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Friday, 26 June 2015

Quote of The Day

Today, I asked STS whether he ever thought of the fact of martyrdom when he is a priest. His answer,  "I think it’s always something you keep in mind given the history of the world .”

A Gramsci Moment

If you want to go back and read the genius of cultural change--read my many posts on  Gramsci. Today is a Gramsci moment in history.

Catholics will eventually not hold any high positions in any university, government, or business.

Catholic Kristallnacht Coming

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Kristallnacht and The Lukewarm War

The Cold War is being talked about in the media because of the situations in Iran and Syria. I am concerned about the Lukewarm War. Most Americans and Britains are asleep while their rights and freedoms have been eroded by financial decisions made either in Congress or in the EU, and by the liberal and indeed, Marxist ideologies which control almost all aspects of society. But, the change has been gradual and most Catholics have not realized, as they have forgotten their history, how tyrants get into power. All it takes is one event.

In the horror of KristallnachtGerman Stormtroppers killed 91 Jews and destroyed thousands of Jewish businesses and synagogues, after the assassination of Ernst vom Rath, by a Polish Jew. The violence had been brewing for years, with stricter controls over the Jewish population of Germany, and only one event was necessary for the Government to kill, destroy, round-up 30,000 Jews and send them to the concentration camps. which were ready for them.

Kristallnacht, the Night of the Broken Glass, burst out like puss out of a putrid sore. a sore which was created by the Lukewarm War. For years, almost the entire population of Germany had been made into automatons by the systematic destruction of many cultural stays-- classical education, the influence of the Catholic Church, and the family. The hatred of the Jews was not created by the Nazis, but fanned into flames by that party, using old prejudices and legal means to create a sub-class.

The Lukewarmness of the German people, greed, and the mediocrity of many of the ministers of religion created an atmosphere of complicity. How many people turned a blind eye to persecution and genocide? Most.

Even in small towns, such as Zevena town of 2,300 people or so, witnessed degradation of the Jews, destruction and death. That ordinary people would collaborate with the SS was the result of years of Lukewarm acceptance of the steps of persecution. Read this chilling description of the Night from the Daily Telegraph, from Wiki:
Mob law ruled in Berlin throughout the afternoon and evening and hordes of hooligans indulged in an orgy of destruction. I have seen several anti-Jewish outbreaks in Germany during the last five years, but never anything as nauseating as this. Racial hatred and hysteria seemed to have taken complete hold of otherwise decent people. I saw fashionably dressed women clapping their hands and screaming with glee, while respectable middle-class mothers held up their babies to see the "fun".

Note the dates here.

SS-Brigadefuehrer Reinhard Heydrich at his Munich office during his tenure as deputy chief of the Bavarian Political Police (photo at site above). As Himmler's assistant in securing control of the Munich and then the Bavarian police after the Nazi seizure of power, Heydrich assured the successful "synchronization" [Gleichschaltung] of the political police in the other German states during 1933-34. In 1934, he became Chief of the Berlin Gestapo and by 1936, he was given command of the Security Police [political and criminal police forces] throughout the Reich. In 1941, Heydrich oversaw the murderous activities of the Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing squads) in the Soviet Union, and in keeping with Goering’s instruction to implement a "total solution" to the "Jewish Question," convened and chaired the Wannsee Conference of January 1942, to discuss and coordinate the coming fate of Europe’s Jews. Heydrich was mortally wounded by members of the Czech resistance on May 27, 1942 near Prague and died several days later. 

