the Rings. But … I was reading The Fellowship of the Ring (which makes this what – the eighth time I’ve started that book?) and a specific passage stuck out. Before I quote the passage, though, I want to mention St. Josemaría Escrivá.

St. Josemaría was one of the great saints of the 2oth century and the founder of Opus Dei, which is a personal prelature of the Catholic Church. Perhaps some of you have heard of him before 😉 Among the many books that he wrote, The Way, Furrow, The Forge is an exceptional spiritual read. (I highly recommend it.) In The Way, St. Josemaría has a chapter devoted to mortifications. A mortification is denying yourself something perfectly good – dessert, for example, or maybe seconds at meals. The aim is to become the master of your body, instead of vice versa, so that when the time comes and you are tempted to fall into sin, you have built up the strength to say ‘No’. Mortifications have incredible spiritual benefit, and St. Josemaría always stressed its importance in a healthy spiritual life. So, here is the passage from The Fellowship that struck me. In it, Frodo and Gandalf are sitting in Bag End, discussing the Ring’s history.

” ‘But why not destroy it, as you say should have been done long ago?’ cried Frodo again. ‘If you had warned me, or even sent me a message, I would have done away with it.’

‘Would you? How would you do that? Have you ever tried?’

‘No. But I suppose one could hammer it or melt it.’

‘Try!’ said Gandalf. ‘Try now!’

“Frodo drew the Ring out of his pocket again and looked at it. It now appeared plain and smooth, without mark or device that he could see. The gold looked very fair and pure, and Frodo thought how rich and beautiful was its colour, how perfect was its roundness. It was an admirable thing and altogether precious. When he took it out he had intended to fling it from him into the very hottest part of the fire. But he found now that he could not do so, not without a great struggle. He weighed the Ring in his hand, hesitating, and forcing himself to remember all that Gandalf had told him; and then with an effort of will he made a movement, as if to cast it away – but he found that he had put it back in his pocket.”

– The Fellowship of the Ring, Book I, Chapter 2

This is an example of what can often happen when we are faced with temptations and we haven’t previously made many (or any) mortifications. It becomes very difficult to renounce the desire to do whatever it is we are tempted to do. I think that we can easily assume, “Oh, I won’t worry about that. I could spot a temptation like that from a mile away, and besides, I’m strong enough to resist it.” What a lot of people don’t fully realize is that first of all, the devil can be very persuasive and the sins to which he tempts us appear very attractive; and secondly, if they haven’t really (or ever) practiced saying ‘no’ and building up their self-control in little things, it is incredibly difficult – almost impossible – to say ‘no’ to something bigger. Frodo thinks at first that it will be very easy for him to try to damage the Ring – he has just heard its dark and terrible history and he is filled with fear to know that it is in his possession. He would do anything to get rid of it in any way he could. But when he pulls the Ring out of his pocket and looks at it, he sees how beautiful it is and how perfectly it is made … and he begins to hesitate – it truly is a magnificent piece of craftsmanship … and he wonders … and all of a sudden he is struggling very hard just to throw it a few feet away from him. He tries to recall everything that Gandalf has told him about it, and he does make a legitimate effort to get rid of it, but suddenly … he can’t; he has put it back in his pocket. It’s almost impossible to say ‘no’ to a temptation, but with God’s grace, we can make mortifications, and thus say ‘no’ to sin.

Now, I realize that making mortifications sounds totally unappealing. Well … (surprise, surprise) it kind of is. I mean, giving up ice cream on the night your family finally gets those 3 awesome flavors of ice cream that you normally never get? Like, who the heck does that!? Sooo not cool. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure that mortifications are a uniquely Catholic thing. Why would anyone deliberately choose to give up something that is intrinsically good?? It doesn’t make sense. Not the world’s sense, anyway. We don’t make sense to the world, because we’re crazy – crazy for the love of God. Your biggest motivation for making any mortification, big or small, should be for the love of God. As Catholics, we are (we should be) constantly striving to love God more and more. Remember, a mortification is a tool to help you resist temptations to sin. Sin is horribly offensive to God – we cannot even fathom how much He suffered because of our sins, because we didn’t love Him enough to say ‘no’ to sin. So, because we have that desire to love Our Lord, we willingly choose to give up something good, in order to teach ourselves how to give up something bad. It’s crazy – and it works.

