The modern man imagines that freedom is a license to do anything and everything without constraint or reference to anybody. Such conviction presupposes that freedom is something external – the restrictions imposed on us by society, the obligations that people lay on us, the demands of faith and the limitations we experience circumstantially. Hence, we revel and resent those restrictions or their causes or anyone who is perceived to infringe on our freedom. But freedom is something internal. It is God’s given power within us to act on ‘our own’ accord in pursuit of happiness. The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes.
‘Man is free but everywhere in chains.’ We are not hemmed in by family, friends, superiors, situations or external circumstances surrounding our lives. It is within our hearts that we are restricted. We are restricted by our inordinate desire for power, prestige, pleasure, position, possession, and recognition. We are restricted by our attachments, affections and affiliations. We are restricted by our ego, temperament, expectations, greed, faults, and indeed our sins. We are restricted by the things we cling unto and the things that have their grip on us. Put simply, we are restricted by our lack of trust in God, and the shortfalls of our faith, hope and love.
If we must be free, then we must detach ourselves from everything and abandon ourselves completely to God. The truly free person is he who attempts to put everything into God’s hand, to allow Him to give and to take according to His good purpose. This person finds interior freedom and peace because God is infinitely more capable of rendering us happy than anyone or anything. As John of the Cross puts it; “All things were given to me from the moment when I no longer sought them.”
With this attitude and spiritual disposition, we cannot easily loose our serenity and sanity whatever the case may be. Because, with the four walls of the interior castle of peace we rest secure. In God alone is my soul at rest.
Have a blessed Week
By Father Anthony Nwosu