J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973) was a romantic. When he met his future wife, Edith, at the age of 16, he was instantly smitten with her and immediately began an informal courtship, taking her to local tea houses on a regular basis.
When the priest who acted as Tolkien’s guardian found out about his romance, however, he forbade him from having contact with Edith until the age of 21, so as not to distract from his studies. Tolkien reluctantly obeyed. For five long years, he waited for the one he knew was his soul mate.
On the evening of his 21st birthday, he wrote a letter to Edith, declaring his love and asking for her hand in marriage. A week later, they were engaged to be married.
Throughout his life, Tolkien wrote love poems to his wife, and in his letters to friends, he wrote glowingly of her.
J.F.R. Tolkien (1917-2003), his eldest son, became a priest and scoutmaster and built a school. A complaint was filed against him and alleged he required boys to strip naked. The Tolkien family did not want the Church to reach a settlement, which it did, because Father Tolkien denied any wrongdoing and could not defend himself.
This issue has been discussed widely among lay Catholics, and we know that we must be careful not to apply today’s attitudes to yesterday’s attitudes. Requiring boys to strip naked may be a harsh act of humility. I am not an unkind person, but I would say, “Grow up.”
If you think no one ever made a pass at me (not a priest), you would be wrong, and it did not bother me in the least. Credit goes to my parents for not overprotecting me.
BTW - I get many texts and emails and apologize for not answering all of you. I need an amanuensis, slave with secretarial duties, and I am Alexander’s, but he (almost 10 and first-ever, certified genius in tutoring) is too wise to be mine. That is a running joke between us.
St. Tarcisius, pray for Alexander and me.