Freedom

Already Free

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“It may be that we are not capable of existing except in a state in which we imagine ourselves to be under domination. In that event, resentment may help to make the situation acceptable, but it can never make us healthy. It is only a justification, a pretense that we would be free if we could. But what if we discovered that we are, in fact, already free?”

~ Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

Painting by André Brasilier (1929)

Free World

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“Freedom belongs to the core of the spiritual life; not just the freedom which releases us from forces that want to oppress us, but the freedom also to forgive others, to serve them, and to form a new bond of fellowship with them. In short, the freedom to love and to work for a free world.”

~ Henri Nouwen, Letters to Marc About Jesus

Painting by Camille Pissarro (1898)

Renegotiate Your Mind and Heart

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“When you agree to live simply, you have time for spiritual and corporal works of mercy because you have renegotiated in your mind and heart your very understanding of time and its purposes. Time is not money, despite the common aphorism. Time is life itself!

When you agree to live simply, people cease to be possessions and objects for your consumption or use. Your lust for relationships or for others to serve you, your need for admiration, your desire to use people or things as commodities for your personal pleasure, or any need to control and manipulate others, slowly—yes, very slowly—falls away. Only then are you free to love.”

~ Richard Rohr

Painting by Paul Gauguin (1888)

Live As If You Did Not Exist

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“As long as we look for some kind of pay for what we do, as long as we want to get something from God in some kind of exchange, we are like the merchants. If you want to be rid of the commercial spirit, then by all means do all you can in the way of good works, but do so solely for the praise of God. Live as if you did not exist. Expect and ask nothing in return. Then the merchant inside you will be driven out of the temple God has made. Then God alone dwells there. See! This is how the temple is cleared: when a person thinks only of God and honors him alone. Only such a person is free and genuine.”

~ Meister Eckhart

art by Alfred Sisley

The Gift Of God

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“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Ephesians 2:1-10