from Pope St. John Paul II:
Veritatis Splendor, 86
I think the word “freedom” is one of those words that seems to have lost its real meaning. Our modern culture treats it more like “the ability to do whatever you feel like.” At face value, that seems like a satisfactory definition of freedom, but in practice, I’m not convinced. In our culture, freedom seems to open us up to choose the world, the flesh, and the devil. Not only does our culture gives us the freedom to choose these things which are harmful to our soul, but justifies those choices. And come on, it’s not too difficult to see the effects. Our culture is enslaved. Is genuine freedom really the right to do have the ability to do whatever I want?
I’ve heard it said before that authentic freedom is the ability to choose the good that I should do. Real freedom opens us up to the true, the good, and the beautiful. Which, spoiler alert, opens us up to the love of God (which is true, good, and beautiful)! My everyday choices gives me the opportunities to be in communion with God or… not.
In past days for this preparation for Total Consecration, I’ve reflected on how the truth about man is for man to be in communion with God. We are His adopted children. We are called to holiness. Pope St. John Paul II writes
Freedom then is rooted in the truth about man, and it is ultimately directed toward communion.
But because we’re imperfect, in a way, our freedom is inclined to betray us to be open to the true, the good, and the beautiful. He continues
…within his errors and negative decisions, man glimpses the source of a deep rebellion, which leads him to reject the Truth and the Good in order to set himself up as an absolute principle unto himself: “You will be like God” (Gn 3:5).
I need Christ to set my freedom…free.
As I’ve received graces to combat my shortcomings, there are still areas which are still challenges. These, I shall bring to Mary so she can help me thrive in true freedom just as she demonstrates genuine freedom in her fiat.
Photo courtesy of National Education Policy Center