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Freedom, Humility and Charity

Freedom, Humility and Charity

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Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez came up to bat. The pitcher tossed a fastball right down the middle of the plate in Alex’s sweet spot. What amazed me was the ease and fluidity with which he swung the bat and hit the home run right out of the park. I could not have accomplished such a feat in one hundred years!

Alex was able to do it because of years of practice, exercise, development and mentoring, and physical grace. All that practice freed Alex to hit that home run.

"For Freedom, Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1) The more we exercise and use freedom, the freer we become.

Who is freer than Jesus? The Son of God is also fully human and absolutely free, for truth, for goodness and for love.

In his Encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis says: There is an episode in the Life of Saint Francis of Assisi that shows his freedom, his humility and his openness of heart. Poor beggar, humble friar, barefoot, crosses borders of every sort, origin, nationality, culture and religion to go into the camp of the Egyptian Sultan. This was during the days of the Crusades, so it took great courage and love to seek to embrace everyone. “Francis did not wage a war of words aimed at imposing doctrines; he simply spread the love of God. He understood that 'God is love and those who abide in love, abide in God.' (1 John 4:16) In this way, he became a father to all and inspired the vision of a fraternal society."

"Only the man who approaches others, not to draw them into his own life but to help them become ever more fully themselves, can truly be called a father." This is a key understanding of Gospel freedom and humility.

It was President Harry Truman who said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” Mothers and fathers usually do not care to be recognized for forming their children in freedom and humility. However, when they do so, their children return their love a hundred times over.

And also from this Encyclical, with freedom, humility and the love of God, we can pray:

Come, Holy Spirit, show us your beauty,
reflected in all the peoples of the earth
so that we may discover anew
that all are important and all are necessary,
different faces of the one humanity that God so loves. Amen.

So parents, grandparents, all brothers and sisters, be free, be humble and be filled with God’s love that embraces all.

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About Father Willy Raymond, C.S.C.

Father Willy Raymond, C.S.C. is President of Holy Cross Family Ministries. He entered Holy Cross Fathers in 1964. He earned a Bachelors in Philosophy from Stonehill College in 1967 and a Masters in Theology from the University of Notre Dame in 1971. In addition to English, Father Willy is conversant in French and Spanish. He's a native of Old Town, Maine and one of 12 children. He remains a diehard fan of the Boston Red Sox, even though he has served as Chaplain for the Los Angeles Dodgers.