Yesterday for the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary we had a special school Mass and I described for the children this scene from the Council of Elrond–extended version of LOTR. After Frodo says, “I will take the ring to Mordor, but I do not know the way…”

Which, by the way, is probably the most succinct definition of faith I can think of–immediately the fighting ends. The rivalry finishes. The Fellowship begins. “You have my sword!” says Aragorn. “And my axe!” says Gimli, “And my bow!” says Legolas.

“And my rosary!” I said to the children, and they replied back, “And my rosary!” For, as St Padre Pio reminds us, the rosary is the great weapon against the Dark Lord.

This is why LOTR is such a magnificent work–because is such a multitude of different ways it does not preach the truth so much as incarnating the truth–all good art must. Furthermore, I’m reminded of that beautiful verse from St Paul, “You are God’s workmanship.” or sometimes translated, “You are God’s work of art.”

As all good art incarnates the truth rather than simply stating the truth, so our incarnating the truth in our lives is much more powerful than simple stating the truth in doctrinal formulations or moral strictures. While these are necessary they are the map for the journey–not the journey itself. They are the ladder we climb on.

The Rosary is an important weapon because through the rosary we integrate the incarnate life of Christ and his mother into our own lives. The rosary merges our life with the life of the Lord and integrates his perfect human life into our lives at crucial points. This is the meaning and purpose of my book Praying the Rosary for Inner Healing. In that book I take the reader through each mystery of the rosary and show how it connects with the different stages of life. Where there are imperfections, wounds and traumas at certain stages in life, the perfect life of the Lord and the Blessed Mother touch our lives and the work of restoration, reconciliation and healing is continued.

This is why in this month of the rosary I say with the members of the Fellowship of the Ring–“And you have my rosary!”

In fact, why not start a new organization called, “The Fellowship of the Mystic Rose”. It will be made up of bona fide LOTR fanatics who want to watch the movie, read the books and pray the rosary together. Any takers?

I’m going to be Gandalf by the way…and Mark Shea? He’s already the Dark Lord Shea-uman.