This may be a duplicate entry, but I don’t care. It remains one of my favorite quotations from The Lord of the Rings and speaks to our proneness to materialism.

“One who cannot cast away a treasure at need is in fetters.”

Quoth Tolkien via Aragorn, who was no angsty post-modern male, Peter Jackson’s movies notwithstanding.

if my “treasures” are worth more than things that really matter (live, health, family, love of God and neighbor, etc), then I am in fetters. I might just as well be chained in a dungeon. Risk your life for the stuff that really matters? “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (from memory, so if it’s the FSV you know why). Risk your life for books or gold?

What the heck for?

This reminds me of Ben Franklin (cribbed from Wikiquote): “They who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Detachment. Some things are more important than trinkets and baubles.

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Posted in Books, Rerum Novarum

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