Archdiocese of Chicago

Cardinal George's Network Archive

Monday, September 19, 2011

What Makes Us Free?

Truth and Freedom: Jesus preached that the truth sets us free (Jn. 8).  People who feel free only if they can make irrational choices as they please will disagree with Jesus.  What did he mean?

I doubt that Jesus thought an irrational choice sets anyone free.  He proclaimed that he is the truth, so following Jesus sets us free.  But even bracketing Jesus’ statement, it should be clear that one cannot be free if his or her life is based on falsehood, especially in religion.

Knowing the truth is more than knowing facts; it entails knowing the story that makes sense of the facts.  The story of our salvation, willed by a loving God, carried out by Christ on the cross and continued in the Church through the action of the Holy Spirit makes sense of the thousands of “facts” that make up our lives.  Without such a true story to help us see what God sees, many ideologies and personal “dreams” create stories that end badly.  The truth of Christianity is that life is open because God is always more than we can completely understand.  In that opening, we are free.  In that story we understand the truth of things and of our life.

Francis Cardinal George, OMI

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