Oh Lord, purify me, make me a chalice in which you dwell, offer your sacrifice in me and spread your love through me. Let me shine like gold, adorn me with the jewels of virtue that I may always be open to you. Fill me. Overflow me. Let me be like that most perfect vessel, the Singular Vessel of Devotion, She to whom I cry for protection against the Evil One. I ask this for your glory, for the vessel is nothing without the sustenance inside, the cup nothing unless it is filled. Oh Lord, purify me.

Give me a word, Abba

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Cost of Freedom

Freedom is touted as one of the most important things in existence. Now and again, Bishops will say something about Religious Freedom (or Freedom of Religion). Even more often, Americans will say something about Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press, and Freedom to Gyrate on the Dance Floor (or on a pole). It's not easy to dismiss freedom. It's been in the common political mind of the West for centuries now. However, "freedom" is not such an easy thing to define let alone support without proper definition.

For instance, was a medieval serf free?

Was a medieval Lord free?

Is a porn star free?

Are Hollywood actors free?

Are members of Democracies free?

Freedom in many cases seems to mean either "license" or "self-rule." Is this really a proper ideal though? In my experience, it is when I have someone with authority directing me and showing me the proper way to go that I am able to more freely move toward my goals. I positively flounder when left to my own devices. If a child is not taught to swim, then as an adult, he will not be free to move around the water as he wishes. In this way, it is essential that we have someone to push us toward our goals and even to have an authority over us in order that we might reach them. This is, after all, the purpose of parents.

But it seems as if Authority is the worst reality and Discipline is the work of the devil. No, we must be allowed to squander our talents and abilities in an orgy of drinking and sexual encounters. This is what college is about. That is true freedom.

However, that only leads to painfully broken hearts, addictions (the opposite of freedom), and failure. A broken heart forces you into a spiral of feelings and thoughts which when dwelt on only make the pain greater. When these emotions rule, you are not free. Addictions, not surprisingly, are really common. So many people ruled by a substance or an experience, not able to resist, to say no. The Status Quo becomes God and that Status Quo is harmful. eventually, the experience of the addiction becomes the regular life and the other experiences become the few and far between glimpses of light. Failure itself can be an addiction. Being so used to failure, one can almost seek it out, just to make sure that things stay the same. Scared of success, we huddle in the cramped house of failure.

Is it really worth it then to be "free?" Can we rule ourselves? Can we do what we like without consequence? As for me (and hopefully my house), I will reject this understanding of freedom and serve the Lord.

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