Stuck to my cage despite freedom
In my long and tardy pursuit towards holiness and true freedom, I realised that what kept me from making progress was the lack of asceticism. I'm like a freed domesticated bird perched on its own cage, caught between two worlds, refusing to fly off into true freedom. In order to grow in one thing we will need to cut ties with a few other things that work against the goal. It takes effort and patience to name and nail these attachments. We also need to give up our attachment to false convictions that we hold so dear. Jesus tells us that “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. Mat 6:24.
Asceticism is training and strengthening our will to choose what is good over what it is long accustomed to - namely the cult of selfish pleasure, attachment to comfort, sloth and lethargy, fear of the unknown, the list is long. Asceticism is a way of teaching us that there is a higher being to aspire for above and beyond all that appeals to us and that all these desires ultimately point to that higher being namely God.
Growing in virtues are integral part of growing in holiness. Growth in one virtue helps us to grow in all as virtues are inter related. Same way one vice can affect many virtues. Our attachment to food and comfort directly affects our capacity to say no to sensual pleasures (chastity). Chastity is ordering our sexuality to the will of God in our state of life. It is the integration of our body and mind (matter and spirit). Our intellect and will are free to rise to its objectives - to know the truth and to love the truth. Love is the act of will, a total abandonment of self, our aspirations, and capacities for the good of the other above all for the love of God. The truth is that we are made for God and we have our being in God.
True freedom is the freedom from attachments that have held us captive from aspiring and achieving what is true, good, and beautiful. It is the freedom to do what is good. It is not the abundance of reckless choices but the presence of a divine limit (commandments, rules, precepts of God revealed through the authority of Church)
The vast expanse of the unending sky is beckoning...Let's get trained like an athlete preparing for a big event. Here the training itself is the competition and the reward is certain for all. Let us cooperate with our divine coach, the Holy Spirit who by divine grace transforms us and liberates us for the flight. The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. John 6:63