God doesn’t take prisoners. He gave us free will. This strangely means we can do whatever we want. It also means that we are subject to the outcomes born of our decisions. We are responsible for ourselves, for our families, for our friends, our neighbors, our communities, our nations and our world. This includes all mankind, even our enemies and we should have none by our own defining. In other words, we are not to name anyone our enemy, thus the only way to have an enemy if if they name us as theirs. I wonder if we can learn to be grateful to those who despise us for placing us, no matter how low, in their hearts. With this, I have a long way to go.
Free will as we know is thee essence of love. Freedom to love God, as opposed to being forced to love God, is the essence of being. In God, we have complete being as it seems to be so with all things. God sets beings into motion and gives them life and freedom and love (as He wills all good things for them). All things in flux acting according to their natures. Star go super-nova. Seas rise and fall. Tectonic plates shift. Volcanoes explode. Plants grow. Trees unfold their leaves. Bees make honey. Birds sing. Man breathes poetry and song; captures colour on canvass creating art; speaking silent word upon a page; and perfect the praise of God by loving God and all His creation. Without this freedom we would not even be alive, we would be merely objects. To have “will” at all is to have free will.
God loves all His creations and therefore wills their good. All creation is alive in the love of God. What does this mean? All things are growing. living, and yes, even dying.
So what is it that set man apart? God breathed His Spirit, His life into man thus creating Him in His own image. Being created in God’s image gave man an initiative that other animals seem not to have, the ability to choose. But is not “choice” the essence of free will. Do animals have the ability to choose against God? What would have happened had a tiger eaten of the fruit of the tree? Were tigers forbidden to eat of the fruit? We know from Genesis that man had a particular dominion over God’s creation. This is made clear in the fact that man was told to name the animals and as we can see, to be named by another is to be put under their authority, and, more importantly, under the “namer’s” care. Man had an equal freedom to the tiger, but being given a greater authority held a greater responsibility and to execute this authority given greater prerogative. Man did not merely possess a rational mind, have the ability to reason, but he was freed from the “covenant of instinct” in favor of the “Covenant of Will.”
Here I will submit for your consideration that which I hope is not heresy, but a conclusion I cannot dismiss, there was nothing inherently “poison” or “evil” in the fruit (we are told the fruit delighted the senses) Eve shared with her husband, but rather the act of eating it alone was the cause of the Fall of Man. In this moment, Man fell through an act of defiance, not digestion.
Man willingly separated his will from the Will of God, an act that once accomplished cannot be undone, for in eternity all things are ever present. In this act, we broke the “eternal connection” to God. We existed in His love, but remained apart from His will, which wills the good for us. We need mercy because it is not the fruit itself that is evil, but the action, the sin that brought it into being. A bad fruit is born of man’s self-interested acting in the world, rather than man aligning his will to that of God. Thus, we are known by our fruits. For example, if we corrupt another person it may be said “there was nothing inherently evil in that person, yet, . . .” A sin is a movement of one’s will in opposition to God’s will. In this will of opposition we reject God, we reject His Kingdom, and we stand outside of Paradise separated from thee Tree of Eternal Life, which in my heart is the Cross of Christ that we are called by Jesus to take up and bear, but this is a discussion for perhaps another time.
God’s mercy comes to man in the form of thee Blessed Virgin Mary who is the bridge, the Gate of Heaven that restored our communion with God, and since we cannot undo what we have done thus being unable to return to Him, so He, in the Incarnation of the Son, in the body Jesus come to us through Mary. Mary’s full assent of will. Mary’s “Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum. (Let it be done to me according tothy Word)” Mary’s complete and utter surrender to God. Mary’s freely giving her will as a slave to the Lord (ecce ancilla Domini).
How do we surrender our will to God. We love. Jesus said: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. This is total surrender. To love, to love to love. To will the good of the other even, especially if they wish us ill. Earlier I said: the only way to have an enemy if if they name us as theirs, and this is not entirely true. Being named enemy to another by the other only creates an objective enemy in the world of men, but we who are denizen to the Kingdom of God to not submit to the definitions and wills of the world of men. Since we have surrender, by our own free will, our free will to God, and God being love, it is, therefore, impossible for us to have an enemy for we have surrendered our wills to love.
Yes is surrender. Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum. (Let it be done to me according to thy Word)
Surrender is slavery. ecce ancilla Domini. (behold the handmaiden of the Lord)
Slavery to God is Love. An in Love we with the Blessed Virgin Mary may proclaim:
Magnificat anima mes Dominum, (My soul doth magnify the Lord)
et spiritus meus in Deo salvatore meo! (and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour!)
Let us Pray:
My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour,
For He hath regarded the humility of his handmaiden,
For behold from hence forth all generations shall call me Blessed.
For He who is mighty, has done unto me Great things and Holy is His name
and His mercy is on them that fear Him from generation to generations.
He hath shown might in His arm,
He hath scattered the proud in the imaginations of their hearts
He hath cast down the mighty from their thrones and exalted the humble.
He hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He hath sent away empty,
He hath holpen His people Israel in remembrance of His mercy
as He spake to our fathers, Abraham, and to his seed forever.
Amen. Amen. Amen