In the context of these reflections on attitudes that make us unfree and which we have to overcome with the help of God, or at least to deal with them in the right way, I refer to the important book by Dietrich von Hildebrand: “The transformation in Christ”. In addition to very good topics covered in it, there is a chapter on “true freedom”, which serves as a background and inspiration for this themes of the last days. This book, as well as other publications by Dietrich von Hildebrand, is also available in English and Spanish. His writings are a true spiritual treasure and help greatly to form the important distinction of spirits, which is so essential, especially in the present time.
The Chamber of the Heart
In the last reflection, I pointed out that, as soon as we have found that strong dynamic persons, leading us a false way, have a negative impact on us and that we cannot resist sufficiently, we should avoid dynamically superior persons. It should be pointed out once again that this is not a matter of cowardice, but of a wise insight into one’s own weakness. However, this must be distinguished well, because there is also a tendency in man to avoid all conflicts in order to protect oneself, to seek a false harmony. Here cowardice can then be the motive, which must be overcome in Christ, for it even dispatches to the denial of the Lord.
The oversized influenceability
This is related to the theme of of human fear, which arises from a general weakness and excessive receptivity to impressions. On 7 and 8 November, we have already considered some aspects of human fear. Some people become internally dependent on others who are purely dynamically superior to them. They take on foreign views, not because they convince them purely objectively, but because they are presented with great force. One usually drops these views after a while, when the immediate contact with the dynamically superior persons has ceased. But for a certain time, the aspect that other people have of certain things displaces one’s own.
The vanity (2)
Spiritual view of vanity
If one now looks with a spiritual view of people, who are strongly determined by vanity, one quickly perceives the specific non-freedom of these people. They are not oriented towards God, but towards themselves, and also make themselves easily dependent on the judgment of other people.
True freedom can only be gained through complete devotion to Christ. It is therefore not a question of the freedom which man possesses as a gift from God, because he is man, but we speak of that freedom which we can only possess in the way of Christian perfection. Therefore, the theme we have considered in recent days is related to the theme of true freedom, what means the inner transformation in Christ. This transformation causes that the image of God should unfold more and more within us.
We all know many fears that make our lives unfree and burdened: fear of serious illness, threat of people, fear of existence, fears of death and many other fears – including irrational fears. All these fears are confronted with a word of the Lord: “In the world you are afraid, but be confident, I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33), and thus the way of overcoming of the fears is also shown.
With the last reflections, we have entered a wide area which is intended to help us to live our Christian faith more liberated. Various forms of non-freedom prevent God’s love from penetrating us completely and, despite the wonderful faith that has been given to us, threaten to leave us in some inner prisons; at least we cannot taste all the freedom that God wants to give us. “Only the Son sets you free” is what Jesus let us understand (cf. Jn 8,36).
In the last reflection, we have dealt with the theme of human fear and pondered how this lack of freedom burdens us and weakens the testimony of a liberated life in Christ.
But this human fear is not only a personal burden and restriction that indirectly affects other people, it can also lead to sin.
„The fear of man“
In the last four reflections, I have focused on the grave situation of an idolatry in the context of the Amazon Synod.
Other aspects of this Synod are important to understand and should be reflected as well. However, I think it would be better to bring up some further detailed reflections in a separate block. This will soon arrive in Spanish and possibly also in English. I will inform the audience if there are certain topics that were mentioned in the meditations and were put down in more detail on the blog.