Moments of Grace and Spiritual Warfare in The Lord of the Rings (05.03.14 by Pieter Collier) - Comments

Moments of Grace and Spiritual Warfare in The Lord of the Rings is a book by Anne Marie Gazzolo, released by WestBow Press at the end of 2012. Anne Marie Gazzolo's writing work appears in Beyond Bree, Silver Leaves, Amon Hen, St. Austin Review,,, and use.well.the.days. She contributed papers to the 2008, 2009, and 2010 Tolkien Society Seminars, as well as to Mythcon 41 held in Dallas, TX in 2010. An ebook, Pathways Through Middle-earth: A Guide for the Heart, which concerns how to apply to one’s life the lessons taught by those in Middle-earth, is available as a gift for signing up for her mailing list at her website.

While I'm not a believer, like Anne Marie Gazzolo (a Christian), the fluent writing style and the logic explanation of complex themes makes it a book worth-while to read. Non Christians will at several times disagree with some of the interpretations of the author, but it will however explain the topics from a perspective that Tolkien probably would have understood (or even held). While the target public is obviously spiritual, the book is attractive to read for all. It reads extremely well and is a very interesting read!
Moments of Grace and Spiritual Warfare in The Lord of the Rings

When asked, Anne Marie says the seven things you will read about in here book are the following:

1. How to embrace your inner Took and go on an adventure
2. How to be willing to offer yourself up in self-sacrifice for the good of all, even if that means falling in battle, going on the Paths of the Dead, or simply walking into Mordor
3. How to love so deeply and faithfully that nothing will turn you away from devoting yourself completely to someone 4. How to have unquenchable hope, even in the most desperate of situations
5. How to have firm faith that as you were chosen for a task, you will receive the means to fulfill it, which will give you the strength to push through fear, doubt, despair, exhaustion, and all else
6. How to recognize the good, even in apparent disasters
7. How to realize that God is alive and well and looking after you, even in the worst night

And this is what the long press release has to tell about the book:

J. R. R. Tolkien’s desire to create a mythology for his homeland, he actually made one for every person, every land, and every age. The Lord of the Rings is a catechism of spiritual warfare cleverly disguised as a fantasy. The struggle against evil that takes place inside its pages is the same one that occurs even now within the soul of each person. As we cannot leave the field of battle until death takes us from it, we should learn as much as we can about how to fight from those who have labored before us.

Certainly the Red Book of Westmarch is one source to use. We may not have to sacrifice ourselves as does Gandalf, but we can learn from him and his wise counsels and from the others who he taught. Frodo guides us as well, as he makes his torturous journey to Mount Doom and endures the Ring’s unceasing temptations. With him, we see that sometimes we overcome our temptations, and at other times they overwhelm us.

We also learn, as he and Boromir do, to get back up and start the struggle anew. Sam shows us the height of hope and the depth of devotion. In fact, everyone in the tale, good as well as evil, has something to teach us.

It is Anne Marie’s hope that you will inspiration within to apply to your life.

Author Biography

Anne Marie’s first exposure to The Lord of the Rings, although she did not know it at the time, was in 1980, when a beloved high school French teacher was leaving. She said, “May the Force be with you!” to which the teacher fervently responded “Frodo lives!” She has wondered more than once why she still remembers those words so vividly, as they meant nothing to her at the time. She did not realize after she encountered Frodo Baggins in a theatre in December 2001, and with him the tale contained in the Red Book of Westmarch, how much he would grow on her. She was at the time a completely obsessed Star Wars fan and had been for over 20 years. It certainly did not occur to her that anything or anyone could tear her away from that! But this story and the people in it changed her life, imperceptibly at first and then radically, as slowly Mr. Underhill took up residence in her heart and helped transform her into who she is today. Frodo is her favorite, partly because he is a scribe like her but for many other reasons as well. Sam is a close second. The depiction of their blessed bond is her favorite part of the tale.

Anne Marie has always loved to read, write, and research, and she loves Middle- earth, so learning more about it and writing of it is a wonderful combination of all these things. She wants to be, as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta said, “a pencil in God’s hand,” just as Professor Tolkien was, so she can pass along some of the things which she has learned in the hope her fellow travelers on the Road may be helped as she has been.

Title: Moments of Grace and Spiritual Warfare in The Lord of the Rings

Anne Marie Gazzolo
WestBow Press A Division of Thomas Nelson

Publication Date: 11 Oct 2012

paperback, 224 pages
ISBN-10: 1449769683
ISBN-13: 978-1449769680

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