Sr. Rose Pacete concludes her review of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” with these words …
“This is the story of Bilbo Baggins, a gentle, simple hobbit who followed a call and went on an adventure to help his neighbors, to lay down his life perhaps, for those he didn’t even know. Along the way, he changes. He is a hero — but not the only one. Virtuous, authentic heroes have a way of making more heroes as they journey on, whether across a movie screen or the pages of a beloved book.”
This sentence got me thinking about Vincent and Louise as Hobbits!
Think about these points for starters…
- At the beginning of the novel, Bilbo is, like most hobbits, comfortable and complacent. He loves food, drink, and security, and he relishes his snug little hole at Bag End, Underhill. But as Gandalf says, there is more to Bilbo than meets the eye.
- Bilbo is called upon to do more than he imagines himself capable of. He does not like to travel, preferring the safety of his hobbit-hole, but he has inherited a streak of adventurousness from his mother’s side, the Tooks. His adventurous Took side and his comfort-loving Baggins side are in conflict throughout much of the story.
- He followed a call and went on an adventure to help his neighbors, to lay down his life perhaps, for those he didn’t even know
So I pose this question for those who have read or seen Hobbit.
Can you see these and other parallels with the lives of Vincent and Louise?
And of course there is another question. How have we followed the call out of our comfortableness?
But this is the thought that really got me thinking about our vocation as followers of Vincent and Louise is this.
“He is a hero — but not the only one. Virtuous, authentic heroes have a way of making more heroes as they journey on, whether across a movie screen or the pages of a beloved book.”
My mind raced to Blessed Rosalie Rendu! The Mother Teresa of her day led a young collegian to also be called Blessed and do things far beyond what he ever imagined.
She who had been inspired by the transformation of Vincent and Louise in turn helped Frederic become a hero as he journeyed with her. (And then there are the the martyrs of the Vincentian Family who have literally laid down their lives.)
How many people do we invite to accompany us in unexpected journeys of ministry. Or do we settle into the myth that we must do it all?