Amon Sul: Ancient Faith Radio

As we approach the end of Great Lent, Yours Truly sometimes finds himself pondering about the spiritual struggle. I’m sure that many of you do as well. Sometimes great literature helps in this quest.

Several weeks ago, I received an email from one of our readers which provided a link to Ancient Faith Radio, one of the premier ministries of Orthodoxy in America. It concerned a series of podcasts on The Lord of the Rings, the epic trilogy written by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien.

By placing ourselves within Tolkien’s legendarium, it reminds us that the present scandal which engulfs Holy Orthodoxy is not without precedent. Or, as Elrond the Half-elven said in The Fellowship of the Ring, “I have fought the long defeat”.

More pointedly, it leads me to consider the Person of Christ, Who is after all, the central figure in this salvific drama (and the legendarium). Permit me to explain: Gandalf, represents the prophetic office. Aragorn is the king. But it is Frodo who is tasked with offering the Ring of Power up for destruction. This offering up is a priestly task and for reasons known only to Tolkien, was forbidden to the other two. Gandalf, Aragorn, Frodo; prophet, king, priest. It has a certain symmetry to it. Regardless, neither man is the protagonist in this drama.

According to Christian teaching, most men can perform only one of these tasks. Joshua, Gideon and Samson were only war-lords. Isaiah and Elijah were prophets and Saul was king. However, there have been a few Old Testament worthies who embodied two of the offices. Moses for example was both war-lord and prophet while Samuel was priest and prophet. David and Solomon were both king and prophet. And Melchizedek was priest and king. But only Christ possessed all three offices within His Person at once. (This of course was foreshadowed in the gifts which the Magi presented to Him at His birth.)

Anyway, feel free to cogitate on this or better yet, please take the time to listen to Fr Andrew Damick as he serves us up a whole platter of wisdom and why literature –particularly Inkling literature–is so vital to our daily lives. (Anyway, I can’t help myself, I really love runes!)

Enjoy, comment, criticize! And may the closing days of the Great Fast be profitable for you.

P.S. For another resource on all things Middle-earth, please go to YouTube’s Men of the West podcast.