June 15, 2009

Creation v. Redemption and Freedom

In the '80s song by Tears for Fears, "Everybody Wants to Rule the World", one line expresses the goal of making "the most of freedom and pleasure." I sense the lyricist's version of freedom is different from the Christian's since true freedom is doing God's will, which involves self-denial.

St. Paul writes that "perfect love casts out all fear," which one could read in a couple ways. One is simply read to "perfect love" as God and say that God casts out all fear, including our own. The other is that only perfect lovers are free from fear. which means none of us are (either perfect lovers or free from fear).

Only the lover can truly appreciate freedom. For the rest of us, it may represent anxiety. It is only through God living in us that the gap can be bridged. If for the non-perfect lover freedom equals anxiety, for the lover, freedom is the only way to express love, maybe the only way to love. Without freedom there is no love, hence for the lover freedom is an unqualified good.

Our creation is irreversible, our salvation not. The latter is false on a macro level of course: Jesus died for our sins and made Heaven a possibility for us. I think sometimes perhaps we should celebrate our creation more, that He knew us even in the womb and lovingly created us - it's a way to dwell and love Him more.

But the answer seemed to come at Mass on Sunday, in the homily. In the Old Testament there was the proscription against blood, some of which continues to this day in the kosher laws. Every bit of blood has to be disposed of. Jews of that time believed blood was the life-force and to consume an amimal's blood would give you an animalistic life force, which was dehumanizing. Christ was aware of that, obviously, since He was a Jew, and intentionally made reception of his blood a way of giving us the divine life-force. The reception of his blood makes us, paradoxically, MORE human since we were designed to have God within us. (Made in the image and likeness of God.) To be distant from God is to make us less human since we weren't designed that way. It's not as though something foreign comes to us in redemption and salvation, but something intended in the original design. Creation and redemption are not so different.

No comments: