Two weeks ago, I was taking bed rest for a short while due to severe cough and fever. One day after the morning bell, one of the priests checked out all those rooms with out light and called the seminarians who were sleeping in them. He came to my room also, it was an unusual act and he stayed there until I responded to his greeting in order to make sure that I woke up. At once, I felt that I was being offended. Why did he trespass into my freedom? If he knew that I was sick, he would not do that. But soon after another thought came to my mind, that he was waiting for my response… Waiting!!! Yes, he left the space to exercise my freedom, though his initial act was a little imprudent (subjectively) and insulted me.
Oh my Lord, how did you act in such situations? Were you waiting outside after knocking at my door when I was "sick"? But… how many times you could have entered into my "privacy", into the "nakedness" of my being, for you are the Omnipotent… but you never did so since you paid the price for my freedom. Whenever I welcomed you into my life with a repenting heart you looked at me mercifully… you knew the reason and circumstances of my words and deeds, you never judged me partially, as I did to others, since you knew me entirely. You absolved my sins and blessed me abundantly, as you did the woman who had been caught in sin and brought before you by the Pharisees. You never tried to condemn her, though you are the only person who can do it; rather you healed and blessed her with your patience and love.
Lord, now I am convinced that I need to be knocked by your gentle presence (initial grace) not only when I am sick but also each and every moment of my life. I am sure that it won't insult me; rather, it will drive me to embrace you. You must wake me up especially when I am absorbed in the order and beauty of your creation, in the worldly pleasures, without recognizing you, who created every thing and provided it for me.
O Lord, but… if my actions are always intervened by your presence, then where is the place of my personal freedom? Do I become a mere object for your actions? Thanks Lord for the answer which you revealed through the holy fathers of the church, they say that:
True human freedom does not consist in autonomous human life, but in the situation which is truly natural to man's communion with God. When man is isolated from God, he finds himself enslaved - to his passions, to himself and ultimately to Evil. Therefore, when man follows his natural will, which presupposes life in God's co-operation and communion, he is truly free. But man also possesses another potential, determined by not by his nature, but by each human person, or hypostasis, the freedom of choice, of revolt, of movement against nature, and therefore of self destruction. This personal freedom was used by Adam and Eve and after the fall, in separation from God, from true knowledge, from all the assurance secured by "natural" existence. It implies hesitation, wandering, and suffering; this is the gnomic will (gnomé-opinion), a function of the hypostatic, or personal, life, not nature.
Good Lord, I have to retain my true nature… to experience my true freedom, it is not an autonomous freedom, rather it is the real freedom which leads me to the ultimate happiness. Loving Lord… you are always knocking first at the door of my heart and waiting patiently for my response. In your presence I feel the true freedom from the enslavement to my passions. Lord, now I wish to share this unique freedom with all, by waking them up in a prudent way without hurting them. My physical presence, words, and deeds should be moments of such an experience for them, like the presence of Mary made Elisabeth full of joy, as soon as she heard the sound of her greeting, the child in her womb leaped for joy. Knock me up, to likewise deliver the good news of Love to others in this world and to help them experience their true freedom.