In all our own “freedom,” we actually seek one thing: to be able to live without responsibility.
― Søren Kierkegaard
Scripture: Ps 119.134
Redeem me from man’s oppression, that I may keep your precepts.
Reflection: Finding Freedom
By Søren Kierkegaard
People want to eliminate injunctions and constraints in order to play the game of being independent. But to eliminate every constraint, to loosen every bond, meant at best to make it as free and as convenient as possible for everyone to have no conscience while imagining that he had one.
All this talk about eliminating constraint comes either from the coddled or from those who perhaps once felt the power to fight but are now exhausted and find it nicer to have all constraints taken away.
In staring fixedly at freedom of choice instead of choosing, we lose both freedom and freedom of choice. The most tremendous thing given to a human being is choice—freedom. If you want to rescue and keep it, there is only one way–in the very same second unconditionally in full attachment give it back to God and yourself along with it.
If the sight of what is given to you tempts you, if you surrender to the temptation and look with selfish craving at freedom of choice, then you lose your freedom. And your punishment then is to go around in a kind of confusion and brag about having freedom of choice.
Woe to you, this is the judgment upon you. You have freedom of choice, you say, and yet you have not chosen God. Then you become ill; freedom of choice becomes your fixed idea. Finally you become like the rich man morbidly imagining that he has become impoverished and will die of want. You sigh that you have lost the freedom of choice, and the mistake is merely that you do not sorrow deeply enough so that you get it back again.
Who does not want to be free? Wishing to be free is an easy matter, but wishing is the most paltry and unfree of all performances.
Prayer: The Greeting
With my whole heart I seek you; let me not stray from your commandments. —Psalm 119.10
– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle.