I sometimes feel appalled at the thought of the sum total of human misery all over the world at the present moment: the millions parted, fretting, wasting in unprofitable days – quite apart from torture, pain, death, bereavement, injustice. If anguish were visible, almost the whole of this benighted planet would be enveloped in a dense dark vapour, shrouded from the amazed vision of the heavens! And the products of it all will be mainly evil – historically considered.
But the historical version is, of course, not the only one. All things and deeds have a value in themselves, apart from their ’causes’ and ‘effects’. No man can estimate what is really happening at the present sub specie aeternitatis. All we do know, and that to a large extent by direct experience, is that evil labours with vast power and perpetual success – in vain: preparing always only the soil for unexpected good to sprout in.
So it is in general, and so it is in our own lives. …. But there is still some hope that things may be better for us, even on the temporal plane, in the mercy of God. And though we need all our natural human courage and guts (the vast sum of human courage and endurance is stupendous, isn’t it?) and all our religious faith to face the evil that may befall us (as it befalls others, if God wills) still we may pray and hope. I do.
-J.R.R. Tolkien, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 64
Darlene Scarince said:
I especially like the line from Tolkien: “…evil labours with vast power and perpetual success– in vain: preparing always only the soil for unexpected good to sprout in.”
This is the basis for writing much if not all good and edifying fiction and non-fiction. Also, some of the good will only be fully known in eternity.
Thank you for your post.
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How is that “War for Christendom” world (John Lorran) going, by the way? Its been a long time since you posted anything about it.
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The Hapsburg Restorationist said:
Unfortunately it will be a long time before I make any progress, College is eating up all of my writing time. I will post an updated world map as soon as I finish writing out a descriptive key.