Josemaría Escrivá Obras
29

Such people barricade themselves behind their freedom. 'My freedom! My freedom!' they cry. They have their freedom, but they don't use it. They look at it, they set it up, a clay idol for their petty minds to worship. Is this freedom? What use is this treasure to them, if there is no commitment guiding their whole lives? Such behaviour goes against their very dignity and nobility as human beings. They are left aimless, with no clear path to guide their footsteps on this earth. You and I have met such people. They then let themselves be carried away by childish vanity, by selfish conceit, by sensuality.

Their freedom turns out to be barren, or produces fruits which even humanly speaking are ridiculous. A person who does not choose, with complete freedom, an upright code of conduct, sooner or later ends up being manipulated by others. He will lead a lazy, parasitic existence, at the mercy of what others decide. He will let himself be blown to and fro by any wind whatsoever, and it will always be others who make up his mind for him. 'These are waterless clouds, carried hither and thither by the winds, autumn trees that bear no fruit, doubly dead and rootless,' even though they may try to disguise their lack of character, courage and honesty behind a smoke-screen of constant chatter and excuses.

'No one is forcing me!' they obstinately repeat. No one? Everyone is coercing their make-believe freedom which will not run the risk of accepting responsibility for the consequences of its own free actions. Where there is no love of God, the individual and responsible use of personal freedom becomes impossible. There, despite appearances to the contrary, the individual is coerced at every turn. The indecisive and irresolute person is like plasticine at the mercy of circumstances. Anyone and anything can mould him according to its whim, and especially his passions and the worst tendencies of his own nature wounded by sin.

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