Tag Archives: free will

Sunday Devotional: Choose to be good

Matthew 5:17-20

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses
that of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Sirach 15:15-17

If you choose you can keep the commandments,
they will save you;
if you trust in God, you too shall live;
he has set before you fire and water
to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand.
Before man are life and death, good and evil,
whichever he chooses shall be given him.

AN EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE

1. I am the Lord your God: you shall not have strange Gods before me:

Do I accord more importance to creation — to people and things? Do I idolize entertainers or politicians, idealizing and placing them on a pedestal? Am I my own god — grandiose, arrogant, and do as I will? Do I subscribe to a self-serving moral relativism– that what is right depends on the situation and on what benefits me? Do I practice humility by serving others? Do I ask for forgiveness when I have wronged another?

2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain:

Have my words denied, devalued, or insulted God? Do I use His holy name as a profanity, or as an emotional outburst?

3. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day:

Do I avoid, when possible, work that impedes worship to God, joy for the Lord’s Day, and proper relaxation of mind and body? Do I look for ways to spend time with family or in service on Sunday? Do I say “Thank You” for all that He’s given me — my body, mind, work, family, friends, and for life itself?

4. Honor your father and your mother:

Do I show my parents due respect? Do I seek to maintain good communication with my parents where possible? Do I criticize them for lacking skills I think they should have? Do I blame them for my own flaws and problems? Do I honor that which they gave birth to by treating my body and mind with respect, and refraining from impairing and corrupting myself with drugs, indolence, and pornography?

5. You shall not kill:

Have I killed the body, no matter how small, of another? Have I injured another’s body, spirit and emotions with my actions and words?

6. You shall not commit adultery:

Have I stayed true to my marital vows? If unmarried, have I honored another’s marital exclusivity? Have I respected the physical and sexual dignity of others and of myself, and of the institution of marriage?

7. You shall not steal:

Have I taken or wasted the possessions, resources or time that belong to another? Have I dis-respected God’s creation by being wasteful and profligate?

8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor:

Have I told lies or embellished stories at the expense of another?

9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s spouse:

Have I honored my spouse with my full affection and exclusive love? Have I, instead, longed for or lusted after another, including fantasy figures?

10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods:

Am I content with what I have, or do I compare myself to others, and feel envious, resentful, or entitled to what others have?

May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Éowyn

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Sunday Devotional: If anyone was unwilling to work, neither should that one eat

2 Thessalonians 3:7-12

Brothers and sisters:
You know how one must imitate us.
For we did not act in a disorderly way among you,
nor did we eat food received free from anyone.
On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day
we worked, so as not to burden any of you.
Not that we do not have the right.
Rather, we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you,
so that you might imitate us.
In fact, when we were with you,
we instructed you that if anyone was unwilling to work,
neither should that one eat.
We hear that some are conducting themselves
among you in a disorderly way,
by not keeping busy but minding the business of others.
Such people we instruct and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ
to work quietly and to eat their own food.

God’s greatest gift to humanity, aside from the gift of life, is the terrifying gift of free will—the favoring of one thing and the eschewal of another, informed by reason.

The Latin root of the word “terrify” is terrificare. To “terrify” is to cause to feel extreme fear. And terrifying precisely is God’s gift of free will, for when our free will is exercised to evil, the consequences are disastrous.

Terrifying though it is, free will is given to humans (and angels) because only by freely electing to believe in, obey, honor, and love God do the preceding acts have authenticity and meaning. For what good is a love that is coerced? As St. Thomas Aquinas put it, “Man has free will: otherwise counsels, exhortations, commands, prohibitions, rewards and punishments would be in vain.”¹

¹Summa Theologia of St. Thomas Aquinas, Volume One (New York: Benziger Brothers, 1947), p. 418.

The above reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians is a powerful statement against the institution of government-enforced welfare, an institution that has become colossal and immovable in our time in the form of the bloated welfare state.

Christians are exhorted to be charitable. Charity is something voluntarily given to help the poor and the needy, which studies show conservatives give more in both money and services than liberals. (Conservatives also believe more in free will and have stronger will power.)

