Gandalf assures no victory in the short term. “I have spoken only of hope. Hope is not victory,” he tells Aragorn. The dark armies of Saruman’s Mordor “fill me with great sorrow and great fear: for much shall be destroyed and all may be lost. I am Gandalf, Gandalf the White, but Black is mightier still.” And so they ride on, to the defense of Helm’s Deep. Mighty seas of orcs assault the fortress all night, but when all is certainly lost, Aragorn still hopes for the dawn. “None knows what the new day shall bring” he declares to the surging enemies. At dawn Aragorn and King Theoden boldly ride forth, right through the enemy, and indeed salvation does come with dawn. Gandalf and the Forest of Fangorn arrive as the sun breaks over the eastern horizon. Such did the sun rise almost 2000 years ago on a hill outside of Jerusalem, on a day which we now call "Easter." The Lord of the Rings is a great Catholic book about hope, foretelling the Return of the King. He will certainly return in great power and glory on the clouds of heaven. It is for that we wait in hope during our long pilgrimage. It is for the Coming of That King that we look toward the East, at every Mass. May He come quickly!