Such changes happened over several generations, where the True Faith of the German people was exchanged for neo-paganism, financial security, and greed. The phrase itself was a mockery of the horror which occurred. Note:

So, it appears, the term "Kristallnacht" or "Crystal Night" was invented by Nazis to mock Jews on that black November night in 1938. It is, therefore, another example of Nazi perversion. There are numerous other examples of this same tendency in the language of the Nazi perpetrators: Sonderbehandlung ("special treatment") for gassing victims, Euthanasie for a policy of mass murder of retarded or physically handicapped patients, "Arbeit Macht Frei" (Work Makes you Free) over the entrance to Auschwitz. When the Nazis launched their plan to annihilate the remaining Jews in Poland in the fall of 1943, they called it "Erntefest," or Harvest Festival. While this may have been a code word, as Froma Zeitlin has observed, it had the same grim and terrible irony that is reflected in Kristallnacht as in so many other instances of the perverted uses of language in the Third Reich. Perhaps most cynical of all is the use of the term, "Endloesung der Judenfrage" (Final Solution of the Jewish Question), for what is now known as the Holocaust. Goebbels frequently used such terminology to amuse his audiences (usually other Nazi officials) and to further demoralize his victims.

Gradual hatred, gradual marginalization, systematic change of culture and breakdown of Western Ideals. Sound familiar? 

How do such racial hatred and hysteria control a people who live in a democracy? How does such callousness and violence strike at one group of people without consequences?

You can answer those two questions by looking at the financial and cultural chaos of our present time, both in America and in Europe. Who will be blamed? Those who are not politically correct, those who supposedly use hate speech, those who are perceived as intolerant. The Catholics, the real Catholics.

What you don't get in YOUR news

USCCB Statement on Today's Decision

Supreme Court Decision On Marriage “A Tragic Error” Says President Of Catholic Bishops’ Conference

June 26, 2015
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Supreme Court decision, June 26, interpreting the U.S. Constitution to require all states to license and recognize same-sex “marriage” “is a tragic error that harms the common good and most vulnerable among us,” said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

The full statement follows:

Regardless of what a narrow majority of the Supreme Court may declare at this moment in history, the nature of the human person and marriage remains unchanged and unchangeable. Just as Roe v. Wade did not settle the question of abortion over forty years ago, Obergefell v. Hodges does not settle the question of marriage today. Neither decision is rooted in the truth, and as a result, both will eventually fail. Today the Court is wrong again. It is profoundly immoral and unjust for the government to declare that two people of the same sex can constitute a marriage.

The unique meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is inscribed in our bodies as male and female. The protection of this meaning is a critical dimension of the “integral ecology” that Pope Francis has called us to promote. Mandating marriage redefinition across the country is a tragic error that harms the common good and most vulnerable among us, especially children. The law has a duty to support every child’s basic right to be raised, where possible, by his or her married mother and father in a stable home.

Jesus Christ, with great love, taught unambiguously that from the beginning marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman. As Catholic bishops, we follow our Lord and will continue to teach and to act according to this truth.

I encourage Catholics to move forward with faith, hope, and love: faith in the unchanging truth about marriage, rooted in the immutable nature of the human person and confirmed by divine revelation; hope that these truths will once again prevail in our society, not only by their logic, but by their great beauty and manifest service to the common good; and love for all our neighbors, even those who hate us or would punish us for our faith and moral convictions.

Lastly, I call upon all people of good will to join us in proclaiming the goodness, truth, and beauty of marriage as rightly understood for millennia, and I ask all in positions of power and authority to respect the God-given freedom to seek, live by, and bear witness to the truth.

More Comments from Other Sites

Contemplative Prayer Needed More Now Than Ever my efforts in this regard, please.

