A Reflection on Freedom

What is freedom?

I like this definition:

“Freedom is nothing else than the chance to be better.”


Why did God give us the gift of freedom?

Only for this: to love.

We might think, “I want to be free to do what I want to do.”

Yes, but we are truly free only if what we want to do is love.”

We might say, “I want to be free to be me!”

Yes, but only if that “me” is someone who loves.


None of us is completely free.

And blessed are those who recognize their servitude

whether it be fear, compulsion, ignorance, laziness,

self-centeredness, hardness of heart.

Servitude comes in many forms.

As St. John of the Cross reminds us:

a bird tethered by a gossamer thread

is just as unable to fly

as one held by a steel cable.


Freedom is not very neat. It can get messy at times.

Tyranny is always better organized.

Freedom is never achieved once and for all either.

From conception to death we are all engaged

in a life-long process of liberation.


Someone has said, “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.”

Those individuals are most free who tread this world lightly

and with open hands.


Freedom is collective, communal.

A threat to freedom anywhere

is a threat to freedom everywhere.

Conversely, the more free I become,

the greater the potential for freedom for all of us.


Freedom costs.

One cost is “eternal vigilance.”

Another is perseverance,

perseverance in the daily struggle with light and darkness

that leads to the coming of the Reign of God.


Jesus was free. Completely so.

He was free to come, free to go,

free to speak, from to remain silent,

free to be gentle, free to be angry,

free to laugh, free to weep.

Jesus was never more free than when he was nailed on the cross

on Good Friday out of love for us.


Prayer: Loving God, thank you for the great gift of freedom. Help me to recognize my servitude in whatever form it takes. Give me the strength to use my precious gift of freedom to love others as you have loved me!

No Comments

  1. Ellen Svette Huntsman on July 2, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Beautifully said!!

    Happy 4th of July!

  2. Mary Fran on July 3, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Thanks, Mel. I especially savored this one.
    Mary Fran

  3. Desert Dad on July 7, 2012 at 6:32 am

    Thanks for your insights, I have been having many of the same thoughts as you lately. From one freedom lover to another, enjoy everything.


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