When do we possess the most freedom? Do we possess it as we stroll down the avenues of life with not a care in the world, or perhaps freedom comes from the decision to do as we want and not as others command? I’m sure each and every one of us is at a place in our lives where we have bound a definition of freedom to the very foundation of our perceptions of just what freedom ought to be. Though, when we do this we incline our very nature to an pursuit of error and sin because of the subjectivity with which we choose our pursuit. Instead, a freedom from such things as greed, lust, anger, and overall any devilish decision laid upon us, becomes a freedom which disciplines us and yet opens life up in such a way as to become a vessel of an overflowing nature towards God and the life we live. Our reflective light grants one of distinct proportion whereby we humbly pursue the here and now, and yet we are bound by nothing by the very nature of life as it consistently surrounds us. At any time we can choose a subjective nature to pursue, but at all times the truth of freedom from patiently awaits our return.
So, what then do we do when challenged by those thoughts and ideas meant to expand our minds and challenge our traditions? First of all, abandoning a tradition without logical pursuit of total comprehension of the past understandings and reasoning elicits an embrace of hubris and arrogance. Are we such historical and modern snobs as to think we are above the very rules which once governed people who lived before us? Do we believe we somehow perceive life better (philosophically speaking) than those who pioneered the effort? Are we determined to restrict our freedom of good and right to be bound to the error of selling our freedom to the lowest bidder? Here are some very salient points which should not be abandoned. We are told, more often than not, liberalism is a matter of questioning and adopting methods of living life which challenge the traditional norms. This is to say, a person or group of persons, found the traditional thought for circumstances we experience to be hampering for the purposes of change or “progress” and in doing so create new paradigms of practice. This is common place in areas of technology, medicine, and laws which seek to understand our ever-changing landscapes according to science, religion, and life in general. However, truth has never changed, which is to say, it requires no liberal thought and practice, but instead is indicative of each and every person to conserve the very nature of the objective truth. Which is a fancy way of saying “truth is truth” it doesn’t need our further explanation and furthermore it needs no changing of how it is to be perceived.
A perfect example of truth as it just is would be the freedom to tell the truth or the restriction of the lie. The lie will bind us to a story which is neither correct nor is it proper, even when we attempt to liberate the truth with a desire to spare one’s feelings, we corrupt the beauty of the knowledge of what is. The lie forms and takes shape, creating in us a narrative which neither truly exists nor a proper perception of the narrative in general. Which is purely why when confronted with a truthful statement, such as “The Catholic Church was the church founded by Jesus Christ our Risen Lord” isn’t accepted by all Christians. The subjective truth has distorted the objective authority and created in it a base miscomprehension and ideological miscomprehension of our own ability to unbelieve. We won’t believe what we can’t understand, furthering an binding to ignorance as the light our lives should follow, rather than accepting what we don’t know and trusting the love of God, which is the truth in life never subject to change or the need to be liberated from its very existence.
Ok, so where does this leave us? Our freedom from such things as sin, is our freedom for such things as life. As we all know, “For the wage paid by sin is death”, why would we bind ourselves to a death sentence, unless we believe we know it all? Knowledge becomes freedom then, freedom from sin, but more importantly as Bishop Fulton Sheen described in “Life is Worth Living”, knowledge doesn’t bind us, but allows freedom to reign and the more we study the less free we become to know error. Liberalism in through prevents the immutable truth from being fully realized. The truth is our own personal freedom, regardless of the events which surround all of us, knowing the truth of anything creates in us a perception of right. When we can know, we are fully in communion with God. When we learn and embrace what is true and what is right, we can find harmony in life. Just recently my wife and I were challenged by something personal, which affected both of us in varying ways. My wife is a formidable force of truth, kindness, and love, but is nevertheless challenged by others who are very close to her. Their embrace of a subjective reality, and furthermore their liberal pursuit of a life which replaces God and idolizes sin has created a chasm of pain which seeks to sap the strength of all of us in its pursuit to rip and tear apart a family dynamic. However, her strength isn’t in her ability to be strong, but it is in her freedom gained by her knowledge and embrace of truth. She loves God, she is fervent in her belief of our Blessed Lord, and in the very nature and context of life she desires this above all else.