Dissenting Statement in Part

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS, with whom JUSTICE SCALIA and JUSTICE THOMAS join, dissenting. Petitioners make strong arguments rooted in social policy and considerations of fairness. They contend that same-sex couples should be allowed to affirm their love and commitment through marriage, just like opposite-sex couples. That position has undeniable appeal; over the 2 OBERGEFELL v. HODGES ROBERTS, C. J., dissenting past six years, voters and legislators in eleven States and the District of Columbia have revised their laws to allow marriage between two people of the same sex. But this Court is not a legislature. Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us. Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be. The people who ratified the Constitution authorized courts to exercise “neither force nor will but merely judgment.” The Federalist No. 78, p. 465 (C. Rossiter ed. 1961) (A. Hamilton) (capitalization altered). Although the policy arguments for extending marriage to same-sex couples may be compelling, the legal arguments for requiring such an extension are not. The fundamental right to marry does not include a right to make a State change its definition of marriage. And a State’s decision to maintain the meaning of marriage that has persisted in every culture throughout human history can hardly be called irrational. In short, our Constitution does not enact any one theory of marriage. The people of a State are free to expand marriage to include same-sex couples, or to retain the historic definition. Today, however, the Court takes the extraordinary step of ordering every State to license and recognize same-sex marriage. Many people will rejoice at this decision, and I begrudge none their celebration. But for those who believe in a government of laws, not of men, the majority’s approach is deeply disheartening. Supporters of same-sex marriage have achieved considerable success persuading their fellow citizens—through the democratic process—to adopt their view. That ends today. Five lawyers have closed the debate and enacted their own vision of marriage as a matter of constitutional law. Stealing this issue from the people will for many cast a cloud over same-sex marriage, making a dramatic social change that much more difficult to accept. Cite as: 576 U. S. ____ (2015) 3 ROBERTS, C. J., dissenting The majority’s decision is an act of will, not legal judgment. The right it announces has no basis in the Constitution or this Court’s precedent. The majority expressly disclaims judicial “caution” and omits even a pretense of humility, openly relying on its desire to remake society according to its own “new insight” into the “nature of injustice.” Ante, at 11, 23. As a result, the Court invalidates the marriage laws of more than half the States and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia, for the Kalahari Bushmen and the Han Chinese, the Carthaginians and the Aztecs. Just who do we think we are? It can be tempting for judges to confuse our own preferences with the requirements of the law. But as this Court has been reminded throughout our history, the Constitution “is made for people of fundamentally differing views.” Lochner v. New York, 198 U. S. 45, 76 (1905) (Holmes, J., dissenting). Accordingly, “courts are not concerned with the wisdom or policy of legislation.” Id., at 69 (Harlan, J., dissenting). The majority today neglects that restrained conception of the judicial role. It seizes for itself a question the Constitution leaves to the people, at a time when the people are engaged in a vibrant debate on that question. And it answers that question based not on neutral principles of constitutional law, but on its own “understanding of what freedom is and must become.” Ante, at 19. I have no choice but to dissent. Understand well what this dissent is about: It is not about whether, in my judgment, the institution of marriage should be changed to include same-sex couples. It is instead about whether, in our democratic republic, that decision should rest with the people acting through their elected representatives, or with five lawyers who happen to hold commissions authorizing them to resolve legal disputes according to law. The Constitution leaves no doubt about the answer. 