The Catholic author of 'The Lord of the Rings' loved receiving the Eucharist, and it strengthened his faith during difficult times.
J.R.R. Tolkien lived through some of the darkest periods in human history. He fought in World War I, survived the Spanish flu pandemic, endured the Great Depression and witnessed the horrors of World War II.
In the midst of it all, Tolkien made it a habit to attend daily Mass.
His typical daily schedule started off bright and early by biking to Mass at St. Aloysius Catholic Church at 7:30 with his sons Michael and Christopher. Afterwards, they biked home to eat the breakfast his wife Edith had prepared for them.
When his son Michael was having personal struggles, Tolkien urged him to turn to the Eucharist, expressing to him how the Eucharist kept his faith alive during dark times.
Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament … There you will find romance, glory, honour, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves upon earth.
In a separate letter to Michael, he again reiterated this fact, and shared how daily Mass was an essential part of his faith.
The only cure for sagging of fainting faith is Communion. Though always Itself, perfect and complete and inviolate, the Blessed Sacrament does not operate completely and once for all in any of us. Like the act of Faith it must be continuous and grow by exercise. Frequency is of the highest effect. Seven times a week is more nourishing than seven times at intervals.
Tolkien would go on to become one of the most popular authors of all time, and much of his creative drive was due to his intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, present under the appearance of bread and wine in the Eucharist.
In the midst of the darkness, Tolkien saw the light of the Son, and it gave him a hope that would endure.