For this week when we remember St Therese, I have posted an essay I wrote some time ago about Therese and Frodo Baggins.
The idea of little people who turn out to be the greatest would also have sprung from Tolkien’s devout Catholic faith. Not only does the gospel say that we have to be little to get into the kingdom, (Matthew 18:4) but the apostle John constantly refers to the faithful as ‘little children’. (e.g. I John 2:28) Furthermore, Tolkien would have been well aware that one of the Catholic saints most in the ascendant during his lifetime was the apostle of the ‘little way.’ Thérèse of Lisieux teaches that, ‘To be little means recognising one’s nothingness, expecting everything from the good God, as a little child expects everything from its Father.’
Now Tolkien was not writing a book about saints and going to heaven. Apart from a minor character saying grace before a meal, there is nothing in The Lord of the Rings which is remotely religious in the conventional sense of the word.
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