The holy scriptures tell us that God is love. (1John4:8), and that is essentially what He is, Love. in my previous write-ups I have written about some of the essential characters of this love that we speak of, namely, that it is never contained in itself, it is never individual or personal, that it generates community, and that God who is love, and for that very fact exists in himself as a community of three persons, the trinity.
When I say love is not contained in itself, I mean to say that love always seeks expression. In love, there is always the lover and loved. The very reason for creation to have come about, is that boundless love, could not be contained in himself, and so, like Fulton J. Sheen said, love overflowed. We must remember that before the creation of the world and all that exists, God existed in boundless happiness, boundless love, and a wonderful community of the trinity. He was not in need of love, or friendship, or service. The simple thing that happened in creation was that love sought expression, as it naturally would, just like the sun cannot hide the fact that it is the sun because it shines, giving life the plants of the earth and shedding its rays of light on all that we are able to see, so too, was God who is love, at creation. And we, with all that exists are the expressions of eternal love. Such that we are product of the boundless love of eternity, we are made by love, and our ultimate purpose is love. since God made us for himself, we are made for love.
In creating the universe, on the other hand, God wanted to create a morally perfect universe. In creating human beings and angels he wanted to create a perfect work. This reminds me of something about love again, it seeks perfection. It seeks to give his all. In making us for him, his marvelous work of creation could not perfectly love him, unless they were free not to. They could not really and truly love him, unless they were free to do otherwise. And so God added something to the wonder of man and the angels- free will. For he didn’t will to create robots. And love is only genuine when it is freely given, and not forcefully taken. If God had created man, and put a lasting command in his senses and spirit to love him, denying him of any choice whatsoever, God would have still known, that it wasn’t man, a separate entity giving himself to Him, but in effect, God loving himself. And so, for that morally perfect universe, man had to be free. Even though the ultimate source of man’s life, truth and love was in God, man had to of his own accord choose God. Man had to be given a chance to make a choice. The height of love.
Free will is a power, a power which the human soul has. It cannot be controlled. No other being on earth can make man do things without his consent. Even God respects the free will of man. We see this, not only in our daily experiences with him, but also in the scriptures. Even when he willed to save man, by being incarnated in the womb of his virgin mother, even if what he was about to do, was not to his benefit, but to ours, he still asked the maiden for her consent. ‘Will you give me a man’. And the lady gave her fiat, her yes of faith. Even the devil cannot control man that is why he has to tempt us, to lure us into using our own free will, our own consent, to do evil. Such that in the end, it is our fault, for we could have said no.
Some have argued that because man’s second option is not life, then he wasn’t initially free. This is really very wrong. Freedom is not in the consequence of a choice made. Freedom is in the choosing. If you I knew that out of two roads before me, walking into one I would have life, and walking into another, I would be devoured by lions, that I choose to go into the road where I will be devoured by lions does not eliminate the fact that I was free to have gone into the first which would have given me life. In other words, I am not free to make choices because both options will favor me. Rather my freedom lies in my choosing which option I wish to take. There are two ultimate choices in existence, life and no life, or rather life and death. Life is God, as John 14:6 tells us. The fact is that nobody else and nothing else is life, except him. We cannot have two Gods, for if we there are two ultimate sources of life, they two must be Gods. But we cannot have two Gods, we cannot have two supreme beings. That someone is supreme means that he is more powerful than anybody else. We cannot have two people, who in themselves each are more powerful than anybody else, and this is simply because, it would mean that they are more powerful than each other. Their powers would eventually cancel out and in fact, they will be the most powerless people their ever was. Anyway it’s not just logical. But in as much he is our life, he willed, in love, that we have a chance to choose whom we want, him or not. But he still calls us to him. We are even to be glad that in his own mercifulness, our choices are not at once ultimate choices with ultimate effects, our ultimate choice is a product of little choices we make while we are on earth. And that is why there has to be a judgment, to determine our ultimate choice after all of our minor choices. Now God did not give us this free will for us to just go make a mess or run around and some fall into a ditch. God essentially gave us free will because he wanted us to love him freely. This we see in the fact that although he never compromises our free will, he still seeks us out to make us realize our actions, he sends prophets and teachers to teach us his ways, and he continues to show us the part of true love, that which leads to life. That is just it. Anything else we do with that free will other than this is of our own accord, and hence our own fault. Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa, as we say at mass, my fault, my fault, my grievous fault. If a Father sends his son to school, out of love and out of a desire to see him progress, and the son eventually goes to school and joins bad gangs and in fact decides to fail, how is that the fault of the father.
Now here comes the last point we will address today, whenever there is a law, an expected ordinance or purpose and then there is free will, there is a test. There must come a time, or there has to be a time when a side would be chosen, and when an opportunity cost would be made or alternatively forgone. That moment is a test. The exact moment of the choosing. In creation, the law is love, and not just love, love of Love, love of God. The angels had free will and so had their test, in which Lucifer and the other angels were thrown down, when they were no longer worthy of God, no, when they had chosen something else other than God. Man had his own test, and the writers of scripture narrate this test as all about the forbidden fruit, in the Garden of Eden.
We would continue from here later on…