Freedom FROM + Freedom FOR

by Ray Reuter on July 10, 2014

FREEDOM gets a lot of emphasis this month as we celebrate our country’s freedom and honor those who fought for our freedom. In America, we are blessed with lots of “freedom froms” … freedom from discrimination, oppression, persecution, harassment, suppression.

Taken to a deeper level, the ultimate “freedom from” is that of attachment. One can become so unhealthily attached to the familiar, to ego, to results, to control, to money / possessions, or to status, to comfort, or a dozen other internal demons, that these cravings cloud our judgment and lead to bad choices. These attachments transform into prison walls and limit our freedom. I have found myself again trapped recently focusing on a particular outcome and wanting to control / manipulate the result. I was longing for something so much that I was “unfree.”

Deeper still, “freedom from” idols and attachments only results in aimless drifting unless it is united with a “freedom for” some orienting goal. And the ultimate goal, our ultimate desire, should be wanting and choosing only what better leads to the deepening of God’s life in me. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (AMDG), the Latin motto of the Jesuits that means “for the greater glory of God,” embodies that ultimate desire.

Life becomes quite simple and FREE when we live with healthy detachment and indifference.

Fix your gaze on the mission, the vision, the goal that ultimately draws and inspires; and then make yourself free to race after it, free from anything that might hold you back. Be free. Be free from whatever internal baggage and attachments might hold you back or cloud your judgment. Be free for sound, bold, inspired choices that serve the mission and lead it forward.

— Chris Lowney, “Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way He Leads”


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