The Confounding Nature Of Freedom

Freedom is frequently misunderstood. A false narrative of freedom can cause us to become egocentric and self-absorbed. This notion seeks to isolate and separate people into autonomous beings. Left unchecked, the freedom the world promotes enslaves rather than liberates. Discover the true meaning of freedom in today’s message.

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” These words from the Declaration of Independence are as true today as the day they were written. Politically speaking, all people have the right to be free. Spiritually speaking however, authentic freedom is not attainable without the grace of Jesus Christ.

Spiritual freedom is a profound and complex concept that goes far beyond the outward trappings of political or social liberation. While Independence Day celebrations may evoke images of flags, parades, and fireworks, the true freedom that Christ offers is of a deeper, more transformative nature.

Genuine freedom is not found in simply casting off external constraints, but in aligning our will with the will of God. Christ’s grace is not in any way a rival of our freedom when our freedom is lived in accordance with the sense of the true and the good that God put in the human heart. True freedom, then, is not the ability to do whatever we please, but the capacity to choose what is good and right.

Too often people fall into the trap of believing their personal freedoms are jeopardized or stifled by God’s laws and commandments. In fact, it is quite the opposite. True authentic freedom grows and flourishes when we fulfill the will of the Father. This type of freedom is not something we can achieve on our own but is a gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit longs to guide us in our exercise of freedom so that we can better collaborate in the work of Christ’s Kingdom.

Sin in the world, and sin in our own lives, robs us of the fullness of freedom. Sin actually enslaves us and steals our freedom. Christ came to rescue us from this slavery. It is only through His redemptive power that we can be truly liberated from the bondage of our own disordered desires and the various ways of the world that seek to control us.

Gaining freedom over sin is a lifelong process. Over time, we are challenged to grow in truth so that we can become better followers of Christ and in doing so experience deeper and authentic freedom.

In contrast to the temporary, external freedoms celebrated on the 4th of July in the United States, the freedom that Christ offers is both more elusive and more profound. Through Christ and only through Christ we slowly hope to obtain freedom from sin and from everything that enslaves us. We seek a liberation that frees us from our self-preoccupation and allows us to serve God and neighbor with the spirit of Christ-like love. This authentic freedom is won not through political revolution, but through the ongoing transformation of our hearts and minds by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The freedom God wants us to have, is a freedom that invites us into community. It’s a freedom that makes us one in the Body of Christ. We are freed from an egocentric, self-obsessed life to be a community, united not by nationality or ethnicity, but by the shared experience of being redeemed by Christ and called to live as His disciples. This freedom is not something we can possess or control, but a gift that must be continually received and nurtured through our relationship with the Lord.

The confounding nature of true, authentic freedom is found not in independence, but in dependence – not in casting off all constraints, but in willingly submitting our lives to the loving guidance of God. The freedom that Christ offers is not a means of self-actualization, but a call to self-surrender. We choose to die to ourselves so that we might truly live in him.

True authentic freedom is not won through human effort, but rather it is a gift of grace that must be continually received and nurtured throughout our lives. This type of freedom compels us to have an intimate knowledge of and a relationship with Jesus. It requires prayer and sacrifice.

This past week the people of the United States rightly celebrated their political freedom. Now you and I need to evaluate our spiritual freedom. We need to ask ourselves some difficult questions.

  • Spiritually speaking, how free am I right now?
  • What things in my life are robbing my spiritual freedom?
  • To what am I enslaved?
  • For the sake of independence am I willing to become dependent on God?

Heavenly Father, the ways of the world and the sin in my life seek to destroy the freedom you want me to experience. Grant me an unwavering commitment to your Son, and help me always to walk in His footsteps, so that I may be truly free. Amen!  


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Please take a moment to share your thoughts about today’s message below.

Brian Pusateri
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  1. Joseph B Galloway on July 11, 2024 at 9:16 am

    Freedom is found in obedience to God’s word. John 8:31-32

  2. Bob Peary on July 9, 2024 at 2:55 pm

    If we are only truly free when we align our selves with God’s will,than we must be subservient to God.This is not true freedom.

    • Brian Pusateri on July 9, 2024 at 4:47 pm


      As I see things, God grants us free will. We are free to choose what we want. We are free to follow His will for us or free to pursue our desires. The reality is that rather than setting us free the things that we choose that are contrary to God end up enslaving us. Even then we are enslaved we are not truly free. If, with free will we follow Christ and do His will we avoid those things that enslave us, thereby achieving true and lasting freedom. I don’t see this as being subservient but rather I see it as a loving response to the love God has shown us.


  3. Patty McConnell on July 9, 2024 at 10:58 am

    I hope many priests see your article this week and use the content in a homily. This is the sort of thinking that very rarely is shared from the pulpit. I believe many Catholics aRe truly ignorant of what spiritual freedom is. God bless you, Brian!
    Patty, Burlington, ON Canada

    • Brian Pusateri on July 9, 2024 at 11:08 am


      Thank you for your kind words. They are certainly free to use it however it might be of help. We all need to find spiritual freedom.


  4. Paul Coletta on July 9, 2024 at 8:13 am

    This is so excellent and paradoxically has been my experience this last year. In fact I find as I pray for the grace to draw closer to the Lord, many of the paradoxes (Lose oneself to gain oneself, etc) become clear, where as I didn’t understand them before. Yes, freedom comes from living your weaknesses under the lord’s blessing instead of the world’s curse, which of course is a gift given from God’s grace through Jesus. I pray always for a Holy humility which seems like it’s going to be a long journey in this lifetime. Thanks Brian for seeking God to use His providence through You. It’s helping man others.

    • Brian Pusateri on July 9, 2024 at 9:09 am


      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and insight on today’s message. Your deep faith is inspiring to all who know you.


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