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Saint Francis Novena | Day 3 | Freedom

Novena to Saint Francis of Assisi

Day 3 | Freedom

Almighty, most high and supreme God,
Father, holy and just,
Lord, King of heaven and earth,
We give you thanks for yourself.
Of your own holy will you created all things
spiritual and physical,
made us in your own image and likeness,
and gave us a place in paradise,
Through your only Son, in the Holy Spirit.
And it was through our own fault that we fell.
(Rule of 1221, ch 23)


Reflection
by Pat McCloskey, OFM

Everyone wants greater freedom, right? But what kind of freedom: to dominate and impose one’s will, to crush anyone who doesn’t see things my way? Or freedom to see the interconnections of all creation, especially the people made in the image and likeness or God?

A miser thinks that he is truly free, but isn’t he kidding himself? He is walling himself into a world where fewer and fewer people deserve his respect and where only what appears on a balance sheet is judged to be real and worthwhile. How much room is there for virtue in such a person?

The other capital sins (pride, lust, anger, envy, gluttony, and sloth) all promise greater freedom, yet yield only new forms of slavery. An addicted person is unlikely to describe himself or herself as living in slavery, but that is exactly what every type of addiction produces.

Truly holy people, such as Saint Francis, are always internally very free—even if they are imprisoned for what they know is true.


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