St. Paul, In His Letter To Galatians Stresses The Responsible Use Of Freedom As An Oppor…

St. Paul, in his letter to Galatians stresses the responsible use of freedom as an opportunity. How are you going to exercise your gift of freedom on self and others?


Freedom comes to us as a gift; Christ makes us free by offering Himself in the sacrifice on the Cross and by sending us the gift of the Holy Spirit. St. Paul writes (Gal 5:13), “Remember that you have been called to live in freedom — but not a freedom that gives free rein to the flesh. Out of love, place yourselves at one another’s service.” The gift of freedom requires a response on our part, an ongoing response sustained by both faith and reason, and supported by God’s grace. Sadly, our Catholic teaching on freedom is not well understood and is even rejected by many in society today. Licentiousness is falsely touted as freedom, and is energetically promoted by hedonistic forces in popular culture. This leads to the opposite of love. For it tempts people to use others as objects of pleasure, rather than to make a gift of oneself for their good. On the other hand, the virtue of chastity counteracts hedonism and, by daily effort to grow in this virtue, one’s ability to love steadily increases, with the aid of the Holy Spirit. Where love grows so does freedom. The gift of human freedom is like a seed planted by God deep within each person, one that needs to be watered, cultivated and aided by the grace of the Lord. A process of education is required, in which we learn not only what it means to be free but also what false freedom is. We learn, too, what it means to be human and then what steps are needed to grow to maturity in Christ.

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While all of us struggle with temptations against love, which are temptations against true freedom, and while we are familiar with weaknesses of will and intellect caused by original sin, the natural inclinations we have within us do not hinder freedom. In fact, they are actually freedom’s source planted within us by God.