4 OBERGEFELL v. HODGES ROBERTS, C. J., dissenting I Petitioners and their amici base their arguments on the “right to marry” and the imperative of “marriage equality.” There is no serious dispute that, under our precedents, the Constitution protects a right to marry and requires States to apply their marriage laws equally. The real question in these cases is what constitutes “marriage,” or—more precisely—who decides what constitutes “marriage”? The majority largely ignores these questions, relegating ages of human experience with marriage to a paragraph or two. Even if history and precedent are not “the end” of these cases, ante, at 4, I would not “sweep away what has so long been settled” without showing greater respect for all that preceded us. Town of Greece v. Galloway, 572 U. S. ___, ___ (2014) (slip op., at 8). A As the majority acknowledges, marriage “has existed for millennia and across civilizations.” Ante, at 3. For all those millennia, across all those civilizations, “marriage” referred to only one relationship: the union of a man and a woman. See ante, at 4; Tr. of Oral Arg. on Question 1, p. 12 (petitioners conceding that they are not aware of any society that permitted same-sex marriage before 2001). As the Court explained two Terms ago, “until recent years, . . . marriage between a man and a woman no doubt had been thought of by most people as essential to the very definition of that term and to its role and function throughout the history of civilization.” United States v. Windsor, 570 U. S. ___, ___ (2013) (slip op., at 13). This universal definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman is no historical coincidence. Marriage did not come about as a result of a political movement, discovery, disease, war, religious doctrine, or any other moving force of world history—and certainly not as a result of a prehistoric decision to exclude gays and lesbi- Cite as: 576 U. S. ____ (2015) 5 ROBERTS, C. J., dissenting ans. It arose in the nature of things to meet a vital need: ensuring that children are conceived by a mother and father committed to raising them in the stable conditions of a lifelong relationship. See G. Quale, A History of Marriage Systems 2 (1988); cf. M. Cicero, De Officiis 57 (W. Miller transl. 1913) (“For since the reproductive instinct is by nature’s gift the common possession of all living creatures, the first bond of union is that between husband and wife; the next, that between parents and children; then we find one home, with everything in common.”). The premises supporting this concept of marriage are so fundamental that they rarely require articulation. The human race must procreate to survive. Procreation occurs through sexual relations between a man and a woman. When sexual relations result in the conception of a child, that child’s prospects are generally better if the mother and father stay together rather than going their separate ways. Therefore, for the good of children and society, sexual relations that can lead to procreation should occur only between a man and a woman committed to a lasting bond. Society has recognized that bond as marriage. And by bestowing a respected status and material benefits on married couples, society encourages men and women to conduct sexual relations within marriage rather than without. As one prominent scholar put it, “Marriage is a socially arranged solution for the problem of getting people to stay together and care for children that the mere desire for children, and the sex that makes children possible, does not solve.” J. Q. Wilson, The Marriage Problem 41 (2002). This singular understanding of marriage has prevailed in the United States throughout our history. The majority accepts that at “the time of the Nation’s founding [marriage] was understood to be a voluntary contract between 6 OBERGEFELL v. HODGES ROBERTS, C. J., dissenting a man and a woman.” Ante, at 6. Early Americans drew heavily on legal scholars like William Blackstone, who regarded marriage between “husband and wife” as one of the “great relations in private life,” and philosophers like John Locke, who described marriage as “a voluntary compact between man and woman” centered on “its chief end, procreation” and the “nourishment and support” of children. 1 W. Blackstone, Commentaries *410; J. Locke, Second Treatise of Civil Government §§78–79, p. 39 (J. Gough ed. 1947). To those who drafted and ratified the Constitution, this conception of marriage and family “was a given: its structure, its stability, roles, and values accepted by all.” Forte, The Framers’ Idea of Marriage and Family, in The Meaning of Marriage 100, 102 (R. George & J. Elshtain eds. 2006). The Constitution itself says nothing about marriage, and the Framers thereby entrusted the States with “[t]he whole subject of the domestic relations of husband and wife.” Windsor, 570 U. S., at ___ (slip op., at 17) (quoting In re Burrus, 136 U. S. 586, 593–594 (1890)). There is no dispute that every State at the founding—and every State throughout our history until a dozen years ago—defined marriage in the traditional, biologically rooted way. The four States in these cases are typical. Their laws, before and after statehood, have treated marriage as the union of a man and a woman. See DeBoer v. Snyder, 772 F. 3d 388, 396–399 (CA6 2014). Even when state laws did not specify this definition expressly, no one doubted what they meant. See Jones v. Hallahan, 501 S. W. 2d 588, 589 (Ky. App. 1973). The meaning of “marriage” went without saying. Of course, many did say it. In his first American dictionary, Noah Webster defined marriage as “the legal union of a man and woman for life,” which served the purposes of “preventing the promiscuous intercourse of the sexes, . . . promoting domestic felicity, and . . . securing the Cite as: 576 U. S. ____ (2015) 7 ROBERTS, C. J., dissenting maintenance and education of children.” 