By Msgr. PatrickMary Anene Mmuo
Freedom is the faculty and right to do ones will without external compulsion or force. This is a fundamental attribute of God. By freedom God acts without any compulsion, he acts from pure love. God performed his act of creation only from love. Everything he created was good from His own goodness. But the material creatures were dumb, as none of them could communicate with God, because they had no spirit; they had no intellect and will. They could not love, because they were not free but must act only through instinct, or force from another agent.
When God created man from water and clay, cf. Gen. 2: 7. He breathed his spirit into man to make him a living being, with soul like the spirit of God. Thereby man was free like God and could communicate with God in love. Thus, freedom and love are the essence of humanity and of every human being.
God’s Freedom is eternal and limitless, as God himself exists by himself, without beginning or end or any limitation. Such too is his love. But human freedom, given to each of the numerous men that God has generated, is limited through the presence of other men who also demand recognition and respect from fellowmen. Thus, human freedom is not absolute, but is limited by the presence of the neighbors. Recognition and respect of God, and of one another, limit human freedom in man’s genuine life and practice of love. No person has the right to act in all the ways he wishes, because his wishes can infringe another person’s right to freedom and happiness.
In this situation, man’s misuse of freedom by trampling on the freedom of another person by forcing him to act against his will, is an appropriation of a right which belongs to God alone, whose freedom is not limited, because God has limitless knowledge and wisdom and cannot make a mistake or infringe on anybody’s freedom. It is an act of pride taking a position that is beyond human scope. It is a sin against God challenging God’s sole prerogative. Thus, it offends God and also harms the neighbor who is forced to act or obey. The offender has gone beyond the limit of his freedom and has been unjust to the person forced to act.
This situation is the basis of the essential difference in the behaviors or acts of men and other animals. All the other animals which have no spiritual souls are not free or oriented to love, in their behavior. They act only by instinct or force, without appropriate reflection in the mind or spirit. They concentrate totally on the immediate things of earth. They can only like or relish things. But a man lifts up his mind and heart to the spiritual invisible realm in his affairs, and thus exercises or shows his normal humanity.
FREEDOM AND LOVE ARE ESSENTIAL AND INDISPENSABLE IN HUMAN NATURE
For this reason, a person who deviates from this principle, though he lives in human form, behaves like a devil without love, or like a beast without freedom, and should be feared or avoided by fellowmen. Such people when they get access to authority over human communities such as a state or a country usually cause much unrest or wars, with persistent obstinacy and vigor. Such people are usually declared or silent, atheists who do not believe in God or respect the natural law which he established for every being he created.
EFFECT OF THE DIVINE NATURE AND ORIGIN OF HUMAN LOVE: A REFLECTION FOR MODERN POLITICIANS AND ALL STATESMEN
Because of the divine nature and origin of human love, it does not admit insincerity, pretence, falsehood or fraud of any type. It is open and fully dedicated for the good of the loved one whom the lover serves, even if the lover suffers to show his love. All people in public offices, especially holders of executive posts – Presidents, Governors, Chiefs, Chairmen, Leaders and others – are meant to have this virtue of love for their communities. The joy the lover gains from exercising his love for the beloved is the welfare and happiness he provides the beloved. This may cause him much suffering, but this, in turn brings him satisfaction and glory in his work. Thus, sufferings endured on behalf of the beloved are undergone freely, without expecting any material rewards, except the success and happiness of the beloved. Offenses of the beloved are easily forgiven; and the damages caused by these offenses are remedied with the lover’s assistance, which in turn evokes deeper devotion and dedication to service from the beloved. The Lover then becomes the accredited Saving Hero for the Beloved.
All these are the necessary qualifications required in the modern world’s present experience of the Coronavirus pandemic war, world over. All the politicians and statesmen, especially those who hold the offices of President, Governor, and Executive Councilors, would kindly and lovingly bear this special cross. To this qualification should be added the academic qualifications required for understanding the social matters of Society in general, and the communities which they serve. A country led and governed on these principles by leaders who bear in mind the truth that the greatness of a man comes from the great works he has done for men by adequately applying these spiritual virtues in his works, would soon be recorded among the GREAT NATIONS OF THE MODERN WORLD.