With the midnight release of The Hobbit later this evening, I feel compelled to share something that I’ve learned fairly recently. 
I watched The Lord of the Rings when I was in high school and read The Hobbit when I was in college.  I never really connected these works with my Catholic faith because my appreciation of faith wasn’t mature enough during those times to make that connection.  It was more, “Ooh ahh, adventure! Epic battles!”
Yet a year or two ago, I learned that J.R.R. Tolkien, author of these works and others, was actually quite the Catholic and bff’s with C.S. Lewis (who isn’t Catholic, but in the end a Catholic-wannabe).
I hope to relive The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit through a Catholic lens sometime very soon.  I’m sure my appreciation for those tales and how they connect to my Catholic faith would be much greater after reliving those books/movies.  Perhaps that’s the magic of Tolkien–that even without considering the Catholic undertones of his Lord of the Rings trilogy, they stand on their own as tales with an epic sense of adventure and involving a difficult journey with allies against the forces of evil.
Found a cool quote from an article on, quoting Tolkien in one of his letters:

“The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work,” he wrote, “unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. That is why I have not put in, or have cut out, practically all references to anything like “religion”, to cults or practices, in the Imaginary world. For the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism” (Letter 142). 

Lastly, someone I know maintains a website that offers lessons on making Catholic connections.  Their Lord of the Rings series can be found here: Link To Liturgy – Lord of the Rings Series.

Worth blogging more about, I’m sure.
– JD

Bold = updated Sunday 12/16/12