Adventure by Catholic terms: ‘You were made for greatness’

All afternoon I had been hunkered over my MacBook, perched above a frozen lake and watching the sun cast pink into the clouds. I was thinking about what lay dormant and all the possibility below, waiting to thaw.

My task at hand: editing a cover story about three Catholic families who had taken radical leaps of faith. One couple moved to Costa Rica with their baby to do mission work. One man felt called to head up a floundering radio station. Another family set aside their jobs and rented out their home to embark on a yearlong cross-country RV trip, prodded by a sensation many of us recognize.

Tolkien, Chesterton and the adventure of mission

There is a common, and I’ll admit somewhat understandable, interpretation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy that sees the great work as a celebration of the virtues of the Shire, that little town where the hobbits dwell in quiet domesticity. Neat, tidy hobbit holes, filled with comfortable furniture, delicate tea settings, and cozy fireplaces are meant, this reading has it, to evoke the charms of a “merrie old England” that existed before the rise of modernity and capitalism. As I say, there is undoubtedly something to this, for Tolkien, along with C.S. Lewis and the other members of the Inklings group, did indeed have a strong distaste for the excesses of the modern world. 

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