1 An American Dictionary of the English Language (1828). An influential 19th-century treatise defined marriage as “a civil status, existing in one man and one woman legally united for life for those civil and social purposes which are based in the distinction of sex.” J. Bishop, Commentaries on the Law of Marriage and Divorce 25 (1852). The first edition of Black’s Law Dictionary defined marriage as “the civil status of one man and one woman united in law for life.” Black’s Law Dictionary 756 (1891) (emphasis deleted). The dictionary maintained essentially that same definition for the next century. This Court’s precedents have repeatedly described marriage in ways that are consistent only with its traditional meaning. Early cases on the subject referred to marriage as “the union for life of one man and one woman,” Murphy v. Ramsey, 114 U. S. 15, 45 (1885), which forms “the foundation of the family and of society, without which there would be neither civilization nor progress,” Maynard v. Hill, 125 U. S. 190, 211 (1888). We later described marriage as “fundamental to our very existence and survival,” an understanding that necessarily implies a procreative component. Loving v. Virginia, 388 U. S. 1, 12 (1967); see Skinner v. Oklahoma ex rel. Williamson, 316 U. S. 535, 541 (1942). More recent cases have directly connected the right to marry with the “right to procreate.” Zablocki v. Redhail, 434 U. S. 374, 386 (1978). As the majority notes, some aspects of marriage have changed over time. Arranged marriages have largely given way to pairings based on romantic love. States have replaced coverture, the doctrine by which a married man and woman became a single legal entity, with laws that respect each participant’s separate status. Racial restrictions on marriage, which “arose as an incident to slavery” to promote “White Supremacy,” were repealed by many States and ultimately struck down by this Court. 8 OBERGEFELL v. HODGES ROBERTS, C. J., dissenting Loving, 388 U. S., at 6–7. The majority observes that these developments “were not mere superficial changes” in marriage, but rather “worked deep transformations in its structure.” Ante, at 6–7. They did not, however, work any transformation in the core structure of marriage as the union between a man and a woman. If you had asked a person on the street how marriage was defined, no one would ever have said, “Marriage is the union of a man and a woman, where the woman is subject to coverture.” The majority may be right that the “history of marriage is one of both continuity and change,” but the core meaning of marriage has endured. Ante, at 6. B Shortly after this Court struck down racial restrictions on marriage in Loving, a gay couple in Minnesota sought a marriage license. They argued that the Constitution required States to allow marriage between people of the same sex for the same reasons that it requires States to allow marriage between people of different races. The Minnesota Supreme Court rejected their analogy to Loving, and this Court summarily dismissed an appeal. Baker v. Nelson, 409 U. S. 810 (1972). In the decades after Baker, greater numbers of gays and lesbians began living openly, and many expressed a desire to have their relationships recognized as marriages. Over time, more people came to see marriage in a way that could be extended to such couples. Until recently, this new view of marriage remained a minority position. After the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in 2003 interpreted its State Constitution to require recognition of same-sex marriage, many States—including the four at issue here—enacted constitutional amendments formally adopting the longstanding definition of marriage. Over the last few years, public opinion on marriage has Cite as: 576 U. S. ____ (2015) 9 ROBERTS, C. J., dissenting shifted rapidly. In 2009, the legislatures of Vermont, New Hampshire, and the District of Columbia became the first in the Nation to enact laws that revised the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples, while also providing accommodations for religious believers. In 2011, the New York Legislature enacted a similar law. In 2012, voters in Maine did the same, reversing the result of a referendum just three years earlier