There is one incredibly important thing to remember about mortifications – if you don’t ask for God’s grace, and constantly ask Him to help you love Him more, you won’t be able to make any kind of mortification. To give up something perfectly reasonable and good is completely contrary to our “normal” way of thinking and behaving. You need to have a pretty solid motivation to successfully push against that. The only motivation big enough is our love for an infinitely loving, merciful, and perfect Person. Since we’re imperfect people, we have an imperfect love of God, so the motivation sometimes isn’t big enough. You have to constantly ask for God’s grace.

So, if you’ve already been doing these mortifications, kudos! St. Francis de Sales says that the devil always stands a little more in awe of the people who can sacrifice like that. Pretty cool, right? If you haven’t been making mortifications yet, you can start right away. Step 1: pray to Our Lord for His grace and that He might increase your love for Him. Step 2: repeat step 1. I’m not going to lie. Mortifications are tough. Sometimes you might just have to repeat over and over again, “Sacred Heart of Jesus, increase my love for Thee”. And then grit your teeth and buckle down to it. But it is totally worth it, I promise!

Mortifications can be anything really – for example, giving up ice cream completely on the night that everyone else has some. You may not be able to do that yet, and that’s fine. Just have one flavor of ice cream instead of two, or have only half as much as you’d want, or skip the whipped cream. Then you can gradually work up to having no ice cream at all. Or when you’re driving, you might leave the radio off for the first five minutes in the car. This will pertain more to people who like to listen to the radio. Or – here’s a really great one! – turn the shower water on as cold as you can stand, and say a Hail Mary for holy purity. (Then you can turn it on as hot as you’d like.) Things like that. They don’t have to be huge – but they do have to be a sacrifice. Remember when you were a little kid and Mom told everyone to pick something to offer up for Lent and everyone was like, “I offer up my homework and green beans for Lent”? This does not qualify.

It’s going to be tough, but God’s grace is an incredibly potent supernatural “weapon”. You will not regret making these mortifications. Remember – you make mortifications because you love Our Lord, you want to love Him more, and you want to avoid offending Him.

The whole reason we do this is because we’re crazy for the love of God. He is the beginning and the end, and we should live our lives as if He is the ultimate reason why we do anything.

Have courage! He is with you!

Namárië, dear readers!

In Pace Christi,

Pippin of the Shire

Sauron and Satan

Mae govannen, my readers!

Ok, first off, I owe you all a huge apology for not having posted since December 2015. Chaos … chaos happened … (I hope at least some of you know this feeling …) Since my last post, my computer has been inflicting upon me malfunctions of alarming frequency and increasing complication, much to my chagrin. Finally it kicked the bucket sometime in August 2016. I’ve only just managed to find myself a new computer, as well as the time to post.

Also, Merry Christmas and a happy and blessed New Year to all!

And lastly, the news that will (hopefully) bring great joy to the Tolkien community … I have OFFICIALLY FINISHED reading The Lord of the Rings! I finished The Return of the King on Thursday, December 29, 2016, sometime around 10:30 P.M. (I include this information for posterity, of course, in hopes that it will be a day fondly remembered.)

So yes. Chaos in 2016. BUT – I did come up with about five pretty solid inspirations for posts! So look forward to a lot of posts during the next few weeks! 🙂 I am very excited to post the copious inspiration I have received in the past 13 months.

So, to begin this post I have a Bible passage that was in the Gospel one Sunday back in 2016:

‘Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry. The tempter approached and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread.” ‘

We’ve all heard this passage, but what made it stand out for me was something that the priest pointed out in his homily.

