WHAT HOBBITS TEACH US, PART 2
by Anne Marie Gazzolo
Just as Bilbo was “chosen and selected” (The Hobbit 26) for his tasks, so are Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin. The time at Crickhollow proves Aristotle’s words that friendship is “most indispensable for life.” The revelation of the conspiracy formed to ensure that Frodo does not leave on his own stuns the Ring-bearer. Merry tells his cousin of the fear that he, Pippin, and Sam have of what is ahead but also of their determination to face the peril with Frodo because of their friendship. Ralph C. Wood notes that if Sauron had heard and understood the power wrapped up in these words, “Barad-dûr would have been shaken to its foundations” (Gospel According to Tolkien 127).
Sauron would also find incomprehensible the innocent excitement of his mighty enemies, as the young hobbits dance around Frodo in celebration that their company is indeed welcome. Their fear has not left them, but the joy of being with the one they love overwhelms it. Implacable malice such as Sauron’s cannot understand such happiness; unwavering hate cannot fathom unconditional, sacrificial love; selfishness cannot penetrate the wisdom of selflessness. Love allows us to do amazing, even otherwise impossible, things, and these hobbits excel at love. “You are worth what your heart is worth,” Pope St. John Paul II said. This makes Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin priceless. As the Quest unfolds, the hobbits prove that “a friend is a friend at all times, it is for adversity that a brother is born” (Prov. 17:17).