Our Liberty is in the Imperative to Take Care

To be free means to take care of others.

Saint Thomas Aquinas points this out in explaining how there can be a natural law, where "law" is a thing of reason (and hence free) and "nature" is a matter (at least in every other animal) of instinct (hence not free).

The solution is that a human person by his or her nature, besides being moved by instincts, is capable of questioning reality and thus of becoming more and more, by entering more deeply into the articulations of being. And becoming intimate with more of reality is expansion of soul, expansion of mind and heart: this gentles the idiosyncratic blood, and enables us to feel otherness within ourselves—so we may will the good for more than ourselves. So we may love.

As Aquinas puts it, "Wherefore, since all things subject to divine providence are ruled and measured by the eternal law, it is evident that all things partake in some way in the eternal law, namely, insofar as all things have inclinations to their own acts and ends from the eternal law's imprint on them. Now among all others, the rational creature is subject to divine providence in a more excellent way, since it also shares in God's providence, by being provident both for itself and for others." (Summa theologiae, I-II, q. 91, a. 2)

It is because our nature is free that we can receive the law (which always aims at the common good). The law is this; our freedom is this: TAKE CARE. Be a shepherd of being. Find the light in things, even when it's deeply hidden, so that love may breathe again.

There's this powerful statement from the poet René Char, a leader of the French Resistance in WWII (Fragment 111 of Hypnos): "Light has been banished from our eyes. It's buried somewhere in our bones. It's our turn now to hunt for it and put back its crown."

The liberty of the human person is to find the truth within the tears of things and thus instaurate the kingdom of responsive love.

To be provident, to take care, requires some mastery of time and space, bending materiality according to the purposes of love. And that includes taking account of the time of day.

If you are pro-life and live in Massachusetts, but haven't made it to one of Massachusetts Citizens for Life's annual conventions, now is a good time to come. It's this Saturday in Brockton: https://www.masscitizensforlife.org/2018convention.

The focus will be on the changes in the who and why of abortion. The demographics have shifted over time. As the political time of day has changed with the crisis in our elite class (and we must grapple with that), so also if we are to be provident when it comes to the lives of the most powerless human beings, we must know the facts as they are—so we may respond, be responsible, as we ought to be. In that imperative, is our freedom.