True freedom can come only in the wake of truth. “The truth,” we recall Jesus saying, “will set you free” (John 8:32).
Of course, the Lord was referring to the Truth of the Word, but like so much He said, it pertains to everything. What in your life is false? How in life are you less than true? Where are the hidden lies that hold you down, keep you back, bind you to the world?
Meditate on it a quick moment: truth leads to freedom; we waft to the sky with it — kite above sorrows.
Yet we clutter or sully the truth — put weights on our wings — with each thing or person to which or whom we are overly attached. Go into prayer and ask God to reveal the “idols” in your life. An idol is any thing, person, or belief that limits your vision or diverts you from closeness to God.
The most obvious example is money: material things are splendid devices of the devil for distracting us. What items or issues in your life do you think about more than you do God? Money? Your stock? Co-workers? Your boss? Your house? Politics? A relative or friend?
We are also earthbound when we need to forgive. Few things are as liberating as forgiving people. When you harbor a grudge, you only weight down and hurt yourself.
Again, go into prayer and think of every person you need to forgive and pray until that person is completely forgiven for every single transgression and hurt that comes to mind. This will free you because without forgiveness you cannot fully love and God is love and also Truth.
We see how it all comes full circle: Forgiveness sets you free.
Idols can be surprising. They can come in the way of our jobs and friends, our relatives — when we don’t have healthy relationships (but rather clinging ones). They can come at church.
“What embitters me the most are those people who are tied solely to the world and not to Heaven, who are attracted solely to material interests, who seek physical healing but take no steps toward spiritual healing,” said famed exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth. “I advise: ‘You do well by joining a prayer group, but without attaching yourself too much to it, because where there are human creatures, there are human defects. Therefore, if at a certain point you see that you are not comfortable in a certain group, go to another. Always feel free when doing good things.'”
That’s because, noted the exorcist (in a book called Father Amorth: My Battle Against Satan), such groups often witness someone taking the upper hand and overwhelming others. That infringes on liberty.
Let no one strip you of freedom.
Truth will not be found in them.
We live in a time of Great Lying. It is oppressive, even as everything around us glitters; there are brass and jewels; everyone is rich; it is fool’s gold. For as a little book on healing points out, “In his Counsels, Saint John of the Cross notes that the world places several obstacles in the path of Union with God, including inordinate affection for any person, and disorderly affection for worldly goods. God does not want us to have affection for others, but in accordance with His Will.”
And as another named Father Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalen explained, “There are some affections that are not only legitimate, but even holy and positively willed by God. For example, the mutual love of Christian spouses, or the love of a mother for her children.” No one can argue otherwise!
But never can we allow affection to become obsession — for there, in the word obsess — is the hiss of a snake.
Love everyone through the love of God and you have the highest form of love.
Invoke the Holy Spirit and ask Him to illuminate the idols in your life. Let them unfold before you. Consider them. Determine how they detract from your connection to Heaven. Tear each one down. And then begin the process of detachment, which will let you know the truth as you fly with the wings of freedom and with a vision that transcends the clay of this earth.
[resources: Father Amorth: My Battle Against Satan]