Thursday, June 7, 2012

How to Enjoy Freedom

All of us want to enjoy as much freedom as possible, but we know that we are not as free as we think. Writing in the Catholic Times on spirituality the columnist starts with the example of himself with a rope tied to his wrist, he wants to free himself but the rope disappears into the fog. He pulls the rope but there is also a pull on the other side.

This is the way we live, he says. Many say:   I am free, and it is true that we have a certain amount of freedom of the will, but it is not complete.It is like the freedom in a tug of war game. I have the freedom to pull the rope but if the other is strong,  I am  not able to go very far. The fact that I have the freedom to pull the rope becomes meaningless. I have the freedom of not pulling, but then I am dragged by the other side. In this case, whether I like it or not I pull.

We do not have complete freedom. So many acquiesce  to this way of living; we give up pulling the rope with all our  strength and instead accept being  dragged and think that we are free. This low grade of freedom  being dragged and passive is not what God wants.

We all want to  enjoy as much freedom as possible. God has made as to live this life of freedom. It is the life of agreement, compassion, harmony and competence: living  in agreement with God, compassion for others, in harmony with  creation, and displaying our human competence. Pulling the rope with all our strength is the way to this kind of life. This is the life that we have been called to live and given to us freely and consequently, the obligation to respond is great.

The columnist lists  ways in which we respond.  With grammar school children parents take the responsibility of their lives from 40-50 percent, while in middle and high school from 20-30 percent and in college about 10 percent the rest is handed over to the children but we have parents who take responsibility of children even after they marry.

To feel responsible for everything that we do is going beyond reason. Even dealing with ourselves we can be immoderate in taking responsibility. We leave no room for God in our formation which makes it hard to develop in the life of virtue for we trust only in human power. In the example with the children we also have the other extreme of no concern for the children. They are old enough to take care of themselves, let them learn the hard way and the like.

We all have been created as unique individuals  to live in harmony with God and creation. To live  in harmony with the will of God is our calling. The ultimate education is to live in the way we have been called to be: helping the person live in harmony with all of creation. Since we are a small part of this creation, we contribute to this harmony and direct ourselves to complete harmony in God.     

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