This is what we should be very clear about. True freedom can only be found in God, in Christ who is the God-made-man to reveal to us who God is and who we are in relation to God.
It is Christ who tells us all about freedom, what it is, what it is for, where it comes from, what are its laws to follow, etc. Remember Christ telling us: “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (Jn 8,31-32)
We have to exert some effort, even extraordinary effort, to convince ourselves about where to find our true freedom. Nowadays, many people just think that freedom is totally what he makes out of it.
With that very subjective understanding of freedom, this most important quality of ours would simply be at the mercy of our urges, hormones, environmental, social, cultural, historical, ideological conditionings of our daily life, etc.
In other words, such understanding of freedom would have no universal basis that is common to the endless variety of possible forms and expressions that freedom can take. It’s an understanding of freedom that would unavoidably lead us to irreconcilable differences and conflicts.
More than that, that understanding of freedom would actually enslave us, often in a very sweet and beguiling way, to a state of a life that would deny the deepest aspiration of our human heart—that of achieving a happiness without end, a life without end which can only be found in God.
We have to be most wary of falling into this kind of understanding of freedom which, sad to say, is getting very common and quite deeply entrenched in the lifestyle and culture of people nowadays, especially the young ones.
It cannot be denied that because of this kind of freedom many people are trapped in a world of addiction, obsession, self-indulgence, etc., all toxic to our ultimate desire for a joy without end.
Indeed, there’s need to counter this trend strongly and extensively which will require a lot of effort and sacrifice, no doubt. It’s part of the general effort to recover the sense of religion among the people, or even to establish the sense of faith and piety.
Without faith and piety, we would be left without God. And without God, we would surely have a distorted sense of freedom. Obviously, we cannot deny the formidable challenge to spread the truth about freedom, since it is a freedom that will surely entail sacrifice and suffering, self-denial and discipline, and these are things that people do not like as their immediate reaction.
We need to make people see why true freedom would involve all these difficult and painful things and why these things are actually liberating factors rather than just purely negative elements in our life.
I believe now is the time to boldly proclaim the true face of freedom, deploying all the means and resources at hand, presenting them in such a way that the people in their different conditions can understand and appreciate the freedom that comes from God.
Let’s hope that we can have the proper inspiration for this challenge, never letting the very probable mistakes and setbacks to stop us in pursuing this most important task.*