Monday, May 26, 2008

Freedom

I've been reading Fulton Sheen's Peace of Soul. It is fascinating. I tried reading it before, a couple of years ago, but got distracted and put it down. They play some of his old recorded sermons on the radio early in the morning, and he is such a powerful speaker that I decided to try the book again. It's not the easiest read (if most of what you read is fluffy and entertaining) but it is worth the effort.

As a former psychology major, I'm finding his critique of modern psychotherapy very interesting. He acknowledges that therapy has its place and uses, but it cannot by itself get to the heart of issues that are rooted in a troubled soul. It can work well alongside good spiritual direction, but it could also lead to deeper problems if not properly applied. He talks a lot about mining the subconscious versus examination of consience.

There are so many great little tidbits that I've been highlighting. Here's one that I think applies well to many current events.

"By denying any ultimate standard outside of self, one can escape all self-blame and go through life on a perpetual mission of face saving. Marxism is one form of the denial of conscience - because it blames our sense of inner tension on economic conditions. Other ideologies trace the existence of the consience to the influence of the herd. Such philosophies all assume that a person is other-determined, rather than self-determined. They deny that man is free, and yet usually claim for every person a right freely to choose is own opinions."

That last sentence really struck me. People who claim "freedom of choice" in matters of sexual perversion, divorce, abortion, etc. have a faulty argument because they have denied absolute truth. They have reduced themselves to animals acting on instinct. But animals do not have freedom. It's a paradox (if I'm using that term correctly) that those who submit to God are the ones who have true freedom. We are able to recognize right and wrong, and we are free to choose good.

1 comment:

Bob said...

Thanks for your comments recently on my blogpost about our responsibilities as parents.

I would like to recommend a blog to you. It is called One Cosmos. The writer, Dr. Bob Godwin, is a forensic psychologist. He has written a book entitled One Cosmos Under God. He says the same thing you have just said, but uses more words. You might find him difficult to understand at first, as I did. But I keep going back, and hope you will, too. The commenters there are a wonderful group of people.