Notable quotations from Pope John Paul II and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
The Holy Spirit, Who "searches the depths of God", is at the same time the light that illumines man's conscience and the source of his true freedom.
In the sanctuary of his conscience, man's most secret core, God makes His voice heard and His law known... By following this law in the light and power of the Holy Spirit, man achieves his full freedom.
Adhering to God's plan for man revealed in Christ Jesus and fulfilling it in one's own life means discovering the authentic vocation of human freedom, as Jesus promised His disciples: "If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free" (Jn 8:31-32).
It is not only a question of listening to a message and obediently accepting a commandment. "More radically, it involves holding fast to the very person of Jesus, partaking of His life and His destiny, sharing in His free and loving obedience to the will of the Father" (Veritatis splendor, n. 19).
By fully complying with the Father's will, "the crucified Christ reveals the authentic meaning of freedom..." Indeed, with the absolute freedom of His love He forever redeems man who, by abusing his freedom, had turned away from God; He frees man from the slavery of sin and, by granting him a share in His Spirit, gives him the gift of authentic freedom (cf. Rom 8:2; Gal 5:1, 13).
By living in Christ through faith and the sacraments, the Christian also "freely commits his entire self" to God the Father... The act of faith by which he makes a responsible decision for God, believes in His love revealed in the crucified and risen Christ, and abandons himself responsibly to the influence of the Holy Spirit...is the highest expression of freedom.
By joyfully fulfilling the Father's will in every circumstance of life, ...the Christian advances on the path of authentic freedom and looks with hope to the time when he will enter into the "full life" of the heavenly homeland.
"By the working of grace", the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, "the Holy Spirit educates us in spiritual freedom in order to make us free collaborators in His work in the Church and in the world" (CCC, n. 1742).
(Source: General Audience, September 2, 1998)
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