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THE CHURCH


 

 

CHAPTER TWO

 

1.  FREEDOM AND THE LAW.

Only those with absolute freedom can have eternal life. Freedom, however, is not license. License is use of freedom to do anything one wishes. . .even evil. To act with genuine freedom, one must act in the image and likeness of God, "For man was left in the power of his own counsel." God wants man to seek Him on his own accord.

Today, there are many novel interpretations of freedom harmful to one's quest for eternal life. Let us, therefore, find the truth, "For the truth will set you free."

In the garden of paradise, God gave man many trees and he was free to eat of any tree except one. . . the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Thus, the power to decide what is good and what is evil does not belong to man but to God alone. And man is forbidden even to touch that realm.

Man was free to eat of any tree but not of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Only God can decide what is good; He alone knows perfectly what is good for man and He presented these good things in "Christ's commands." Obedience to Christ's commands is what makes us free. Modern heresy assumes the right to dictate what is good and grants man the freedom to do this promulgated good. Modern man is once more eating of the forbidden fruit. . .and is paying dearly for it.

Today, we live in an era where morality in all spheres is based on the pure reasoning of the human mind endowed with a fallen nature, subject  to sin and guided by an unenlightened mind. Such creatures will find the moral code of the Church, made by God, outmoded. Such freedom is totally incompetent to make man do what is necessary to have eternal life. Such a concept is totally incompatible with Catholic teaching.

What is human freedom in the light of Scriptures and Tradition that will lead us to eternal life? "God wills to leave man in the power of his own counsel, so that he would seek his Creator of his own accord and would freely arrive at full and blessed perfection by cleaving to God." 

A free man acts in the image and likeness of God, like a king free and self-governed, swayed autonomously by his own will.

For man to decide independently of God's laws, what is good and evil is to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the forbidden fruit. "To the day that you eat of it, you shall dies."

God's law is not an obstacle to human freedom; it is rather the guide, the beacon light to the practice of genuine freedom. Obedience to God's laws makes man participate in God's wisdom and, in this wisdom, shares in God's knowledge of good and evil, a knowledge proper to God alone.

God's law is an expression of Divine wisdom which shows the freest acts of man. The most obedient is, therefore, the freest and is the most god-like.

 

 

 

 

 

(09-01-03)

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                                                                                        - Teresa of Avila

 


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