“Our freedom always has this marvelous power to make what is taken from us—by life, events, or other people—into something offered.

Externally there is no visible difference, but internally everything is transfigured: fate into free choice, constraint into love, loss into fruitfulness.

Human freedom is of absolutely unheard-of greatness. It does not confer the power to change everything, but it does empower us to give a meaning to everything, even meaningless things; and that is much better.” – Fr. Jacques Philippe, p. 58, Interior Freedom

Freedom is one of God’s greatest gifts to us. We may not even realize how we utilize our freedom in everything we do. We have been given, as Fr. Jacques Philippe has put it, a marvelous power to give intentionality to everything in our lives.

Could you imagine the difference we could make if we freely choose to give every little thing in our lives meaning? We could choose to wake up and thank God for a fresh start. We can choose to be kind and to be grateful. When we feel weak and are struggling to make it through our day, we can choose to offer it up for a specific intention. When we feel overwhelmed with life’s inevitable choices, we can choose to feel grateful for all the opportunities God presents us with. When we feel stressed about a project at work, we can choose to feel motivated by the challenge.

When we use our freedom to choose intention in everything, what was hard becomes worthwhile, what was irritating becomes motivating, what was suffering becomes transformative, what was meaningless becomes purposeful.

Using our God-given freedom to give purpose to our life can draw us closer to God simply because he allows us to do so. Pope Benedict XVI says that freedom is not only a gift, but it also summons a personal responsibility. This month, let us take on the responsibility that this divine freedom entails and choose intention in everything we do. As we celebrate freedom this July, may we also celebrate our ability to use our freedom to choose to draw closer to God in everything we do.

God, grant us the courage to choose intention in all that we do. Allow us to use our freedom to grow deeper in our relationship with you. May we be trailblazers of change and servants of your love. Amen.