Most of us assume (well, I sure did) that the devil is talking to Our Lord with a sort of cunning rhetoric when he says to Him, “If you are the Son of God”. However, Father noted that this is probably not the case. Satan really doesn’t know if Christ is God’s Son. He is really probing Our Lord and testing Him in order to find out Who He is. The devil is a fallen angel. Angels do have an elevated being, and hence know much more than humans. However, they don’t know everything.

Our priest (who is, incidentally, a big Tolkien fan) described it as similar to the Eye of Sauron. Sauron’s power is rapidly growing and his Eye is able to see distant countries. He can, on occasion, perceive the minds of others, as he did with Denethor and Saruman the wizard. However, Sauron does not know everything. He does not know the location of the Ring or who possesses it -the one thing vital to his total dominance over Middle-Earth. This is why he is searching for it so desperately, sending out Black Riders and scouring the countries. In The Return of the King, he is practically scrabbling to find it in order to strike the fatal blow to Gondor and all of Middle-Earth.

But ultimately, in the end, he fails. Sauron may be powerful, but he is not all-knowing. He somehow, almost unbelievably, almost pathetically fails to perceive two small, exhausted Hobbits, one of whom possesses the Ring. They survive attack by Shelob and capture by an orc company, trekking across many miles of his barren and terrible country. And somehow, they do the impossible. Somehow they manage to cross Sauron’s home turf with the Ring, avoid all detection, scale Mount Doom, and destroy It.

Sauron and Satan may possess incredible power – power almost beyond what we can imagine. But they do not know everything.

Frodo is a sort of figure of Christ. Both climbed a mountain of death. Both faced their own destruction, and both embraced it. No doubt the devil was reeling with triumph when the tortured Christ breathed His last breath on the Cross on Calvary. But the devil did not know everything. Christ made His Church the promise that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”. He knew that His death would give us life everlasting. Satan knew much, but in the passage above he did not know if Christ was the Son of God. He did not know that Calvary would bring salvation to all men. And his power was broken by Christ on the Cross.

The spiritual war is already won. God has triumphed. His victory, paradoxically, came on Good Friday, the Crucifixion, the “utter defeat” of good. Our own individual spiritual battles, however, are still being fought. In the decisions we make each day, we ultimately choose whose side we want to be on: God in His victory, or Satan in his true defeat. The decision to ally ourselves with Our Lord in His impossible battle will seem really absurd in this world, and sometimes even literally insane. To that I will only answer: it was never about this world. By our decisions in this world we decide where we will spend the world of eternity. Which world are we fighting for?

I end with a line from G. K. Chesterton, that estimable and admirable writer; these words were the last he spoke before he passed into eternity. He said that the choice is clear. There is light and there is darkness, and everyone must choose his part.

Namárië, dear readers! Again, I wish you a blessed Christmas season and new year of 2017!

In Pace Christi,

Pippin of the Shire

 

The World is All Grown Strange

Mae govannen, dear readers!

Pippin of the Shire here. To begin with, I am horribly ashamed of myself. We did not post on September 22nd – Bilbo and Frodo’s double birthday. May shame be upon our heads until next year, when we will redeem ourselves. I know that Max has been very busy lately. As for me, we spent half of September preparing for a new arrival in the family, and all of October (plus half of November) settling the whole family after the arrival. I bow before you and humbly beg your pardon. Manquentyë avatyalda. I ask your forgiveness!

Now, to turn to other matters (namely, the blog post). I am now again halfway through The Two Towers, and I came across a profound passage. It occurs during the conversation between Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas, and Éomer, a Horse-lord of Rohan. I quote the passage here (Éomer is speaking at first):

” ‘It is hard to be sure of anything among so many marvels. The world is all grown strange. Elf and Dwarf in company walk in our daily fields; and folk speak with the Lady of the Wood and yet live; and the Sword comes back to war that was broken in the long ages ere the fathers of our fathers rode into the Mark! How shall a man judge what to do in such times?’