But welfare, the revenue for which is extracted via confiscatory taxation, is not charity because it is enforced, that is, involuntary. And as St. Paul pointed out in his letter to Philemon, a good deed that is coerced is no longer good:

I did not want to do anything without your consent,
so that the good you do might not be forced but voluntary.

And yet liberal Christians precisely support this enforced charity — which is an oxymoron — in the name of “social justice”. Paradoxically, those same liberal Christians are “pro-choice” when it comes to the government-sanctioned murder of unborn and entirely innocent human beings who most certainly are denied any choice in the matter.

For the martyrdom of Paul, see “St. Paul, whom Christ struck blind”.

May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: You were called for freedom!

Galatians 5:1, 13-18

Brothers and sisters:
For freedom Christ set us free;
so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.

For you were called for freedom, brothers and sisters.
But do not use this freedom
as an opportunity for the flesh;
rather, serve one another through love.
For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement,
namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
But if you go on biting and devouring one another,
beware that you are not consumed by one another.

I say, then: live by the Spirit
and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh. 
For the flesh has desires against the Spirit,
and the Spirit against the flesh;
these are opposed to each other,
so that you may not do what you want.
But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

For you were called for freedom, brothers and sisters…so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.”

Let those words ring in your ears, and in the ears of all despots, in America and across the world, who are bent on imposing their will and dicta on us, always cloaked in the cover of “good” intentions, whether they be the Marxist false siren of utopian communism, or the neo-Marxist “climate change” save-the-world cultists, or the LGBT-pronoun cultural-Marxists of ivory-tower academe.

For our freedom comes not from men, but from God. As it is said in Sirach 15:14, 16:

God in the beginning created human beings
and made them subject to their own free choice….
Set before you are fire and water;
to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand.

Thomas Aquinas conceived an act of free will to be any thought, word, deed, desire, or omission that comes from a person acting with full knowledge of what s/he is doing, “who is free to act or to refrain from action, and who gives the full assent of his will to the act.”¹ The essence of free will, therefore, is choice—the favoring of one thing and the eschewal of another—informed by reason.

But God’s supreme gift of free will does not mean license, the freedom to break rules or principles, to “do as thou wilt” — that first temptation “to be as gods” whispered by the serpent in the first Garden. As Sirach 15:17-20 reminds us:

Before man are life and death, good and evil,
whichever he chooses shall be given him.
Immense is the wisdom of the Lord;
he is mighty in power, and all-seeing.
The eyes of God are on those who fear him;
he understands man’s every deed.
No one does he command to act unjustly,
to none does he give license to sin.

The gift of free will is terrifying, for when it is exercised to evil, the consequences are disastrous.

Terrifying though it is, free will is given to humans (and angels) because only by freely electing to believe in, obey, honor, and love God do the preceding acts have authenticity and meaning. For what good is a love that is coerced? As St. Thomas put it, “Man has free will: otherwise counsels, exhortations, commands, prohibitions, rewards and punishments would be in vain.”²

Choose wisely! Choose to be good.

Psalm 119:1-5, 10

Blessed those whose way is blameless,
who walk by the law of the LORD.
Blessed those who keep his testimonies,
who seek him with all their heart.
They do no wrong;
they walk in his ways.
You have given them the command
to observe your precepts with care.
May my ways be firm
in the observance of your statutes!
With all my heart I seek you;
do not let me stray from your commandments.

May the love and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!

~Eowyn


¹Paul J. Glenn, A Tour of the Summa (Rockford, Illinois: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1978), p. 99.
²Summa Theologia of St. Thomas Aquinas, Volume One (New York: Benziger Brothers, 1947), p. 418.

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Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall says “some people are forced to commit violent acts”

The words “personal responsibility” do not exist in a liberal’s dictionary.

With all the tax-payer funded and private charity safety nets available (As an example, see here, here, here, here, here, here, and here), how exactly is someone FORCED to commit violent acts to make ends meet?

