I would also like to reread "The Lord of the Rings" every Summer.
I used to do precisely that for a period of about five years in the early millennium, but I don't have time anymore.
For one, Tolkien said:
"The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work," he wrote, "unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. That is why I have not put in, or have cut out, practically all references to anything like "religion", to cults or practices, in the Imaginary world. For the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism" (Letter 142). http://www.ewtn.com/library/HOMELIBR/TOLKIEN.HTM
In what ways specifically is LotR a "fundamentally religious and Catholic work?"
I think the work is "fundamentally Christian and Catholic" because that's what Tolkien was and he poured himself into his pages. The work certainly doesn't beat the reader over the head with overt Christian references the way that some other works do. (I know that many people on these boards are C.S. Lewis fans, and I certainly don't disparage him - I love The Screwtape Letters
and appreciate Mere Christianity
- but I'm not a Narnia fan.) I would say that Tolkien's work is more organically Christian in its exploration of the themes of:
+the corruption of souls
+the perversion of creation and good things and how they come to deviate from the course their Author intended for them
+good vs. evil
+how man relates to his environment
+how he relates to those he (mis)identifies as "the other"
+how the hand of God (or "Providence") is at work in even the darkest situations and all things work together for the good
+how we respond to seduction and temptation
+how evil is really impotent and incapable of creation, only of twisting that which is good
I could go on, an if you ask for specifics illustrations of what I've posted above, I can provide them in a general sense (I won't be Tolkien proof texting - lol)., but this is my read on the work after living with it (and the Hobbit) for the better part of the past 30 years.