Friday, April 6, 2012

True Freedom

Pope Benedict XVI's homily for Holy Thursday contains a reflection on freedom, and on what it truly means to be free. In it, he says, "We think we are free and truly ourselves only if we follow our own will. God appears as the opposite of our freedom. We need to be free of him – so we think – and only then will we be free. This is the fundamental rebellion present throughout history and the fundamental lie which perverts life. When human beings set themselves against God, they set themselves against the truth of their own being and consequently do not become free, but alienated from themselves. We are free only if we stand in the truth of our being, if we are united to God. Then we become truly “like God” – not by resisting God, eliminating him, or denying him. "

This quote resonated strongly with me. I began to think about why this is, and it struck me that the most significant portion of the Pope's statement is that we are free only when we are united to God. This makes perfect sense.  Who is more free than God? God has no limitations on what He can do except those He chooses.  God can go anywhere, be anything, and do anything that He desires to do - and isn't that the very freedom we seek?  The amazing thing is that we are able to be just as free as God if we will only unite ourselves to Him. All things can be ours, but we must first unite ourselves completely to the source of all things.

We can indeed be perfect, as our heavenly Father is perfect, but not on our own. On our own we are incomplete, limited, flawed, and weak. On our own, we can do nothing.  United to the Father, though, the impossible becomes possible. Our limits and weaknesses are no longer a hindrance to great things, but are a stepping stone to greater things. God completes us in ways nothing else can, and He removes the boundaries that keep us from achieving our greatest potentials in life.

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