The Silmarillion was a book that heightened my idea of mythology and beauty. Sadly, I've read many books just to say I've read them. What do I really expect to get out of a book if my only goal is to finish it? I may have gone into The Silmarillion with this mindset, but it was quickly forgotten. The Valaquenta (about the first 30 pages) was overwhelmingly clear and beautiful to me, so much so that I just turned back to the beginning and read it again. It was like Greek mythology, but holier. There's something so attractive about ancient stories, ones that are told with homage and a sense of reverence. I had experienced attraction to these types of things in my childhood, but this was a direct encounter, and one that changed my perspective toward things. I began to look for pure, ancient, reverent, beautiful qualities in every part of life - stories, music, nature, art, architecture...and even little things like penmanship or turns of phrase. The was something in the aura of The Silmarillion that I desired.

I loved the stories of heroism and romance, the history, the symbolism, the conflict between light and dark, the graceful language (could anyone but a linguist have written so beautifully?).

The greatest reason why I love The Silmarillion is because it helped me realize what I already had. The recent daily Mass readings have been in Revelation - a story with unmatched epic proportions. Why was I so enamored with the the song of the Ainur? Perhaps it's because I long so much for the song of the Lamb. My heart swelled at every thought of Elbereth; then it burst at the thought of my own mother, the heavenly queen with a crown of twelve stars.

What could be a greater conflict than the one between Love and sin? What greater story of heroism than the King of All sending His Only Son to redeem men? What more ravishing romance than the one between the Lamb and His Bride? What deeper history or symbolism than that found in our Scripture? The Psalms are like poems from inside me that spring out when I hear them.

I gradually found that the things drawing me to The Silmarillion were satiated in Christianity, and it was sweet to my mind. But the sweetest thought is that it's only a taster; there is an infinite amount of Truth to be devoured.

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