The Church where I serve, the Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist, has the unique honor of having the funeral of a potential saint here. Ignatius Cardinal Kung was a bishop arrested in 1955 by the Communist Chinese and imprisoned for decades for his Catholic faith. He spent many years in solitary confinement before being released, for health reasons, in 1988. He came to Stamford, CT where he spent his final years, and was buried out of St. John’s.
All those years in solitary confinement — and yet, he was truly free. Freedom is primarily internal, not external. We usually think of freedom FROM… freedom from laws, restraints, external forces. And there is a sense that freedom is liberation… but the greatest limiters of freedom are our interior sins and addictions and vices and bad habits.
A man who has total self-mastery is truly free. But many of our contemporaries are slaves: to lust, to video games, to laziness, to alcohol, to work, to money, to public opinion. If these things have mastery over us, we are not truly free.
But freedom FROM is really supposed to be freedom FOR. Our freedom is necessary for us to excel. Interior freedom allows us to become the best version of ourselves; truly great men and women; and saints.
What is preventing you from experiencing the freedom Christ has won for you?