‘As he has ever judged,’ said Aragorn. ‘Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man’s part to discern them, as much as in the Golden Wood [Lothlórien] as in his own house.’ ”

Tolkien’s message here could not be any clearer. I’m afraid there’s really not much I can to do embellish upon this point, but I will try.

The world has all grown strange. Horrific sins are being committed without qualm or hesitation – in fact they are mostly encouraged, supported, and (not in a few cases) forced. Human organs are being sold – organs belonging to living, breathing, innocent human beings who have a soul from the moment of conception. Cold-blooded murder is committed multiple times each day, murder of the innocent who cannot defend themselves. Those in power who do not know how to use it, are quick to condemn the natural and God-given rights of every human being if those rights threaten their goals for control. And countless people make excuses to quiet their consciences and hide their guilt, afraid of what they will see if they really start looking – the truth that there is a right and a wrong, and that they disregarded that truth.

Right and wrong are absolute. There is good in this world and there is evil as well, and just because some try to paint over this truth does not make it any less true than it is. I’m sure most of you have heard this quote before, but I have seen several signs and stickers with the line, “A lie is a lie, even if everybody believes it. The truth is the truth, even if nobody believes it.” This is a fundamental truth. Good and evil exist as surely as God does. Good and evil have existed since the first sin of Lucifer, and good and evil still exist, and they will continue to do so for eternity.

What is good and just and honorable remains so, whether you are in a king’s court or in your own home. What is naturally evil or morally evil will remain so, regardless of where you are or who you are with. The world has forgotten such an absolute standard. Everything is relative now – whatever “feels right” is the thing to do, and whatever “feels wrong” or what people don’t feel like doing, becomes what is “wrong”. Rationalization is a nationwide calamity. Making excuses to explain poor judgement or rash decisions, or to quiet feelings of guilt, is a habit of second nature. Small wonder the world is where it is today – if we don’t have an absolute, universal standard to stand with unconditionally, then of course the state of the world will rapidly descend into chaos. And really, where else is the world expected to be?

All is not lost. Éomer asks, ” ‘How shall a man judge what to do in such times?’ ” And Aragorn replies, ” ‘As he ever has judged. Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear [.]’ ” In good times and in bad, in life and in death, when there is much hope or little, where there are many soldiers of Christ or few – we shall judge as we have ever judged: in the way that God commands.

As long as we hold to our Faith, hope is not lost. All that is good and truly right will not die away, as long as we hold to that standard – the eternal, universal standard that God gave man at the beginning of time, and the standard that will exist for all time. Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear. They remain the same. They were always the same, and they will always remain so.

The height that we are called to, as warriors of Christ and heirs of heaven, is eternal and universal. This calling will not be easy. Whoever expects it to is gravely mistaken. Yes, the world has all grown strange. It is even now nigh impossible to discern moral right from wrong. But there is a standard, regardless of what the rest of the world tells us or tries to force us to believe. We all know it, even those who try to drown their guilt in excuses and rationalizations. God’s all-encompassing moral code is engraved in the soul of every human being. It is up to us to hold to it.

Namárië!

In Pace Christi,

~~Pippin of the Shire~~

 

All That is Gold Does Not Glitter

Greetings, fellow readers!

(Or ‘Mae govannen‘, if you prefer elvish, as I do – it means ‘well met’.) Pippin of the Shire here.

I was intending to write this post on Sunday. As it is now Monday, many will consider this late. However, ‘a wizard is never late, nor is he early’. (Not to say that  I’m a wizard or anything, but if the shoe fits …)

Anyway, yesterday’s first Reading was Isaiah 50:5-9:

“The Lord GOD opens my ear that I may hear; and I have not rebelled, have not turned my back. I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; my face I did not shield from buffets and spitting.

The Lord GOD is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame. He is near who upholds my right; if anyone wishes to oppose me, let us appear together. Who disputes my right? Let that man confront me. See, the Lord GOD is my help; who will prove me wrong?”