in which they had upheld the traditional definition of marriage. In all, voters and legislators in eleven States and the District of Columbia have changed their definitions of marriage to include same-sex couples. The highest courts of five States have decreed that same result under their own Constitutions. The remainder of the States retain the traditional definition of marriage. Petitioners brought lawsuits contending that the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment compel their States to license and recognize marriages between same-sex couples. In a carefully reasoned decision, the Court of Appeals acknowledged the democratic “momentum” in favor of “expand[ing] the definition of marriage to include gay couples,” but concluded that petitioners had not made “the case for constitutionalizing the definition of marriage and for removing the issue from the place it has been since the founding: in the hands of state voters.” 772 F. 3d, at 396, 403. That decision interpreted the Constitution correctly, and I would affirm. II Petitioners first contend that the marriage laws of their States violate the Due Process Clause. The Solicitor General of the United States, appearing in support of petitioners, expressly disowned that position before this Court. See Tr. of Oral Arg. on Question 1, at 38–39. The majority nevertheless resolves these cases for petitioners based 10 OBERGEFELL v. HODGES ROBERTS, C. J., dissenting almost entirely on the Due Process Clause. The majority purports to identify four “principles and traditions” in this Court’s due process precedents that support a fundamental right for same-sex couples to marry. Ante, at 12. In reality, however, the majority’s approach has no basis in principle or tradition, except for the unprincipled tradition of judicial policymaking that characterized discredited decisions such as Lochner v. New York, 198 U. S. 45. Stripped of its shiny rhetorical gloss, the majority’s argument is that the Due Process Clause gives same-sex couples a fundamental right to marry because it will be good for them and for society. If I were a legislator, I would certainly consider that view as a matter of social policy. But as a judge, I find the majority’s position indefensible as a matter of constitutional law. A Petitioners’ “fundamental right” claim falls into the most sensitive category of constitutional adjudication. Petitioners do not contend that their States’ marriage laws violate an enumerated constitutional right, such as the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment. There is, after all, no “Companionship and Understanding” or “Nobility and Dignity” Clause in the Constitution. See ante, at 3, 14. They argue instead that the laws violate a right implied by the Fourteenth Amendment’s requirement that “liberty” may not be deprived without “due process of law.” This Court has interpreted the Due Process Clause to include a “substantive” component that protects certain liberty interests against state deprivation “no matter what process is provided.” Reno v. Flores, 507 U. S. 292, 302 (1993). The theory is that some liberties are “so rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people as to be ranked as fundamental,” and therefore cannot be deprived without compelling justification. Snyder v. Massachusetts, 291 Cite as: 576 U. S. ____ (2015) 11 ROBERTS, C. J., dissenting U. S. 97, 105 (1934). Allowing unelected federal judges to select which unenumerated rights rank as “fundamental”—and to strike down state laws on the basis of that determination—raises obvious concerns about the judicial role. Our precedents have accordingly insisted that judges “exercise the utmost care” in identifying implied fundamental rights, “lest the liberty protected by the Due Process Clause be subtly transformed into the policy preferences of the Members of this Court.” Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U. S. 702, 720 (1997) (internal quotation marks omitted); see Kennedy, Unenumerated Rights and the Dictates of Judicial Restraint 13 (1986) (Address at Stanford) (“One can conclude that certain essential, or fundamental, rights should exist in any just society. It does not follow that each of those essential rights is one that we as judges can enforce under the written Constitution. The Due Process Clause is not a guarantee of every right that should inhere in an ideal system.”). The need for restraint in administering the strong medicine of substantive due process is a lesson this Court has learned the hard way. The Court first applied substantive due process to strike down a statute in Dred Scott v. Sandford, 19 How. 393 (1857). There the Court invalidated the Missouri Compromise on the ground that legislation restricting the institution of slavery violated the implied rights of slaveholders.