DCG

Better than Drudge Report. Check out Whatfinger News, the Internet’s conservative frontpage founded by ex-military!

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Sunday Devotional: The terrifying gift of free will

Sirach 15:14, 16-20

God in the beginning created human beings
and made them subject to their own free choice.
Set before you are fire and water;
to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand.
Before man are life and death, good and evil,
whichever he chooses shall be given him.
Immense is the wisdom of the Lord;
he is mighty in power, and all-seeing.
The eyes of God are on those who fear him;
he understands man’s every deed.
No one does he command to act unjustly,
to none does he give license to sin.

The Latin root of the word “terrify” is terrificare. To “terrify” is to cause to feel extreme fear.

And terrifying precisely is God’s gift of free will, for when it is exercised to evil, the consequences are disastrous.

Thomas Aquinas conceived an act of free will to be any thought, word, deed, desire, or omission that comes from a person acting with full knowledge of what s/he is doing, “who is free to act or to refrain from action, and who gives the full assent of his will to the act.”¹ The essence of free will, therefore, is choice—the favoring of one thing and the eschewal of another—informed by reason.

Terrifying though it is, free will is given to humans (and angels) because only by freely electing to believe in, obey, honor, and love God do the preceding acts have authenticity and meaning. For what good is a love that is coerced? As St. Thomas put it, “Man has free will: otherwise counsels, exhortations, commands, prohibitions, rewards and punishments would be in vain.”² But it is also free will that made possible the original sin of Adam and Eve, as well as all subsequent sins.

Sirach 15:15, 11-13

If you choose, you can keep the commandments;
loyalty is doing the will of God.
Do not say: “It was God’s doing that I fell away,”
for what he hates he does not do.
Do not say: “He himself has led me astray,”
for he has no need of the wicked.
Abominable wickedness the LORD hates
and he does not let it happen to those who fear him.

“If you choose, you can keep the commandments” — and the first of God’s commandments is:

I am the LORD your God,
You shall not have other gods beside me.

Our first parents were told they were free to eat from any of the trees save one, the tree of knowledge of good and bad. God counseled them in no uncertain terms that if they were to disobey his command, they “shalt surely die.” But the Devil appeared in the form of a serpent and said to Eve, “You certainly will not die! No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad.” Acceding to the temptation, Eve ate the fruit, gave some to Adam who, in turn, also partook of it. (Genesis 2:8, 16-17; 3:1-6)

Philosopher Francis Bacon explained that what precipitated our first parents’ fall was their supposition that “God’s commandments or prohibitions were not the originals of good and evil but that they had other beginnings which man aspired to know, to the end to make a total defection from God, and to depend wholly upon himself.”³

Put another way, the Fall of Adam and Eve is their gall to determine for themselves what is good and what is evil, although they already knew right from wrong for, as the Book of Jeremiah 31:33 says, God has placed his law within each of us, written in our very hearts. In other words, our first parents wanted to be their own gods with their own conception of right and wrong, which is nothing other than a contravention of the First Commandment.

Another way to say “wanting to be their own gods” is “Do as thou wilt” — the motto of satanist Aleister Crowley and the church of Satan, and the zeitgeist of our time.

Psalm 119:1-5, 10

Blessed those whose way is blameless,
who walk by the law of the LORD.
Blessed those who keep his testimonies,
who seek him with all their heart.
They do no wrong;
they walk in his ways.
You have given them the command
to observe your precepts with care.
May my ways be firm
in the observance of your statutes!
With all my heart I seek you;
do not let me stray from your commandments.


¹Paul J. Glenn, A Tour of the Summa (Rockford, Illinois: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1978), p. 99.
²Summa Theologia of St. Thomas Aquinas, Volume One (New York: Benziger Brothers, 1947), p. 418.
³Francis Bacon, Selected Philosophical Works, edited by Rose-Mary Sargent (Indianapolis/Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company, 1999), p. 31.

See also “Conservatives vs. Liberals: Conservatives believe in free will and have stronger will power“.

May the peace and love and joy of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

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