Select Page

FREEDOM ONLINE

Welcome to Freedom of the Children of God in the Teaching of Saint Josemaría. Here we have put together some material to help you do the course at your own pace, whenever you like and wherever you are. We hope you enjoy it!

 

 

COURSE OVERVIEW

The Freedom of the Children of God in the Teaching of St Josemaría by Dr Ailish McKeown

This course covers the following:

​​SESSIONS
Session 1 | What is Freedom?
Session 2 | Freedom, the Basis for Living as a Child of God
Session 3 | Grace and Freedom
Session 4 | Will, Reason, and the Sentiments in the Exercise of Freedom
Session 5 | Conditions for the Expansion of Freedom

COURSE MATERIAL

1 Course Notes for the subject. | VIEW

2 Videos (below) of the online classes held earlier this year.

Slides used in the classes. Slides 1: VIEW | Slides 2: VIEW | Slides 3: VIEW

4 Links to further reading
​      a)    Preliminary reading: E. E. Smith, ‘There’s More to Life Than Being Happy’ The Atlantic, 9 January 2013. | VIEW
      b)    Two key texts of St Josemaría:
                ‘Freedom, a Gift from God’, in Friends of God | VIEW
                ‘Christian Respect for Persons and Their Freedom’, in Christ is Passing By | VIEW
      c)    Three books which you might also like to read this year are:
                 J. Burggraf, Made for Freedom: Loving, Defending and Living God’s Gift, (Scepter, 2012).
                 J. Philippe, Interior Freedom, (Scepter, 2007).
                 L. Buch, New Mediterraneans, 2018. Available as a free ebook from the Opus Dei website. 

   Further readings are also included with each class, below.

5  Links to supplementary videos
    These are included with each class, below. In a face to face class we would watch these together and discuss them. You might like to watch them and take notes.

SESSION 1: WHAT IS FREEDOM

The following text appears in response to a Google search ‘what exactly is freedom?’ “Everybody loves freedom. Everybody wants it. At least, that is a common assumption.

But a lot of questions need to be answered. For example: What is freedom exactly, and can it be accurately defined? Is freedom the same as democracy? Is freedom the right to do anything I want – regardless of the impact on anyone else? Should I have the freedom to:
* Enter your house and steal your money?
* Smoke marijuana or inject heroin?
* Drive at 150 km per hour?
* Say anything I like?
* Kill someone, if they ask me to?

These are troubling moral questions. All the more so, because they deal with highly contentious issues. Is there any received moral code that can answer such questions unambiguously?”

Recommended Reading

Course Notes, Chapter 1  | VIEW
FURTHER READING
E. E. Smith, ‘There’s More to Life Than Being Happy’, The Atlantic, 9 January 2013. | VIEW
​J.R. Garcia Murato, ‘Authors of Our Own Lives’, 2015.  | VIEW
VIDEOS 
What Does Freedom Mean to You?  | VIEW
What is Freedom? | VIEW 

SESSION 2: FREEDOM, THE BASIS FOR LIVING AS A CHILD OF GOD

Saint Josemaría loved freedom, because we need freedom to be able to love. Here we look at what our Father taught about freedom, and at the relationship between freedom and two foundational ideas: divine filiation and the sanctification of work.

Recommended Reading

RECOMMENDED READING
Course Notes, Chapter 2  | VIEW
FURTHER READING

‘Freedom, a Gift from God’, in Friends of God  |VIEW
​VIDEOS
St. Josemaría: Freedom for our Children | VIEW

SESSION 3: GRACE AND FREEDOM

‘There is no such thing as freedom pure and simple, just as there is no such thing as pure nature: there is either nature with grace or nature with sin; there is either the freedom of God’s children or interior slavery to one’s own wretchedness.’  
Fernando Ocáriz, God as Father in the Message of Blessed Josemaría Escriva, (Scepter, 1994),

 

NOTE: The final class of the course included a discussion about ways to grow in living as a child of God and helping others do this, and the implications for experiencing freedom, sharing ideas either that have helped us personally or as a parent, grandparent, catechist, convert to Christianity, relative or friend.

Recommended Reading

RECOMMENDED READING
Course Notes, Chapter 2 | VIEW 
FURTHER READING:
L. Buch, New Mediterraneans, 2018, Chapter 1.  Available as a free ebook from the Opus Dei website. |  VIEW
J.M. Barrio, ‘Educating in Freedom’ |  VIEW
J. M. Barrio, ‘Parental Authority’ | VIEW
VIDEOS
Childlike Freedom | VIEW
Project Advent – Freedom to Fail | VIEW

SESSION 4: WILL, REASON, AND THE SENTIMENTS IN THE EXERCISE OF FREEDOM

How do the intellect, will and sentiments influence our freedom? Sometimes we prioritize one over the others, in theory or in practice, resulting in voluntarism, rationalism or sentimentalism. How can we integrate these so we can grow in interior freedom?

 

Recommended Reading

Course Notes, Chapter 3  | VIEW
FURTHER READINGS
A. Villar, ‘Educating for Life’​  |  VIEW
J.M. Martin & J. de la Vega, ‘Temperance and Self Mastery I’ |  VIEW
​   J.M. Martin & J. de la Vega, ‘Temperance and Self Mastery II’ |  VIEW
‘Interior Quiet in the Digital Age’ | VIEW
E. Sri, Men, Women, and the Mystery of Love (Servant, 2007)  | VIEW
M. Esparza, Self-Esteem Without Selfishness |(Scepter, 2013)  VIEW
J. Burggraf, Made for Freedom (Scepter, 2012) | VIEW
VIDEOS
A Kinder, Gentler Philosophy of Success, Alain de Botton | VIEW
The Power of Vulnerability, Brené Brown | VIEW
​I have shown these in previous courses so you may have already seen them.

SESSION 5: CONDITIONS FOR THE EXPANSION OF FREEDOM

St. Josemaría understood freedom first and foremost as the freedom to choose good: namely, the capacity to love, freedom to love. In this class we will look at some external conditions that allow the growth of freedom.

Recommended Reading

RECOMMENDED READING
Course Notes, Chapter 4  | VIEW 
FURTHER READING 

Christian Respect for Persons and Their Freedom’, in Christ is Passing By  VIEW
J.A. Arana & C.J. Errazuriz, ‘Parents’ Right to Educate Their Children I’ | VIEW
J.A. Arana & C.J. Errazuriz, ‘Parents’ Right to Educate Their Children II’  |  VIEW
‘Free to Build the Future’ | VIEW
​VIDEOS
Archbishop Desmond Tutu: The Power of Freedom  | VIEW
Father, I’m Jewish  | VIEW
Freedom and Friendship  | VIEW

Finally, this is a link to the trailer of the film ‘There Be Dragons’. It is fiction, however it covers real events 
from the life of Saint Josemaría. It is an interesting film for thinking about freedom and the consequences of our choices for inner freedom. One of the main themes of the film is forgiveness, in the context of the events of the Spanish Civil War. If you haven’t seen the film you might find it a helpful complement to this course.
There Be Dragons – Trailer | VIEW