Interior Freedom IX

St. Faustina, “Greatest obstacles to holiness are discouragement and fear.” Hope is the antidote to discouragement.

X From Law to Grace, Love As A Free Gift

A driving concern of Paul is the idea, that in Christ we have been liberated. Jesus’ opening words of His ministry Lk 4:17 indicates His thesis statement. Liberation, freedom founded in a relationship with our Heavenly Father shown in both His words & deeds.

Two traps, two vices opposed to this precious Christian freedom, one of excess (law) and one of deficiency (flesh, wounded human nature). Aristotle

Flesh is easy to see: A good examination of conscience guide helps in this regard. Our chief weapon in fighting this battle against our wounded human nature and against the principalities of evil is the armor of Christ.

The second trap is not so often easy to detected the vice of excess, or similarity. Law, rules is replaced by grace and aided by the Holy Spirit. Apart from the inspirations of the Holy Spirit we lapse into rigidity. Jansenism is a manifestation of the trap of the law.

Law posits, as does Jansenism, that it is our works, our efforts that merit salvation. Salvation is a totally free gift on the part of God. Our Father condescends to help us when we could not and cannot help ourselves. Salvation is both free and undeserved.

Grace builds on nature and perfects it. Vices come with the law. Attempt to control disease by controlling man behavior a radical failure. Don’t know trajectory. In the future of history, tried to control of air by movement of the body. Disconnect of our value on over arching issue of climate. Only freedom is within.

What is wrong with the world, me. Chesterton.

People not good, law avails nothing.

What the law proscribes is often good. The ten commandments were not suspended. But without a very firm grasp of the Divine Mercy of God, keeping them can lead to pride in our own efforts. Duty and legalism rather than love is one characteristic of this approach.

Another problem with the Law, as Paul warns, is that we cannot keep them perfectly and often one is lead to despair. Martin Luther is a prime example of a soul wanting to be holy, measured by the Law, and he feel into despair.

Living according to grace is the remedy for both pride and despair. We learn to love freely and give freely because that is how we experience God. This free gift of self, love, is a radical introduction by Christ and using the terminology of Fr. Phillipe, humanity is meant to evolve, become divinized like Christ.[1] It is not I who lives but Christ who lives in me Gal 2:20

Law does not control the criminal, protect the free the virtuous, safe from restrictions from their own freedom. Ten Commandments for the saint, live in freedom, inside the law. Sinner does not want to be in heaven. Has not learned.

[1] Ibid 119