I have recently been rereading “The Fellowship of the Ring”, in honor of Bilbo & Frodo’s birthday month. (September 22, for those of you who do not know. Mark it on your calendars, for that will be a day of celebration.) Upon hearing the aforementioned reading, a few lines from the book (Part I, Chapter 11) were brought to mind:

“Over the hedge another man was staring boldly. He had heavy black brows, and dark scornful eyes; his large mouth curled in a sneer. He was smoking a short black pipe. As they approached he took it out of his mouth and spat.

‘Morning, Longshanks!’ he said. ‘Off early? Found some friends at last?’ Strider nodded, but did not answer.

‘Morning, my little friends!’ he said to the others. ‘I suppose you know who you’ve taken up with? That’s Stick-at-naught Strider, that is! Though I’ve heard other names not so pretty.’ ”

The connection between Aragorn (Strider) and Isaiah is this: both are mocked, scorned, and spat at. Also, neither offers resistance to the mockers. Aragorn knows his lineage, the noble but dying line of the Men of Westernesse. He knows the duty of protection and vigilance that rests upon his shoulders, and to be called names or scorned by the simple folk of Bree is very little in his eyes. He knows the wide world and has seen many things, and knows that it is pointless and petty to argue or defend himself. Likewise, Isaiah knows that he is not disgraced, for God is with him, and he know that he “shall not be put to shame”. He too sees the bigger picture. He too knows that such words of men matter very little. He knows the duty he has been endowed with by God, and that the scornful actions committed against him will not affect him if he does not let them. The phrase “I have set my face like flint” is an indication that Isaiah is refusing to let the mockery get under his skin, so to speak. Neither Aragorn nor Isaiah bothers himself over these insulting actions, because they both know that in reality it does not make a difference to them.

There are many of us who can relate to this: being made fun of because we are Catholics, because we are “uncool”. We have always been “uncool” to popular society. To them, we will always remain so. We will always be mocked by those who do not understand, or refuse to understand, our Faith. Remember the responses of Aragorn and Isaiah. You also were endowed with a sacred duty on this earth. Such words and actions of scorn in everyday life pale in comparison to the greater sufferings of others: those suffering in Iraq and Afghanistan, the heinous ways in which the unborn innocents are slaughtered every day, and most importantly, the passion and death of Christ the Redeemer on Calvary. Do not bow your head in defeat or shame. The Lord God upholds your righteousness.

That is all for now, friends and readers, and anyone else happening to pass by. I intend to post more this week. The Fellowship has given me much to reflect upon!

Namárië!

In Pace Christi,

~~Pippin of the Shire~~

About Pippin of the Shire

Pippin of the Shire – If I lived in Middle-Earth (full-time, that is 😉 ), I would probably be a Hobbit. I am, first and foremost and by far most important, a devout, openly professing Catholic. I was born Catholic, and I die Catholic, and I will always remain so. Secondly, which is nearly as important, I am a hard-core J.R.R. Tolkien devotee. I had read The Hobbit when I was nine, but couldn’t manage to stick it out for all of The Fellowship of the Ring – I made it to ‘Shortcut to Mushrooms’ before finally losing the darn book, and I never got around to reading it again. More than 3 years ago, I finally “got into” The Lord of the Rings when some of my cousins insisted that I watch The Fellowship with them.

And there is NO GOING BACK. To quote Catholic Teen, he is “the pinnacle of human imagination, wisdom, and Catholicism, rolled into one”. C.S. Lewis runs a close second. G.K. Chesterton, also, runs a very close second. I have only read a few of his works, but the man is brilliant. I now refer to him as “The Apostle of Common Sense”.

And finally, and this is vital information about me, I am THE grammar police. I’m sorry. That’s just me. My entire family and every single one of my friends has told me multiple times on a daily basis to stop pointing out grammatical errors on everything I see. (I mean, who here calls them ‘dwarfs’? Would you call elves ‘elfs’? It’s dwarves, people. Like elves and wolves and leaves. ‘Dwarfs’ is not a word. Tolkien was always greatly irked by this. He even had a note published in the revised foreword of The Fellowship of the Ring. A parody for all you Ringers: “One does not simply spell it as ‘dwarfs’.” Anyway.)

