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Freedom and Fear

a cluster of grapes growing on a vine

Does being free mean that we have no guidelines, no limitations, no grounding?

But isn’t it the truth that sets us free? The truth is that I can do nothing here on this Earth without my limited body, and my body cannot exist here on this Earth without its boundaries. The very Earth is my material grounding and confine, without which I wouldn’t be here. No matter how independent we may claim to be, or may desire to be, we are indisputably and irrevocably dependent upon the necessities of life, like the basic things of food, water, and oxygen.

This is true for the whole of a human being, body and soul.

Jesus said, “Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5.)

So I am free. I am free to blossom, free to grow, free to bear the fruit of my gifts to the world, because I am firmly rooted in the heart of reality — I am firmly rooted in Christ.

As we come up on another Independence Day, I’m reflecting on both freedom and fear. I confess that there are many things of which I am afraid — the death of a loved one, the dying process, situations that spark my phobia — and I know that these fears constrain me, I often feel the weight of them heavy like shackles upon my heart. Then I hear the words of Jesus, as was recently read on Sunday, “Do not be afraid; just have faith,”[i] and I feel a little guilty, thinking that this is much more easily said than done.

But then I was reminded of my own words, written in my book, It’s Good to Be Here:

“Children are free from worry when they trustingly put their lives in the hands of their loving parents, and this freedom, gained through faith, allows them to be more open to wonder and joy.

“This is what God, our Eternal Father, intends for us throughout our lives.”[ii]

Like a little child, I am called by my divine parent to follow, listen, and trust. So long as I put my life into the loving hands of my Creator, nothing can forever harm me, nothing can destroy me, so long as I live and move and breathe in Love. With faith and hope in God, I am free. Free to love, free to live fully, both here and now on this Earth and forever in the world to come.

Although Pres. Franklin Roosevelt may have implied otherwise in his famous four freedoms speech, there is no freedom from fear, nor freedom from want, through governmental policies and programs. I know upon whom I am truly dependent, and I also know that “Perfect love casts out fear.“ (1 John 4:18.) But that last truth is not something that I have truly learned yet, it is the truth that I must allow to grow in me. Too many of our sins and failings stem from fear, as from some false root. I pray that God will help my soul to grow healthy and strong in all of His kind and gentle ways. Through His merciful love, may you and I remember “How blessed it is — the blessed privilege of sanctified and redeemed human beings — to live our lives with complete faith in God’s goodness, freely traveling the paths of earthly marvels, with hearts full of childlike wonder.”[iii]

Happy Independence Day!

© 2021 Christina Chase


Feature Photo by Amos Bar-Zeev on Unsplash

[i] Mark 5:36.

[ii] Christina Chase, “Childlike Wonder”, It’s Good to Be Here, Sophia Institute Press 2019

[iii] ibid.

Christina Chase View All

Although crippled by disease, I'm fully alive in love. I write about the terrible beauty and sacred wonder of life, while living with physical disability and severe dependency. A revert to the Catholic faith through atheism, I'm not afraid to ask life's big questions. I explore what it means to be fully human through my weekly blog and have written a book: It's Good to Be Here, published by Sophia Institute Press.

11 thoughts on “Freedom and Fear Leave a comment

  1. Being is commonly mistaken for lawlessness in today’s society. But it’s actually the opposite. The more lawful the people are the more freedom we have.

    If people respected the law and feared punishment, we would have freedom.

    I know, a little off topic. But that’s my .0002 cents.

    Like

    • Thank you for reflecting with me! I don’t think it’s off-topic at all. It’s like that analogy of the train being free to go all over the country, but only if it stays on the rails. If it goes off the rails, then it has no freedom to run. Is that kind of what you mean?

      Fearing punishment is not a bad place to start in order to have true freedom, but it’s more of the respect for good law that makes us free. Respect that comes from why the laws exist and seeing the goodness of them. Good law — true love, natural law — is what should be respected. Not every law passed by a governing body is good, of course. Not every law protects and ensures our freedom to be fulfilled, to grow, bloom, and bear the fruit that we are created to bear. Okay, now I may be getting off topic 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re exactly right too! I agree.

        Yes ma’am. I often think of sexual immorality. If just only adultery were repented of and abolished, think of how free this country would become.

        Like

  2. Beautifully written! You continue to encourage me through your writing! So many suffer with challenging days of fear and trust-(myself included)
    Your writings and poems are God sent! Thank you Christina for continuing to share your Faith, love and trust in God!
    Theresa

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ♥ Prayer of Trust to the Sacred Heart

    Holy Heart of Jesus, Sweet Sanctuary of rest,
    bring peace to my soul and settle my spirit,
    especially in the matter of_________________.
    I vow to place all of my worries and fears
    into the wound of your Sacred Heart,
    there to be tended to in accordance with your perfect will,
    which desires only the best and highest good.
    Your love alone is enough, and I surrender to it;
    clinging to the hope of a swift resolution
    and trusting with confidence in all of your promises.
    Amen.

    Like

  4. Happy Independence Day Christina!

    Yes, you bring so many of us and me in particular so much joy from your readings.
    I pray that God will continue to inspire you so that you can keep spreading his love to all of us, and to me…. oh that sounds a little selfish, but I need prayers too!
    Thank God for you and for our America!

    Love and Prayers,
    Joan Bussiere

    Sent from my iPhone

    Like

  5. hey, I enjoyed reading this. I’ve been obsessed with the metaphysical and spiritual aspect of freedom from when I was a kid. I’ve written so many posts about it. I believe that it is impossible to understand freedom without limitations. For order to exist, there has to be chaos. Ironic, isn’t it? I used to be a Christian for most of my life; still am, I think. I believed that submission to God was the best thing ever because it not only allowed me to understand what freedom was, thanks to the boundaries God set down for me, but I was also okay with having those boundaries because I knew they were good for me. Can’t think of anything closer to true freedom. Over the years, I’ve struggled to hold on to my Christian beliefs and I’m still struggling to come to something conclusive. Anyways, it was nice to read this post. I hope you and yours are doing well.
    Here’s two posts I wrote. One’s about freedom and the other’s about how faith and fear play out in my life.
    https://thefourthdimensionoflife.wordpress.com/2018/08/22/freedom/
    https://thefourthdimensionoflife.wordpress.com/2021/06/09/of-faith-and-fear/

    Cheers!

    Like

    • Thank you for reflecting with me! I enjoyed reading your posts so much that I may have been overenthusiastic in my responses on your blog! Many of your questions reminded me of my own (which is why I kept referring you to my book) and I found your insights intriguing. Regarding religion, in one of your responses to the comments you wrote, “It’s confusing for sure. But there’s a certain humility and compassion that being uncertain gives me. I find peace in it.” That made my heart smile. We cannot know everything, that’s for certain. But much is revealed through faith, hope, and love.
      May the peace of Christ be with you, my fellow traveler,
      Pax Christi
      Christina

      Liked by 1 person

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