(Reader: A Fellow Patriot) Freedom is at the Same Time Offered to Man and Imposed Upon him as a Task


Reader Post | By A Fellow Patriot

The Eucharist and Man’s Hunger for Freedom
Author: Cardinal Karol Wojtyla

“Freedom is at the same time offered to man and imposed upon him as a task. It is in the first place an attribute of the human person and in this sense it is a gift of the Creator and an endowment of human nature. For this reason it is also the lawful right of man; man has a right to freedom, to self-determination, to the choice of his life career, to acting according to his own convictions. Freedom has been given to man by his Creator in order to be used, and to be used well (cf. Gen 4:7). But man may not abuse his freedom (cf. Gal 4, 31-5, 1), for, as we know perfectly well from sad experience, he can abuse his liberty. He can do wrong because he is free (cf. 1 Pet 2:16).

But freedom has been given to him by his Creator not in order to commit what is evil (cf. Gal 5:13), but to do good. God also bestowed upon man understanding and conscience to show him what is good and what ought to be done, what is wrong and what ought to be avoided. God’s commandments help our understanding and our conscience on their way. The greatest commandment — that of love — leads the way to the fullest use of liberty (cf. 1 Cor 9:19-22; 13:1-13). Freedom has been given to man in order to love, to love true good: to love God above all, to love man as his neighbour and brother (cf. Deut 6, 5; Lev 19, 18; Mk 12: 30-33 par). Those who obey this truth, this Gospel, the real disciples of Eternal Wisdom, achieve thus, as the Council puts it, a state of “royal freedom”, for they follow “that King whom to serve is to reign” (Lumen Gentium 36).

Freedom is therefore offered to man and given to him as a task. He must not only possess it, but also conquer it. He must recognize the work of his life in a good use, in an increasingly good use of his liberty. This is the truly essential, the fundamental work on which the value and the sense of his whole life depend.”

From A Fellow Patriot


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