Freedom isn’t doing whatever you want. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just.* Justice is all about strong, positive relationships between individual people and communities. Choices that show love for others — especially those who are most vulnerable — are instances of real freedom. On the other hand, choices rooted in a desire to do what I want, when I want it, without regard for how my decisions might impact others are not what freedom looks like. Freedom is exercised in relationships between human beings.* This definition of freedom doesn’t jive all that well with the common American understanding. It is countercultural in our individualistic, consumerist society. It’s a compelling invitation to faith: God gave us this beautiful gift of free will and we have the privilege to use it to make the world better. It’s demanding of people, yes, but the sort of demand that makes life meaningful. With this sort of Gospel vision, what feels like a burden can be transformed into an opportunity for blessing.
Adapted from Mike Jordan Laskey author of The Ministry of Peace and Justice
May my choices always consider the good of others.
What is your model of freedom? Do you consider the impact on the well-being of others when making decisions? In our present national situation where do personal decisions impact on the common good? What can you do?
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.
If it is not used well, freedom can lead us away from God, can make us lose the dignity with which God has clothed us.
Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.
Pope John Paul II
Justice is what love looks like in public.
May we think of freedom not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.
Freedom is the open window through which pours the sunlight of the human spirit and human dignity.
For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
To be able to love and live in freedom means to be able to make godly decisions. To make godly decisions we have to surrender our egos and all the falsity and shame that goes with it.
Responsibility is the price of freedom.
*Catechism of the Catholic Church