The Tree of Life in The Lord of the Rings

How does the White Tree of Gondor connect to all this? And Isildur? Remember, there were Two Trees in the Garden of Eden, as well as in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Eden: that troublesome Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil and the other one, the Tree of Life.  This series of posts has taken us from the Lembas Bread and the Eucharist to its Manna-like origins and then to the Garden of Eden . Why were Adam & Eve banished from Eden? But first, still more on the mysterious Telperion tree.  Silver Leaves, Wafers, and Dew Each tree was a source of its own sort light: Telperion's light was silver and Laurelin's was gold. Telperion had dark leaves, which were silver on one side. Telperion’s leaves were used to wrap the lembas bread of the Eldar: "leaves of silver [...] a wafer of white wax shaped as a single flower of Telperion."  Also, Telperion’s dew was silvery and was collected as a source of water and of light. It was revered and Read More May 31, 2017

The Hidden Eden of The Lord of the Rings

You’ve heard of the “Two Towers” of The Lord of the Rings, but what of these “Two Trees”? Also, where else have we heard of two, very consequential trees? This will eventually take us to this tree, the White Tree of Gondor:   The first post of this series described the initial connection between the Lembas Bread and the Eucharist, as well as J. R. R. Tolkien’s lifelong devotion to the Eucharist. The last post described the Hidden Manna in The Lord of the Rings, that is, how the origin of the Lembas Bread symbolizes the Manna. Recall Tolkien’s description of the lembas as wrapped in "leaves of silver [...] a wafer of white wax shaped as a single flower of Telperion." What, or Who, was Telperion?  Laurelin and Telperion: The Two Trees of Valinor and Eden The first sources of all light for the world of Middle Earth were two enormous lamps. There was a silver lamp in the north called Illuin. There was also a golden lamp in the south called Ormal.  Read More May 24, 2017

The Hidden Manna in The Lord of the Rings

Did you know The Lord of the Rings has its own Exodus and Moses? You need to understand this before you can begin to grasp the full meaning of the Tolkien’s writings.  In the last post , we talked about the basic connection between the Lembas Bread and the Eucharist and J. R. R. Tolkien’s devotion to the Eucharist. Now, let’s follow Tolkien down the path a bit further: “it’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” Where did the Lembas bread come from? Tolkien provides us with some of the bread’s history elsewhere in his writing. It is interesting that Tolkien should dedicate so much time to writing about bread if he was not hinting at a greater significance to the bread. It is said by the Eldar that the art of preparing the Lembas came from the Vala Yavanna. Yavanna was one of the Ainu or the “Holy Ones.” These were the first and mightiest of the be Read More May 17, 2017

The Hidden Eucharist in the Lord of the Rings

What is " the one great thing to love on earth", according to J. R. R. Tolkien, the author of The Lord of the Rings ? Find out below and in this series of posts on the Catholic symbolism in The Lord of the Rings . The Lord of the Rings can't be fully understood without understanding the hidden Eucharistic significance of the novels. What's more, perhaps: J. R. R. Tolkien can't be fully understood apart from his Catholic identity and his devotion to the Eucharist.  The Eucharistic symbolism in Tolkien’s writing runs deep. Since the Eucharist is so deeply entrenched in Scripture, this and the upcoming posts will touch on a number of different subjects.  Tolkien’s treatment of the Eucharist is amazingly thorough. Following the thread of the lembas bread will take us back to the Eden of Middle-Earth, where the Two Trees grew. The last surviving descendant of the Two Trees will take us to the last surviving descendent of the Kingdom of Númenor and, ultima Read More May 10, 2017

Arm Yourself to Fight the Culture of Death: The Origin of the Rosary

Do you know where the Rosary came from? The Blessed Mother gave it to us, of course, but when and why? The answer is very important. It gives us a way to fight the evils of our world, or, as Saint Pope John Paul II described it, the "Culture of Death" .   The rosary is the book of the blind, where souls see and  there enact the greatest drama of love the world has ever  known; it is the book for the simple, which initiates them  into mysteries and knowledge more satisfying than the  education of other men; it is the book for the aged, whose  eyes close upon the shadow of this world, and open on  the substance of the next. The power of the rosary is beyond  description. -Venerable Fulton J. Sheen The Rosary, or the “Crown of Roses” as it has been  called, is largely attributed to St. Dominic, the founder of  the Dominican Order. St. Dominic was battling against  the Albigensian heresy in the south of France, a region  called Languedoc.  The Albigensian heresy was Read More May 02, 2017