Threats to freedom.
The exercise of freedom does not imply
a right to say or do everything. It is false to maintain that man, “the
subject of this freedom,” is “an individual who is fully self-suffi-
cient and whose finality is the satisfaction of his own interests in
the enjoyment of earthly goods.”
Moreover, the economic, social,
political, and cultural conditions that are needed for a just exercise
of freedom are too often disregarded or violated. Such situations
of blindness and injustice injure the moral life and involve the
strong as well as the weak in the temptation to sin against charity.
By deviating from the moral law man violates his own freedom,
becomes imprisoned within himself, disrupts neighborly fellow-
ship, and rebels against divine truth.
Liberation and salvation.
By his glorious Cross Christ has
won salvation for all men. He redeemed them from the sin that held
them in bondage. “For freedom Christ has set us free.”
In him we
have communion with the “truth that makes us free.”
Spirit has been given to us and, as the Apostle teaches, “Where the
Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
Already we glory in the
“liberty of the children of God.”
Freedomand grace. The grace of Christ is not in the slightest
way a rival of our freedom when this freedom accords with the
sense of the true and the good that God has put in the human heart.
On the contrary, as Christian experience attests especially in
prayer, the more docile we are to the promptings of grace, the more
we grow in inner freedom and confidence during trials, such as
those we face in the pressures and constraints of the outer world.
By the working of grace the Holy Spirit educates us in spiritual
freedom in order to make us free collaborators in his work in the
Church and in the world:
Almighty and merciful God,
graciously keep from us all adversity,
so that, unhindered in mind and body alike,
we may pursue in freedom of heart
the things that are yours.
33 CDF, instruction,
32nd Sunday, Collect:
Omnipotens et misericors Deus,
universa nobis adversantia propitiatus exclude, ut, mente et corpore pariter
expediti, quæ tua sunt liberis mentibus exsequamur.