Youth Apostles Online
Newsletter for Catholic Teens : April 2002
I hope you had an Easter full of true JOY and FREEDOM!
Easter is about freedom. The freedom that comes from choosing God above our own desires. The freedom that comes from "dying to self" so that we might live a new life. "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit" (John 12:24).
The world tells us that we can achieve freedom by doing whatever we want: satisfying our cravings and fulfilling our passions. Fr. Larry Richards, a dynamic youth-oriented priest from Erie, PA, refers to it as the "Burger King philosophy of life": "Have it your way right away!" This is supposed to make us happy, but it doesn't.
I've been so inspired this Lent by letters from teens seeking purity in their dating relationships. They were all humble enough to admit they needed to make some changes. Their courage to "die" to their own desires, giving up old habits and patterns of behavior in order to uncompromisingly follow Jesus, is what Lent and Easter is all about!
Let's give praise to God that he loves us enough to give us a way out. His death and resurrection are the means and model of true freedom. He offers us forgiveness, available in a special way through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. And He gives us supernatural grace - the power to live a life of true freedom!
Until next month, I remain...
Your Eucharist loving, Blessed Mother petitioning, rockin' Catholic Church obeying, Pope John Paul II devotee and fellow sinner in need of God's grace and mercy,
Youth Apostles Online
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"God willed that man should be left in the hand of his own counsel, so that he might of his own accord seek his creator and freely attain his full and blessed perfection by cleaving to him."
Freedom is the power to act or not to act, and so to perform deliberate acts of one's own. Freedom attains perfection in its acts when directed toward God, the sovereign Good.
As long as freedom has not bound itself definitively to its ultimate good which is God, there is the possibility of choosing between good and evil, and thus of growing in perfection or failing and sinning.
The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to "the slavery of sin."
"Almighty and merciful God, in your goodness take away from us all that is harmful, so that, made ready both in mind and body, we may freely accomplish your will."
- excerpts from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1730-1748
To be truly free does not at all mean doing everything that pleases me, or doing what I want to do... To be truly free means to use one's own freedom for what is a true good.
- Pope John Paul II in "Delecti Amici"