By Angie Koenig
I’ve always struggled with my freedom. Not my freedom as an American citizen, I am very grateful to live in this beautiful land whose independence we celebrate today. No, I struggle with a much more important freedom bestowed unto me by my Creator – my free will.
Like St. Paul, I often find myself not doing the good I want to do, but abusing my freedom and choosing a lesser good. The freedom to make this choice made me question God’s goodness when I was struggling immensely with my faith. I couldn’t understand why it was so hard to be good, why God even created Lucifer if He knew what he would become.
It was during this period of despair that someone told me I needed to fall in love with Jesus. With this advice, I realized I was focusing too much on me and not enough on the Father. I came to comprehend that my faith wasn’t a bunch of rules and regulations aimed at telling me what I couldn’t do, but an opportunity to love the Triune God, and in doing so, be opened to all the beautiful things I could do. Falling in love with Jesus helped me to realize that my free will was not just a gift, but also a necessity to be able to love at all.
Our free will is the very thing that allows the splendor of love into our lives. Without it, we would be slaves, and the Bible tells us time and time again that slavery is not what we were made for. Love, and allowing yourself to be loved, is a choice, not a mandate.
Our Savior makes it clear when He tells us, “A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). He came to give us life, and with life, liberty. Liberty to say yes or no to choosing right over wrong, love over hate. Liberty to accept or reject the graces the Father wishes to bestow onto us. Will we say yes to God and His goodness or will we deny Him? With the life of Christ within us and the liberty granted to us through our free will, we are all called to say yes to the pursuit of holiness and eternal life.
Let us pray today sisters, let us send up our praise to God for the freedoms He has granted us and ask Him for the grace to always give Him our yes. Let us also pray for all those who are not blessed with the freedoms we are. May the power of our Risen Lord break the chains of sin and death and lead all of humanity to love one another as our Father loves us.
About the author:
Angie Koenig is a passionate follower of Jesus working her way through life as a Millennial. She is the youngest of nine children and embraces her role as a daughter, sister, aunt and friend. Angie blogs about her love story with Jesus at www.spirituallyspokenfor.com. Currently she resides in Eau Claire, WI where she enjoys anything that involves coffee.
When I am tempted to think ill of my neighbor, or be jealous, or complain about unfair life is, I sometimes remember to pray an Our Father and a Hail Mary. It keeps me in love with my Lord, instead of separate from Him and my neighbor. But I’m not perfect yet. I don’t always remember soon enough.