Fr. Jacques Philippe

Fr. Jacques Philippe

a guide for the spiritual life

Freedom

Very often we feel restricted in our situation, our family, or our surroundings. But maybe the real problem lies elsewhere: in our hearts.
Interior Freedom, p.20

True freedom is not so much something man wins for himself; it is a free gift from God, a fruit of the Holy Spirit, received in the measure in which we place ourselves in a relationship of loving dependence on our Creator and Savior. This is where the Gospel paradox is most apparent: “Whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” In other words, people who wish to preserve and defend their own freedom at any cost will lose it, but those willing to “lose” it by leaving it trustingly in God’s hands will save it. Their freedom will be restored to them, infinitely more beautiful, infinitely deeper, as a marvelous gift from God’s tenderness. Our freedom is, in fact, proportionate to the love and childlike trust we have for our heavenly Father.
Interior Freedom, p.14-15

No circumstance in the world can ever prevent us from believing in God, from placing all our trust in him, from loving him with our whole heart, or from loving our neighbor. Faith, hope, and charity are absolutely free, because if they are rooted in us deeply enough, they are able to draw strength from whatever opposes them! If someone sought to prevent us from believing by persecuting us, we always would retain the option of forgiving our enemies and transforming the situation of oppression into one of greater love. If someone tried to silence our faith by killing us, our deaths would be the best possible proclamation of our faith! Love, and only love, can overcome evil by good and draw good out of evil.
Interior Freedom, p. 24

Faithfulness to mental prayer is a school of freedom. It is a school of truth in love, because it teaches us, little by little, no longer to place our relationship with God on the shaky, unstable basis of our own impressions, moods, or feelings, but on the solid foundation of faith—God’s faithfulness, which is as firm as a rock. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, and forever” (Heb 13:8), for “His mercy is from generation to generation” (Lk 1:50). If we persevere, our relationships with other people, which are likewise superficial and changeable, will become more stable, more faithful, deeper, and hence happier.
-Time for God, p.32

“For you were called to freedom, brethren” (Gal 5:13). So says St. Paul in the letter to the Galatians. God calls us to freedom. But instead of being given to us instantaneously and in full measure, this freedom is built up progressively and patiently day by day, by being faithful to God’s calls.
-Called to Life, p.11

Called to Life
In the School of the Holy Spirit
Time for God
Interior Freedom
The Way of Trust and Love