more here

The Weakness of the Church

Today's decision indicates that paganism in America trumps Christianity.

I heard nothing from the pulpit here or in Springfield, where I was before I moved, against this--nothing.

The weakness of our priests and the compromising of the laity contributed to this decision.

We are now, as a nation, in the same category as four famous Biblical cities.

The signers of the Declaration would be appalled.

Pray that you will not compromise and lose your soul.

Get ready for persecution.

Get ready spiritually.

God will not be mocked.

For me July 4th will be a day of prayer and penance. Anyone who celebrates should consider "why".

"But this court is not a legislature. Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in dissent. Roberts read a summary of his dissent from the bench, the first time he has done so in nearly 10 years as chief justice.
Justice Antonin Scalia said he is not concerned so much about same-sex marriage, but about "this court's threat to American democracy." Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas also dissented.

Finding Things in An Attic

I was helping my mother find some things in her attic the other day, when I was visiting the old house, which has this attic like all attics of those people, who have had interesting lives, and have lived a long time, an attic full of fascinating things. Mother kept asking me if I wanted this or that, and as I do not really want things, unless they are useful, like a coffee pot, or an iron, I said "no".

As I am still, "peripatetic" as I call it, I am not collecting anything more than what I have, barring a few more books some friends are sending me.

The chapel is in the attic of a friend, my books are in the basement of the same friend.  My temporary room is chock-a-block with icons, books, and my suitcases, all my clothes, as well as all my papers which I am using at this time, and photographs.

A tight squeeze...

Attics always have been magical places for children, and I can remember going up into the very hot attic (pre-air conditioning days) and rummaging through Grandpa's books and Grandma's millinery stuff. Four generations of things were in that attic, and more mementoes would be added by later generations.

It was a Catholic attic, with old statues, rosaries, prayer books and missals put into various drawers of various buffets and chest of drawers.

I compare attics with people's memories, places in our selves which like attics that have to be cleaned out, have to be purged of the unnecessaries, and yes, if God so desires, even favorite memories.

The acquiring of both purity of heart and detachment demands purging.

STS and I were discussing one day, how detached we have become regarding things over the years. This, we know, is a particular grace. I could not have been such a free person, moving where God deemed fit, if I had been attached to things.

Most people desire real freedom of spirit, but do not know how to find this freedom.

One finds it in the process of dying to self.

As I sit in my half-storage room, half-bedroom, I honestly can say that I could easily walk away from the things here. What I have I have as a boon from God, but these things belong to Him, not me. Those things which bring me closer to God, I use. Those things which do not bring me closer to God, I give away.

I have nothing, and I am nothing,  This realization is the key to freedom, which can lead to purity of heart.

Love is the key and the answer to the question, "How can I become detached?" When one truly desires only God, to be with Him, to rest in Him, to wait to hear His still, small voice, one is in love.

Love is why I want the House of Prayer---to be in a situation where God is first, and to have others join me in that loving commitment.

I have three ladies who said they would come and pray with me sometimes, and come on a retreat to such a house.

But, like this room, like the attic full of stuff, like the basement with my thirty-nine boxes, this prayer house would not be mine. This would be God's House, and I would merely be the caretaker.

Freedom is a gift of those who chose life over things, God over possession, love over memories.

Today, I was also thinking of Mary in the house of John in Ephesus. Within months of the Ascension, persecution broke out against the Christians. At the latest, in about 44, when James was martyred, John would have taken Mary out of the way of danger. He could have moved to Ephesus as early as the summer or autumn of 33, or in 34, after the death of Stephen.

Mary would have had to leave all her relatives and friends, her things, her house.

She would have been asked to show her love by becoming detached from all the places and things which reminded her of Jesus, her Son, when He walked on this earth.

I did return to where I am staying with some artwork I had given my mother--framed prints over 140 years old, of famous fairy tales from Bohemia and Moravia---things passed down and kept Grandma's attic until she gave them to me, and I had them framed long ago. She wanted me to take these.

I do not want to accumulate things, but as my mother wanted me to take these back, I did so. But, my heritage is larger, more universal than that of my Bohemian, Moravian, and Luxembourg ancestors. My real "stuff" comes from my Catholic heritage, and that is what I share on this blog.

God is in charge of my memory, my understanding, my will.

He is the Master and Bridegroom of the little house which is my soul and my body.

Let me end with the famous prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

Take Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and possess. Thou hast given all to me. To Thee, O lord, I return it. All is Thine, dispose of it wholly according to Thy will. Give me Thy love and thy grace, for this is sufficient for me.

I  never want to have an attic full of things, nor a memory stuffed with so much that God cannot enter in.  His love and His grace are enough for me.