I own thirteen dragons, four wyverns (bonus awesome points to you if you know what that is!), a griffin, and a songbird that doesn’t sing. Also fourteen horses, one of which is a world-class champion jumper, and another that belonged to Teddy Roosevelt (no, he isn’t dead yet – the horse, I mean, not the president). I am able to fly for short distances without the aid of wings (the unimaginative call it jumping). I am the author of The Rose of Araveil and Warrior of Velaria, as yet unpublished, as well as several other stories too unwritten to count. I have also ghostwritten for several members of nobility in other worlds, nine very esteemed dragons, a handful of elves, a shape-shifter, and one very imaginary twin sister. I am well-known (sort of) for my skill and prowess with any kind of blade, my power to travel to said different worlds instantly, and my shape-changing abilities (I have a reputation for being quite a fearsome dragon). I am legally obligated to deny the existence of wizards, elves, dwarves, dragons, et cetera; also other worlds in which the aforementioned exist, despite the truth. *Wink* I am also legally obligated to deny that wink. I have forty-six different names, the most commonly used being the name my Mum and Dad gave me when I was baptized. The rest I gave to myself (with some help from close friends and companions). I have a tendency to exist in two different worlds at once, which is annoying to my mom and siblings. They seem to think I am not paying attention to what I am doing. Of course, nothing could be farther from the truth 😉 My reflection tells me that I have an extraordinary sense of humor, but I have never quite believed her .

P.S. About half of my jokes have come from the Half Upon a Time series – the author’s bio. Thank you, James Riley!

In Pace Christi,

Pippin of the Shire

Welcome to Talking Tolkien!

Welcome!  This is the launch of Talking Tolkien, a Catholic Journey Through the World of Middle Earth.  I’m Catholic2theMax, creator and author over at Catholic Teen.  If you are so inclined, you guys can call me Max.  First I’m going to give you guys an overview of what Talking Tolkien is about, and then I’ll tell you guys a bit about myself and then I’ll hand it over to my friend Pippin (pretty much whenever I refer to ‘Pippin’ I am probably talking about the owner of this blog, not the hobbit unless otherwise noted).  She’ll tell you guys her story (abridged of course).  So, without further ado, Talking Tolkien.

In the Beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.  Fast forward a couple millenniums…God created Bacon, and he saw that it was awesome.  Fast Forward a bit more, ah, here we have it.  God created me, who thus in turn created Catholic Teen.  But this isn’t about me or my other blog, this is about Talking Tolkien.  So, skip forward a couple months.  I had begun talking to my friend who you guys will soon come to know as Pippin.  I had already begun work on a weekly post on Catholic Teen dedicated to Tolkien, but it wasn’t a very big thing.  Then I had the idea to make a newsletter, but it soon fell apart.  In one saving stroke, Pippin decided that she would help me write it.  I soon decided that this topic was important enough for its own site, and bang, Talking Tolkien was born.

Talking Tolkien will be just as the tagline describes it: A Catholic Journey through the World of Middle Earth.  That doesn’t mean we will search for every nook and cranny where we can twist the words to have some Christian allusion.  Tolkien himself said when speaking of his most famous work, The Lord of the Rings, that it is a “fundamentally religious and Catholic work”.  We will lead you through the great realm of Middle Earth, and together we will discover Christ in its very fabric.

There will also be some pretty useless (but pretty amazing) stuff, posted probably by me.  Most of it will deal with Quenya, the high speech of the Elves.  Tolkien left a a fair bit of knowledge behind on the languages he created, especially Quenya.  I’ll probably do some stuff on how to speak it, some vocab, and of course, as many of you Catholic Teen lovers already know, the Rosary in Elvish.

