Monday, December 7, 2009

True Freedom

Have you ever had one of those periods where a particular theme seems to be hammering away at you? I had that happen over the weekend and the theme was Freedom!

A couple of very close recovery friends and I travelled on Saturday to York, PA where we attended the monthly Calix Mass for the York group. We were blessed to have Bishop Kevin Rhoades, formerly of the Harrisburg Diocese and now with the Ft. Wayne/South Bend diocese of Indiana, as our celebrant.

During the two hour car ride the topic of freedom came up. Not the kind of freedom where a person is able "to do their own thing". Rather, the freedom to do what is right! Sobriety and Jesus Christ do exactly that. They give us the freedom to do the next right thing. Though we have the freedom to do whatever we want, whenever we want, addictions take away that freedom. When we are able to find the 12 Steps and a spirituality that works, we now have the freedom to do what God intended for us to do from the beginning of time! We must exercise that freedom wisely, praying always "for the knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out".

As the conversation wrapped up in the car I played a couple songs from Darrell Evan's greatest hits CD, one of which was Freedom! You can give a listen here and the lyrics are short enough that I will post them:

Where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom
Where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom
There is peace there is love there is joy
It is for freedom you’ve set us free
It is for freedom you’ve set us free

CHORUS:
I’m free, I’m free

We will walk in your freedom walk in your liberty
We will walk in your freedom walk in your liberty
We will dance in your freedom dance in your liberty
We will dance in your freedom dance in your liberty

Then we get to St. Patrick's in York to celebrate Mass. The Opening Prayer during the liturgy was:

"God our Father,
you loved the world so much
you gave your only Son to free us
from the ancient power of sin and death.
Help us who wait for his coming
and lead us to true liberty.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. AMEN!"

During Bishop Rhoades' wonderful homily he emphasized the freedom Jesus wants us to have. This freedom is not only gotten through the 12 Steps but, even more importantly, through the sacraments of the Catholic faith, primarily confession and the Eucharist.

I owe a debt of thanks to both the York group and Bishop Rhoades for driving home this theme for me this weekend. My prayer is that you will find His freedom, too!

2 comments:

Tom Lang said...

Hey Ken, just by way of clarification, Bishop Rhoades is going to Fort Wayne/South Bend, Indiana. The home of Notre Dame. Hopefully he can save it before it's really too late!

Ken J said...

Tom - you are absolutely right! Bishop Rhoades made comments to the effect that he will not get involved in the hiring of the next head football coach but he will be keeping an eye on their theology.

Thanks for commenting!