Our area of concern is not unlike many who struggle in life and figuring out the curves and bend which seek to corrupt our ways and very pursuit of God’s light. In the case of my wife and I, we’ve been tasked to accept those who seek a liberal life of excess and idolatry become like a weight, seeking to drag us down so in their misery they might not be alone. Our struggle has been our desire to pull them from this misery and bring them to the light of truth. At this point we’ve been unsuccessful, and this person has pulled away from us with a vitriolic fervor and spiteful anger we’ve never seen before. To be quite clear, we’ve never placed on this individual any circumspect desire to do as we want, but instead we’ve sought to love them and accept them for the person they are. However, when confronted by their idolizing of a life which embraces sin as a matter of pleasure and then verbally accosted because of their distorted truth, we decided to walk away. C.S. Lewis once remarked “the doors of hell are locked on the inside” (Problem of Pain) leading us to and understanding, a truth as it were, we make the decision or the choice to push and pull away from the light by our very decisions to embrace sin. Life isn’t a game whereby we tally points up in a hope or desire to win. We don’t win heaven, we seek the Living God who is Heaven, and in doing so we embrace the very light and goodness which truth is. Our struggle is less about what this person chooses to do, and more about how we can love them and pray for them while they insist on doing those things which we can see are desires for sin.
At one level or another, we can see where people want to create a palatable landscape for their desires, for instance the argument of abortion. The common liberal desire is one where a woman (not the man, because in this new age he no longer has a voice) creates a paradigm whereby she involves herself in the decision to have unwed sex and in the process becomes pregnant. Since the pregnancy was neither expected nor wanted she faces a dilemma, to keep or kill the baby. And a baby is exactly what this is, because left to nature, the grouping of cells will grow and a fetus will form and then eventually at full term a baby will be born. So, how does one mitigate the distortion of truth with performing a grotesque sin, well in the case of abortion, she says it should be a choice up and to the point of birth (in Virginia apparently this means after birth as well). Her idolization of choice has replaced God. Her desire for self rather than selfless has created a paradigm where the sacred has become the despised. No longer free to embrace the love life gives to all of us, she has become chained to the depravity of ignorance and error. What’s worse is a culture which seeks to congratulate and celebrate sin rather, a society which seeks to cajole the individual instead of seeking a part of the Body of Christ. No matter the cost, self becomes too important to ignore once knowledge and truth are willfully distorted. Freedom becomes a mark of distress on an obtrusive age seeking the denigration of love.
Freedom of love isn’t a feeling, it isn’t an embrace of self, and it’s not the destruction of life so people can continue to live a life where they can have “good times”. Freedom of love is above all a choice in life. God loves us so much, he gave us the free will to choose. Although he walks with us every step of the way, it is still our choice where go. So if you can just imagine a parent who walks with you and watches your every move, but in choice says nothing to allow you full control of your decision to love, but must watch as you push them away constantly. As a father, if my children were constantly pushing me away, I think this would tear me apart, bit by bit. So, our heavenly father allows us the choice to embrace and love him or not, freedom isn’t about what we do, but rather what we accept. When we accept God’s love, we naturally choose a life of humility, we choose a life of servitude, we choose a life where God is first, our neighbor is second, and we are last. We choose an existence where we can know the more we learn about God the less free we become to error.
God needs spiritual warriors who will pray, who will seek truth, and who will stand up to evil. These people must accept the life of a Christian isn’t always about hugs and kisses, sometimes it’s about struggle and pain. St. Francis of Assisi thanked God for the pain in his life, as it was a reminder of God’s goodness rather than epidermal understanding of a transient existence. In other words, Francis could see past his own pain to the greater glory. Pain and suffering is what we must deal with because sin exists, there is no getting around this. However, when we know the truth, the truth of eternal existence, then we can see past our own pain and realize when we sin, the greater pain this causes God.
I hope if you know of a cause, a need for spiritual warfare, you will pray and elicit the prayers of the Angels and Saints. If there is a struggle in your life, you will fall to your knees, and humbly pray. The most powerful weapon in the arsenal of a Christian is their ability to pray to forgive and for forgiveness. Prayer is not meant to be a magic force which stops evil from perpetrating its offenses, but in an eternal life, forgiveness is a matter of willfully accepting love, and being a force for eternal goodness. I will say, words will never cause a person to accept Christ, they might motivate and they might help to bring along, but they will never be the decisive factor in a person’s choice for God. Instead, the actions we pursue are the very nature of faith, when those who put sin before God are confronted with the actions of goodness, they are immediately confronted with a reflection of their own sin. This is why sinners hide, this is why Adam sought to hide away from God in the garden. Remember, God’s goodness will shake the very ground you walk on, and in our sin, we naturally desire to hide our faces, but prayer and love allow us to look up in agape and seek his face. May God bless you and your family!!!
God is good, all the time, and all the time, God is good!!!