“The Quest stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little, and it will fail, to the ruin of all. Yet hope remains while the Company is true.” -Galadriel, Lord of the Rings
This quote sums up how I feel about Christianity.
A Facebook friend of mine posted an insightful article about the faith today and it had me thinking and replying with this quote which instantly came to mind as I tried to compare how being Christian is a lot like walking a tightrope between carefully following the rules and throwing them all away. It’s a quote that gets across the “in the world but not of the world” and “narrow way” sentiments etc. The quote sums up how many within the Christian quest feel (or should) and within the context of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic work also gets across the reality that the bulk of the world either is unaware of the task underway, does not care or does not believe.
To be true does not necessarily mean to be true to the rules (although sometimes you need to be) or to be true to the world around you (although sometimes this is necessary as well) but rather to be true to the quest at hand – to keep moving through it all regardless of the falls and failures and fumbles we perpetrate along the way…our task is to keep moving forward.To remain alive in the truest human sense of the word as it has been modeled for us.
I did a little research and appreciated the following dialogue that took place between Tolkien and family friend Father Robert Murray after he had read the books prior to publication. I believe it lends credence to my juxtaposing the above quote with Christianity as I have:
…Despite this apparent absence of Christian religion, Tolkien himself attested to the profound influence that his Catholic Christian faith had on his works of fiction. Late in 1953 Father Robert Murray, a close friend of the Tolkien family, read The Lord of the Rings shortly before it was published, and wrote a letter to Tolkien in which he compared the image of Queen Galadriel to the Virgin Mary. Tolkien wrote back, saying that he agreed that the comparison was apt: “I think I know exactly what you mean . . . by your references to Our Lady, upon which all my own small perception of beauty both in majesty and simplicity is founded. The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision.”