I want to be freeeee!
Hey there, listener.
Would you say you are free?
As someone who values all things flexible, smooth, lax, and easy going, I love to feel free! In many ways, I opt for things or situations which won’t make me feel tied down or hold me back from all that I desire.
But a prayer I continue to bring to the Lord is for the grace of deeper freedom.
I know that for all intents and purposes, I am afforded countless freedoms that I should be – and am –grateful for. I live in a country that for the most part, despite a few major threats I won’t discuss here, offers tremendous liberty. There are those without these same freedoms in other parts of the world.
I get to choose how I spend my time, my money, where I go, what I do, who I do it with. These are all gifts that are easy to take for granted – but– is this what my ultimate freedom looks like?
Surely there is a deeper kind of freedom that shines above these things.
I think of Joan of Arc who fought against such trial and persecution for what she believed in, St. Lawrence who suffered for honoring his faith by being burned on a grill, or countless others who sacrificed their lives for what they believed in – is there not some kind of romantic and heroic freedom in these tales that are much more inspiring than the fact that I’m totally free to get a grande cappuccino w/almond milk just about whenever I’d like?
I want to possess a kind of freedom like the greater heroes who inspire us throughout the ages.
And I know that I have work to do – because I’m just not there yet. If someone was to tell me that they were going to yank my teeth out for the sake of my faith in God – I honestly don’t know if I could muster up the same kind of freedom as the young and admirable St. Augusta of Treviso, or as Blessed Miguel Pro, whose last words before martyrdom were “Viva Cristo Rey!”
I like to think that true freedom means not necessarily not being affected by difficult things, but still being able to muster up the courage to do the right thing – despite them.
I think of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. She had to be free enough to trust God when He told her she would bear the Son of God. She had to be free enough to say, “Yes,” to be vulnerable enough to receive a gift that would transform her life. She had to be free enough to embrace the unknown, and anything that may come along with it.
I don’t know about you, but I struggle with this kind of receptivity. As a kid, difficult situations taught me how to protect myself. I wanted to avoid being hurt so I learned how to protect myself, put up my guard, and be ready for any threat coming my way.
How different this is from the docile action of Mary, who says, “May it be done unto me according to thy word.” What freedom! What willingness to let go, to be free, and to open herself up to receive the unknown, the giving of her life for that which she didn’t really know what to expect.
I imagine that living in a state of this kind of freedom is, well…freeing! It must feel good, or quite peaceful, despite the hardships, to be able to embrace life with that kind of courage. To have a faith and trust in God that empowers you to say yes to the unthinkable, the impossible – because you know in your bones that with God all things are possible.
I hope for a grain of Joan of Arc’s courage to take up arms, or a smidgeon of Queen Esther’s passion for saving her people.
Lord, help us. No, really, Lord, we can’t do this without you – so will you please accept a humble prayer?
Lord, we ask for the grace to be freer to follow you.
Lord, grant us listeners more grace to say yes to you, to choose you, every day of our lives.
Mary, Mother of God, help us follow God as the free children that we are.