Sermon by Rev. Robert Brucciani
The truth will set you free (Jn 8:32)
My dear brethren,
As individuals lust after freedom, they succeed only in enslaving themselves and enslaving others. This appears to be a great paradox, but it isn’t really when one can understand what freedom is and how it is misunderstood by the world.
There are three sorts of freedom:
- freedom from coercion,
- freedom of choice
- freedom for the attainment of one’s ultimate end
1. Freedom from coercion
Freedom from coercion is good when it is freedom from exterior obstacles to goodness such as freedom from tyranny and immoral laws that work against the perfection of man as an individual and in society: in the spiritual life, in family life, public life and religious life.
Freedom from coercion is not always good for sometimes we need coercion:
- It is good that we have many of our civil laws (not all) and a police force to enforce them;
- it is good that we bannisters on the stairs and barriers at pelican crossings
- it is good that we have parents to stop us doing things that will harm us
- it is good that we are coerced into saying the family rosary and going to church on Sunday.
Freedom from coercion is only good when it is freedom from exterior obstacles to goodness.
2. Freedom of choice
Freedom of choice as a perfection only exists when we choose good. Choosing evil is not an act of freedom but enslavement. If we knowingly chose evil, then we are already slaves.
When I chose to go to bed at 10pm rather than surfing the internet on my phone for 2 hours, I have exercised freedom of choice and that is good. If, on the other hand, I am a slave to my phone, I have no freedom of choice: the phone wins every time.
Freedom of choice is only possible when we chose good.
3. Freedom for one’s end
The third sort of freedom is freedom for the attainment of one’ end. It is the freedom of a life without interior obstacles to the beatific vision. It is the freedom of a life without vices, a life of virtue that tends unswervingly to God.
Freedom as a perfection
Freedom as a perfection, then, is always in relation to good. In God, this perfection exists to an infinite degree. By definition:
- He is free from all exterior obstacles to do good,
- He is perpetually in the act freely choosing goodness
- He is free from all interior obstacles to goodness
God is totally free.
Freedom in its modern sense
Unfortunately, the world has a false perception of freedom. It is the cockle of Satan.
- The world’s freedom is not in relation to goodness
- It is not in relation to the act of choosing goodness
- It is not in relation to the end of man which is God Who is Goodness.
1. The world’s “freedom from coercion”
The world says that man must be absolutely free from any coercion. It does not say that man should be free to do good, but to do anything he likes.
Man should be free as an individual, so:
- No problems with pornography, prostitution, drugs
- No problems with contraception, divorce, homosexuality, transgenderism
- No problems with the culture of death, indoctrination, medical subjugation
The only freedoms that he is not permitted is freedom from the dictatorship of relativism and freedom from the state which must have absolute power.
2. The world’s “freedom of choice”
The world’s freedom of choice is freedom in potency rather than freedom in act. It is the undetermined will before good and evil, rather than will choosing the good.
- It is having the possibility of choosing, rather that the act of choosing good.
- It is pro-choice: being able to choose whether to kill the child in your womb or not
- It is being free to choose how to live one’s life without reference to God, to nature, to goodness
- It is the choice of slavery
3. The world’s “freedom of finality”
Instead of freedom to attain to the end which is God, the world preaches freedom to choose one’s own end. "I am free to decide that my ultimate perfection is to be found in sensual pleasure, academic reflection or nirvana."
It is considered a laudable exercise of my freedom if I decide that I am a man, or a woman or a chicken, and to change my mind whenever I wish.
Because I can choose my finality, I am my own god.
Condemnation of the world’s freedom
To the world, freedom is:
- to be uninhibited in the practice of moral evil
- to include the act of enslavement by choosing evil
- to choose one’s nature, one’s finality which is to play God
With this definition of freedom: we can say that just as "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely," we can also say "worldly freedom corrupts, and absolute worldly freedom corrupts absolutely."
This is yet another manifestation of the diabolical inversion afflicting the world:
- Jesus said: The Truth will make you free.
- The world says: Freedom will make your truth. You are free to decide the truth.
And so the world, in its pursuit of freedom from nature and freedom for the author of nature, plunges headlong into the slavery of sin.
I want to be truly free
My dear brethren, the Ascension was the closing act of the objective redemption of mankind whereby man was given the possibility of attaining true freedom. Let us beg for this freedom:
- the freedom to do good
- the freedom of choosing good
- and the freedom of a life of virtue
so that the objective redemption may bear fruit in our lives here on earth and for eternity.
We make this prayer through the Blessed Virgin Mary whose free choice to become the Mother of Redeemer is from whence our freedom springs.