Faith and Freedom

March 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

In doing some research today, I had occasion to revisit Fides et ratio (“Faith and Reason”), John Paul II’s 1998 encyclical on the relationship between those two wings of human knowing. I came across a passage that speaks very much to the work of a teacher and the happenings on campus. It’s a passage on freedom. John Paul II writes:

Indeed, it is faith that allows individuals to give consummate expression to their own freedom. Put differently, freedom is not realized in decisions made against God. For how could it be an exercise of true freedom to refuse to be open to the very reality which enables our self-realization? Men and women can accomplish no more important act in their lives than the act of faith; it is here that freedom reaches the certainty of truth and chooses to live in that truth. (Para. 13)

It is for freedom that Christ set us free, says St. Paul, and it is for freedom that we educate. As Dave Gregory noted recently, the spiritual life can be viewed as a journey from captivity to liberation. It is faith which moves us beyond demonizing compulsions, beyond fleeting fascinations. It is faith which extracts us from our false selves and sets our eyes upon the tranquility of the eternal.

Posted by Matt Emerson.

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