July 21, 2014

Boromir's Death and Faithful Spouses

Boromir's death. It was the defining moment of The Fellowship of the Ring. In that one story arc, was summed up the whole of the Fellowship - Selflessness. Frodo's conviction to destroy the One Ring even at the cost of his life. Sam's conviction to defend Frodo's life at the cost of his own. Aragorn's conviction to defend them all with his. But it was Boromir's conviction - one made AFTER his fall -  that truly defined the Fellowship, in my opinion. His character could have easily ran away, so discouraged was he that he had no hope of redemption - especially with Frodo, who was obviously deeply affected by the treason of Boromir to the Fellowship's quest. Boromir was left sniveling and groveling on the forest floor, for Pride and Selfishness knows no rank or caste - it covers the noble as well as the peasant. They simply rejoice the more with the noble because the fall of nobles is greater compared to others.

But, Boromir did not fall completely. He recognized and acknowledged his errors and sought Frodo's forgiveness - and his own redemption. But his redemption was not to come with Frodo, but with Merry and Pippin, whose capture at the hands of the Uruk-hai warriors was quickly looming. Boromir - seemingly broken, confused and weak in the midst of his sorrow - ran headlong into the battle to protect the two Hobbit's from their impending doom. Alone and unafraid, devoid of any help from his companions, he fought valiantly in the defense of those under his care and against all odds of survival - for such was a vocation he simply could not walk away from, no matter the cost. Duty. Honor. Selflessness. 

Photo Credit

THUD! The first arrow comes unexpectedly. Borimir is stunned and drops to his knees, but only for a moment and then rises to continue the battle... 

The first arrow of mistrust and lack of faith between spouses has been released. The wounding begins and festers between two spouses who remain silent in their pain.

THUD! The second arrow flies and Boromir is brought to his knees once more. He falls, then rises slowly. He is done. Or is he? With an inner strength known only to the courageous, he rises a second time to defend those under his care. He fights with but raw courage now, his strength waning from the wounds he now bears...

The second arrow of doubtful Love of spouse and children has been released. The wound grows deeper now and more painful. The hurt, doubt and confusion becomes hardened in those who are Loved.

THUD! The third arrow flies and Boromir drops to his knees for the final time. His strength is spent. He has nothing left to fight with. All is lost. Or is it? As Lurtz, the Uruk-hai leader, stands before him to issue the final blow, Boromir looks up. You can see it in his face, as he summons every last ounce of courage and strength, every last drop of duty and honor. In those eyes, you can see his piercing reply: "Finish it, NOW! I have kept my faith...my honor...my duty! I have won, you pitiful creature!"... 

The third arrow of the breech of fidelity and permanency has been released. There is no longer the need to fight, no need for the sacrifice of self. No one who was being defended cares anyway, so just let it go! But, No! That will never be done...cannot be done. A vow was made that cannot be broken. Those he will protect until death now look into the eyes that are saying what they may never understand: I have kept my faith...my honor...my duty! I have won... 

Whether Noble or Parent, we cannot walk away from that which was willingly chosen, without our leaving a gaping wound within ourselves that can never be healed. Such are those Spouses who choose to remain Faithful by continuing to Live and to Honor their vows after divorce and annulment - true Knights of Gondor and true Shield-Maidens of Rohan. 

Photo Credit
Photo Credit
Duty. Honor. Selflessness. Despite their failings. Despite contentious spousal relations. Despite the hurt caused to children. Despite the unrequited Love that seeks a recipient. Despite the papers that say they are free to do otherwise. They cannot walk away from what was vowed. They cannot walk away from the Sacrament. They cannot walk away from their vocation. They fight for a marriage with no hope of an earthly victory. They fight for a marriage with no hope of earthly redemption. They fight for a marriage simply because it is the right thing to do before Christ, to whom they owe First Allegiance, even before Spouse or Children. They stay Faithful because they continue to Love... 

So it has been written...so it shall be done.

Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved


  1. Beautiful, thought-provoking tie-in with LOTR...would like to see more posts like this paralleling abadoned spouses, keeping one's vows, fighting for good, being honorable despite the cost, etc. Since LOTR has so many Catholic themes, maybe there could be a series of posts here. (smile-just a suggestion)

  2. Thanks for the kind words...

    I agree there are many parallels with LOTR, Catholicism and probably Marriage. Boromir's parallel was one of the first to come to mind after watching the movie again shortly after this travesty occurred, and keeps coming to mind every time I watch. I also envisioned the scenes with the bearded statue in the background while he is fighting as God the Father being present and watching one of his Knights defending the innocent....

    Your suggestion is a good one...I guess I'll break out the DVD's and see what happens! :).

  3. That is another fitting parallel to LOTR...spouses fighting for their families and trying to fight against No-Fault Divorce with God watching over us. Unfortunately, this is usually a losing battle due to the decay of Christian morals and unjust laws in today's world. Yet God is omnipresent...He keeps all of His promises and He won't abandon us.

    What about our wedding rings? Recently, I was questioned why I am still wearing my rings. I tried to explain how my wedding band is a sacramental and has been blessed. I don't think she understood since she is not Catholic. I didn't even bother to get into the symbolism as an endless circle, Marriage is a Sacrament, etc.

    Anyway, she could understand enough that I wasn't going to stop wearing them. So, she suggested I wear my wedding ring and engagement ring on my other hand. Not going to happen! (I know in Europe in some countries people do wear wedding bands on their right hand but we are in America.) Next, she said to wear them on my pinky finger. Doesn't belong their either and wouldn't fit! Next, she said to wear them on a chain around my neck. No way again! This was getting ridiculous, would she like me to wear them on my toes next?! My wedding ring belongs on the the exact finger my husband placed it on, when we exchanged our vows, on our wedding day, before God, and all our family and friends. With God's help, I am still keeping my vow.

    Thinking about the LOTR and the One Ring...When we get married in the Catholic Church, our rings are blessed. When a spouse breaks their vows and removes their ring to sell it, doesn't it lose its blessing? (Must be the guilt. They don't want any proof or evidence around.)Then, if that same spouse ''remarries'' in a civil ceremony their new ring won't be blessed instead it becomes a evil symbol of their permanent state of adultery. Thus their invalid union is not a blessing but rather a curse upon them...unless they repent. That Ring shows they are under Satan's control until they remove it and divorce their partner in adultery.

    Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God. (Corinthians 6:9-10)

    Marriage honourable in all, and the bed undefiled. For fornicators and adulterers God will judge (Hebrews 13:4)

    What about a spouse that destroys their family with a sinful divorce and obtains an fake, invalid annulment for a silly reason or based on a lie? Even they know in their heart it is totally wrong but take advantage of the abuses and the post-Vatican II crisis. They seem to get away with it at least in this world but not the next. God will not be mocked. How dare they go to church to repeat their vow to another when their first spouse still lives?

    Imagine if ALL the evilness of divorce(especially NFD) and its consequences could be materialized into a Ring...if I may borrow your word...a Doppelganger Ring...and, of course, it has to be thrown into the pit of Mount Doom. There would be no more divorce. No more destroyed families and no more lives destroyed. FOREVER and EVER. If only it were that easy but, alas, we are living in the vale of tears.

  4. Thanks for the comment...well said. As other friends have stated, you don't stop paying for a new car that you signed the contract for, just because it turns out to be a lemon. You keep repairing it and in the hope that it will become what it was advertised to be and what you expected it to be. It may be a poor analogy, but you know what I mean, hopefully. You keep at it, work with it and probably pray for it as well. I believe people now days just simply take the loss and dump it on the market to some other unsuspecting consumer.

    My ring is still on my hand and will be there when the lid is closed and locked for the last time. It is as much a sign of my Love and devotion to her, as it is an ever present statement of resistance to this madness that has decimated a family. Keep yours on, don't ever take it off - it signifies much more than you or I will probably ever know in this life. Deo Gratias!


Comments are welcome, just keep them civil and within Catholic Charity. All comments moderated. SEE COMMENTS POLICY ABOVE.