People lay down their lives for the benefits attained through freedom. But we’re deceiving ourselves to think that true freedom means the ability to do anything we please whenever we please. If we truly followed that to its end, the result would be anarchy, or at the very least, everyone tromping over everyone else. As such, there must be something bigger than ourselves and our own interior compasses to help guide us toward what constitutes true freedom.
This evening at Mass, a definition of freedom was given by Father Kurt. Though I’ve heard it before, it was good to be reminded of this definition, which rings truer to me of what freedom should be about than the more open-ended version.
“True freedom is the freedom to do good.”
Within this definition, then, freedom means something else than what many envision when they hear the word. It means an intentional way of living that fosters justice. It means looking to our Creator as a guide, and then, ultimately, teaching this way of securing true freedom to our children. It might mean rethinking: how we live our lives, what is ultimately important and how our choices affect others.
I’ll get off my soapbox now, but as long as we’re celebrating this weekend, it seems prudent to pull back a moment to reflect on what it is we’re celebrating, to consider the cause of our partying. Then we can truly embrace the reasons we’re taking time off work, gathering around family, and lighting up all those fireworks that exemplify our rejoicing spirits.
I like this definition of freedom. It compels me to think about and respond to real freedom and its implications.
What’s your definition of freedom?