Freedom from Thought Derailed

For centuries now, the Church has been accused of promoting freedom from thought.

Rather than seeing her unchanging deposit of Faith as something that establishes boundaries–within which we can think correctly about the purpose of life and guiding all things towards it–the Church is considered an agent of darkness who tries to keep her followers in ignorance by telling them how and what to think.

This calls to mind a bumper sticker that reads “If you do not pray in my schools, I won’t think in your churches,” as if prayer and thought are mutually exclusive. Eyeballs are rolled and laughter is heard at the notion that a thoughtful Catholic looks at what the Church teaches about a particular matter and uses that to determine how to act.

It is kind of a silly joke though, when you think about it.

A skyscraper is realized only because an architect has been “told what to think” about addition, subtraction, gravity, and building materials, among other things.

An airman needs to be “told what to think” about the laws of aerodynamics.

Any disregard of even a small component would spell disaster. Buildings would fall and planes would crash, or never even get airborne, on account of all this nominal “freedom.”

Yet there are virtually endless possibilities regarding the buildings that can be designed and built, or the planes that can be flown, when what one has been told what to think.

The same can be said for the human person if what the Church teaches is respected in all its fullness.

Christ has revealed the way and the life for us and has promised to supply the grace we need to generously follow and live it.

That is what a saint is.

Our Lord specifically says that we must enter by the narrow gate, and true freedom is found on that path alone. No one would accuse the track of impeding the freedom of a train; quite the contrary, it enables the train to function correctly and reach its destination.

The Church’s deposit of Faith and moral teachings are the track to eternal life for the train of our souls. And the alternative Christ describes is not a pretty one: Wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat. (Mt. 7:13)

Any wonder why so many souls appear to be such train wrecks?

September 18, 2020