So, about me.  If you want a peak at my Catholic bio, visit the about me page on my blog.  This will be more about how I first began to discover Middle Earth.  I still remember when I was just a little kid, probably 7 years old, I had finished the Narnia books.  I devoured them after getting one of them as a gift from my Grandfather.  But I was hungry for more.  It was a cold winter night and my family was gathered in the living room listening to a football game on the radio.  My dad told me that I should read the Hobbit.  I asked him what a hobbit was, and he told me that I would have to figure out for myself.  So my parents bought me a Hobbtt and Lord of the Rings boxed set, which I still own to this day.  I read The Hobbit and absolutely loved it.  It was even better than Narnia.  Then I picked up The Lord of the Rings.  Umm, how do I describe the experience.  It was that person who tries to read the entire Bible, but understandably enough gives up at Leviticus.  I don’t think I ever made it past the first chapter.  So, I decided it was out of my reading level and moved on with my life.  About a year later, I had once again run out of new books to read.  So, I gave the Fellowship another chance.  I made it through a Long Expected Party, and finished the entire book in under a couple of weeks.  When I say book, I mean what most people think of as the Trilogy.  I won’t get into that now, but the Lord of the Rings is one book.  Anyway, I soon devoured everything else that Tolkien had written: The Silmarillion, The Children of Hurin, Roverandom, Farmer Giles of Ham, Unfinished Tales, Letters from Father Christmas, you name it and I will have read it.  I also got into the movies.  My dad had owned the Extended Editions of all of them, and hadn’t told me about it until after I had read the book.  I loved them, and naturally became my favorite movies of all time (with Star Wars and The Dark Knight tied at second).  They weren’t as good as the books, but man, they were good.  Unlike Pippin, I didn’t commit the horrible crime of MBB (Movie before Book).  Ever since I have been obsessed with Middle Earth.  I have never been a year without reading at least one of his works again.  Saying something is your favorite book and not reading it again is like saying someone is your best friend and never speaking to them again.  So, that’s pretty much it for me. If you want more about my story, again, visit the About Me page on Catholic Teen.

From here, I will hand it over to the owner of this blog, who will now tell you guys about herself.  Without further ado, Pippin.

I am, first and foremost and by far most important, a devout, openly professing Catholic. I was born Catholic, and I die Catholic, and I will always remain so. Secondly, which is nearly as important, I am a hard-core J.R.R. Tolkienite. I had read The Hobbit when I was nine, but couldn’t manage to stick it out for The Fellowship of the Ring (I made it to ‘Shortcut to Mushrooms’ before finally losing the darn book, and I never got round to reading it again.) I finally got into LOTR when my cousins insisted I watch The Fellowship with them when they came to visit, nearly 3 years ago.

And there is NO GOING BACK. To quote Catholic Teen, he is “the pinnacle of human imagination, wisdom, and Catholicism, rolled into one”. G.K. Chesterton runs a very close second. I have only read a few of his works, but the man is brilliant. I now refer to him as “The Apostle of Common Sense”.

And finally, and this is vital information about me, I am a total Grammar police. I’m sorry. That’s just me. My entire family and every single one of my friends has told me multiple times on a daily basis to stop pointing out the grammatical errors on everything I see. (I mean, who here calls them ‘dwarfs’? Would you call elves ‘elfs’? It’s dwarves, people. Like elves and wolves and leaves. ‘Dwarfs is not a word. Tolkien was always greatly irked by this. He even had a note published in one of the forewords of The Fellowship of the Ring. A parody for all you Ringers out there: “One does not simply spell it as ‘dwarfs’.” Anyway.)

I am able to fly for short distances without the aid of wings (the unimaginative call it jumping).  I am legally obligated to deny the existence of wizards, elves, dwarves, dragons, et cetera; also other worlds that the aforementioned exist in, despite the truth. *Wink* I am also legally obligated to deny that wink.

In Pace Christi,

Pippin of the Shire

So, Check back soon for some more awesome content.  Make sure to check out Catholic Teen and read some stuff there.  Namárië (Farewell)!

Yours Truly, Talking Tolkien