Quote for the Day

“Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament… There you will find romance, glory, honour, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves on earth, and more than that: Death: by the divine paradox, that which ends life, and demands the surrender of all, and yet by the taste (or foretaste) of which alone can what you seek in your earthly relationships (love, faithfulness, joy) be maintained, or take on that complexion of reality, of eternal endurance, which every man’s heart desires.”

— The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter to his son, Christopher.

My comment: If I may be droll, allow me to recommend to my fellow science fiction and fantasy novelists that they become Catholic merely to increase their chance of writing a novel of lasting worth, power, and beauty, on the grounds that we Catholics see the cosmos as a sacramental temple whose stained glasses are lit with supernal light streaming in from beyond, and where the many-colored light touches, enchantment, magic, wonder and all the sacred things which give life richness spring up like elfin flowers, like the moly herb that wipes the lies of the eyes away, or like trees whose leaves are for the healing of nations: and like a wind in the stars we hear, far above the mystic horns of elfland blowing, the deeper magic ring in choirs of angelic song whose breath is the breath of life.

Professor Tolkien continues:

“The only cure for sagging or fainting faith is Communion. Though always Itself, perfect and complete and inviolate, the Blessed Sacrament does not operate completely and once for all in any of us. Like the act of Faith it must be continuous and grow by exercise. Frequency is of the highest effect. Seven times a week is more nourishing than seven times at intervals.

“Also I can recommend this as an exercise (alas! only too easy to find opportunity for): make your communion in circumstances that affront your taste. Choose a snuffling or gabbling priest or a proud and vulgar friar; and a church full of the usual bourgeois crowd, ill-behaved children – from those who yell to those products of Catholic schools who the moment the tabernacle is opened sit back and yawn – open necked and dirty youths, women in trousers and often with hair both unkempt and uncovered. Go to communion with them (and pray for them). It will be just the same (or better than that) as a mass said beautifully by a visibly holy man, and shared by a few devout and decorous people. It could not be worse than the mess of the feeding of the Five Thousand – after which our Lord propounded the feeding that was to come.”