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Authentic Freedom at Risk: Grasping at Apparent Goods

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Today, in the United States, we celebrate our independence from Britain. The whole basis for the Revolutionary War was for a desire to be a free and independent nation in the New World. As Americans, we wanted to chart our own course. We wanted the freedom to make our own decisions; our own mistakes. Yet, what we really wanted was authentic freedom, which is different from a freedom that allows us to do whatever we want. Gaudium et spes defines authentic freedom as follows: Only in freedom can man direct himself toward goodness. Our contemporaries make much of this freedom and pursue it eagerly; and rightly to be sure. Often, however, they foster it perversely as a license for doing whatever pleases them, even if it is evil. For its part, authentic freedom is an exceptional sign of the divine image within man. For God has willed that man remain ‘under the control of his own decisions,’ so that he can seek his Creator spontaneously, and come freely to utter and blissful perfection thro…