This past weekend I listened to Fr. Jacques Philippe speak about the idea of interior freedom. Well, correction, I listened to his translator relay his message as Fr. Jacques speaks mostly French. (And, side note, their voices together created such a beautiful harmony. I didn’t want it to stop.)
But, that isn’t what this post is about. This post is all about the ways that today’s society misinterprets the idea of freedom.
And, let’s be honest: this message sounds much better coming from the cheval’s mouth, but you’re stuck with me. Or, you can listen to his talks here once they are posted. Here’s the rundown of the heavy:
Freedom Means Power
So often we find ourselves in situations where we feel powerless. We feel that we have lost our freedom in these life events. But, the reality is, we do not lack freedom; we have the freedom to “lean in” and accept the situation presented to us.
Freedom is an Abundance of Choices
This idea of freedom is relative. Making a choice means we renounce other options, and therefore we are losing those options. And many times people are paralyzed by the many options we have in life. Whether it is yogurt, cars or spouses, we have plenty of choices in our society. But, when we have so many opportunities, we sometimes become afraid to commit, and instead, life chooses for us. In that sense, we do not have freedom at all. We do not have peace.
Freedom Means Independence
True freedom is not total independence. In fact, we need to depend on one another. In life, it is healthy to recognize what others have done for you; it is through the help of others that we are where we are in life today. So yes, we do need to have some sort of independence to be ourselves, but we must also create bonds and covenants with others and God. We must depend on them for help in life.
Freedom is Spontaneous
This isn’t totally false because this is where God wants to lead us. He wants to bring us to a place where we can follow our hearts (perfect freedom). But, this takes time, and in our world, we feel that we should be able to act on this desire in the present. Before we can act on this spontaneity, we must purify our hearts. This process is a journey that takes discernment. We must follow our hearts when our desires are set in motion by the Holy Spirit, not when our desires are fueled by the standards of our world. The standards of our world are influenced by fears and wounded psychology.
How can we resolve these confusions?
I don’t want to leave you hanging, but I’m going to leave you hanging. How about you just think about all that stuff up there, and I will come back soon and relay the rest of Fr. Jacques message another day? I like that idea too.
Part deux coming soon.