the key to true freedom
"I am writing you about these matters so that if I should be delayed you will know what kind of conduct befits a member of God's household, the Church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of truth." —1 Timothy 3:14-15
Human beings cannot help but be under authority. If we are not under the authority of God, we may be under the authority of Satan — even if we think we are "doing our own thing" (as if we had an "own thing"). If we are not under the authority of God's Church, "the pillar and bulwark of truth" (1 Tm 3:15), we are under some other authority. This alternate authority might consist of certain powerful multimillionaires, celebrities, politicians, or social scientists — proponents of «freedoms» thinly disguised as totalitarian dictatorships — who are like children manipulating, controlling, and oppressing their playmates (see Lk 7:32ff). There can be no such thing as freedom from authority. There is freedom only under the authority of Christ and His Church. Any other so-called freedom is merely a thinly disguised totalitarian dictatorship.
Because the Truth sets us free (Jn 8:32) and the Church is "the pillar and bulwark of truth," the key to true freedom is submission to the authority of Jesus through the Church. The Church protects us from slavery combined with deception, especially self-deception.
Love authority in Christ. Love truth so as to love freedom. Love the Church as Christ loved the Church (Eph 5:25).
Prayer: Father, give me freedom in Your authority, Your Church, and Your truth.
Promise: "Wonderful, indeed, is the mystery of our faith." —1 Tm 3:16
Praise: St. Andrew was a Korean priest and St. Paul was a catechist in training at the age of twenty-five. They, along with numerous companions, were martyred in 1867.
Reference: (For related teaching, order our booklet, The Truth Will Set You Free.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 27, 2017
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.