Happy Independence Day! We understand it's a busy day of entertaining and family time for lots of you, but do take a moment to read Jared Zimmerer's reflections on Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati and his life lived as a model of true interior freedom. Today is his feast day. In addition, we've included a previously recorded video of Fr. Barron's on Frassati.
July 4th is for many a day of fireworks, cold beer and barbeque. As a national holiday, we remember the founding of our nation in a revolution against tyranny. Most often we impose a surface level meaning of authentic independence. Just because we are allowed to vote and our voice still matters in the voice of this country does not mean that we are free. True, authentic freedom is a matter of heart and soul. Physical sovereignty can always be taken away, however the conscience is governed by a higher power and thus, even thought the body be chained, the interiority of a person can still remain free.
As the Reverend Jacques Philippe wrote in his phenomenal work Interior Freedom, “To achieve true interior freedom we must train ourselves to accept, peacefully and willingly, plenty of things that seem to contradict our freedom. This means consenting to our personal limitations, our weaknesses, our powerlessness, this or that situation that life imposes on us, and so on… the situations that really make us grow are precisely those that we do not control.” While many might pledge that freedom is the absence of external coercion, proper independence is a matter of the soul. No matter who or what entity might try to enforce its own beliefs and principles, the soul cannot be forced to do something it doesn’t want to do, unless the individual consents.
This is the real axiom as to why the Church upholds its tradition of honoring the saints. Men and women who had so much gall that no matter the overwhelming falsehoods, these people stayed strong in the face of hardship. This is why I find it very interesting that July 4th is shared with one of the most influential young men of the 20th century. Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, the man of the beatitudes, was a model of interior freedom and the power of grace in the life of a man willing to surrender what was God’s...