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Old 02-18-2006, 12:16 PM   #64
Vice of Twilight
Nurumaiel's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: on a mountain
Posts: 1,139
Nurumaiel has just left Hobbiton.
Miss Nurumaiel at your service, notorious amongst her acquaintances for being a Catholic who agrees with the Church on all matters, and strives to live up to all its doctrines faithfully, with no exceptions, and has gone so far to be seriously considering entering a convent... and not just any convent, but a convent of Poor Clares, who, aside from the usual vows of obedience and etc., take a vow of enclosure, which means they never go beyond the walls of their convent. And if that isn't enough, she wouldn't be doing it with a dreary heart, but with one terribly excited at the prospect! Oh, dear!


I come from a family of good Irish Catholics. My father is a 'cradle Catholic,' as it is said, and my mother converted to Catholicism shortly before I was born. They've always been very devout in their faith, as well as always being very intellectual about it. On account of that, I've never considered doubting my Faith. There only ever came I time when I wanted to know 'why,' but certainly not because I doubted. My parents could answer any question I had, and they introduced me to G.K. Chesterton, the man who ensured that my father remained a very devout Catholic. I was also introduced to quite a few Catholic apologists, their books, and their magazines, which I love to pour over in my spare time.

Not only did they ensure I remained Catholic through their reasoning in the whole matter, which fixed very firmly in my mind that one didn't need blind faith to be a Catholic, but that one could agree with what the Church taught because it had a reason to it, they also inspired my Faith in the love they showed me from it. It wasn't so long ago that I desperately wanted to be confirmed, firmly convinced that God wanted to give me those graces, though I was under the age that our diocese generally allowed. My parents went to no end of sacrifices to bring it about. They wrote numerous letters to our pastor and our bishop, met with various people to talk it over, and engaged a Canon Lawyer. It was an extremely stressful time, for aside from being denied again and again, Pope John Paul II was dying, and I felt entirely ready to crumble. When he died, my mother, my father, and I all asked him to be the patron saint of our cause, without any of us knowing that the others were asking the same. A few days later the opportunity was set before us to go to another country, where I could be confirmed by a very holy archbishop who had been a good friend to John Paul II. Needless to say, I was in tears of joy, and my father could only smile and say, "I think our Pope loves you very much. Look what he did for you, as soon as he arrived in Heaven." And, without a mumble or grumble, my parents took me all the way to another country so I could be confirmed, when everyone else considered the matter so important. And that's only one example of the love they've shown me on account of their Faith.

But, enough with the history, and testimony. That should suffice to make clear my loyalties!

Has my reading of Tolkien influenced my Faith in any way? Yes, I must say it has. His vivid and poetic descriptions of the valleys, the rivers, the mountains have all increased my appreciation for beauty, and the closer I grow to beauty, the closer I grow to my Faith. The nobility of his characters (Faramir, for instance), have inspired me with a greater love of nobility and virtue. I've always applied imagination to everything I've done, and that includes my Faith. When I was about ten years old I first was introduced to Don Quixote, as portrayed in the musical Man of La Mancha. For quite a few years I was a knight, the Blessed Virgin was my chosen lady, and God was the King I served. And in a similar fashion Tolkien helps me. It's always pleasant to think, after overcoming selfishness to perform some good deed, that perhaps I behaved as Faramir has. Or, on the days when it's particular hard to be faithful, to imagine myself as a wee hobbit climbing a great mountain with a terrible burden... that always encourages me.

And of course the life of Tolkien himself has inspired me.

So, yes, indeed Tolkien has had an influence on my Faith, and I thank him very much for it.
In the fury of the moment I can see the Master's hand
in every leaf that trembles, in every grain of sand.
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