I'm a huge fan of The Lord of the Rings, by JRR Tolkien. I think it is one of the best pieces of Catholic Fiction written in the last 100 years, but that is a decidedly narrow opinion.
As I moved through the Seminary and got closer to Ordination, I always found something sympathetic in the character of Frodo, he who was chosen for this task that is much beyond him, he does not know why he was chosen to do it, but he humbly accepts and gives it his all, and the world was changed.
As I couldn't fall asleep last night, I picked up The Fellowship of the Ring again to just page through it. I hadn't really read it since the movies came out, and the amount of detail that Tolkien included that just had to be dumped from the movie is a surprise. There is so much that adds to the richness of the story.
In the second chapter, "The Shadow of the Past," the following few lines really struck me:
'I do really wish to destroy it!' cried Frodo. 'Or, well, to have it destroyed. I am not made for perilous quests. I wish I had never seen the Ring! Why did it come to me? Why was I chosen?'
'Such questions cannot be answered,' said Gandalf. 'You may be sure that it was not for any merit that others do not possess: not for power or wisdom, at any rate. But you have been chosen, and you must therefore use such strength and wits as you have.'
How many of us that have responded to a unique call to the priesthood have wrestled with the same question that Frodo wrestled with? Yet his journey is much the same as ours, we are not alone. Yes, there are certain things that we must do ourselves, but I know I have always found the support of friends and family along that way, just as Frodo has the support of friends on his long journey. (Both friends he knew from his youth and companions he met along the way.)
Anyway, I love the books, if you haven't read them, please do so. It is only a thousand or so pages, which isn't long when compared with an Encyclopedia!
Have a wonderful Christmas and a Blessed New Year!