Transforming Freedom

Post Date: May 20, 2022
Author: Laura Stephens

They flutter around with such ease and grace. Seeing them with uneducated eyes, we would not know how strange their journey to this moment has been. Their sense of freedom does not reflect the challenges they have endured.

Weary and almost defenseless caterpillars must struggle along on the ground for their daily needs. They know not where their food comes from or how to create the food itself. They do only what they know to do – eat and survive. At the appointed time, they are called to a radical situation of entering a chrysalis where it seems the caterpillar’s life is over or surely at a dead end. However, that is far from the plan of the Creator! He is transforming the caterpillar in the silent, remote space of the chrysalis where its life will never be the same again.  When its preparation and transformation is complete, what emerges is an intricately formed butterfly. After a few moments allowing its new set of wings to dry, the butterfly takes off with ease and a newfound freedom. No longer bound to crawl on the ground but free to go where the wind urges them. They have a fabulous diet of sweet nectar to nourish their body, and they give delight to our eyes as we marvel at their grace and freedom.

What am I speaking of can also refer to ourselves. This is the journey of our conversion where we take on the new life of Jesus and enter into the miracle of transformation.  Our souls are called to die to ourselves and to rise with Christ filled with a newness of purpose and mission.

So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

As sinful humans, we wander aimlessly looking for the next thing to fill our appetites. We are not always aware that there is a freedom that calls to us. We must go through our own times of being in a chrysalis so that we can be cleansed and made ready for our true purpose. When we allow ourselves to go through that awkward and tough purification, we feel such a freedom as never before – almost as though we are flying and no longer bound by our human feet alone.  It is our souls that sense this freedom and draw our actions, choices, and lives into this new way of life. He provides for us the sweetest of nectar in the Eucharist that fully feeds our souls for the journey of our lifetime.

For I know well the plans I have in mind for you…plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope.Jeremiah 29:11 

We are not finished after our transformation like a butterfly is, but we must daily strive for conversion of heart and body. How desperately our lives need to rely on God’s plan! We cannot know the details He has in store for us because we can often only handle one day at a time.  It is His mercy and love for us that does not reveal before the perfect time what He wants for us for our good and holiness. His path is perfect even if it does not make sense to us. Often as we reflect and look back at God’s working in our lives, we can see that each step of the way was leading to where we are now. We will struggle and some days seem like we are more adrift, but we are never alone. God provides us with all that we need if we but allow ourselves to be lead, renewed, and loved daily by Him.

At the conclusion of the Gospel for today, Jesus says:

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – Jn 14:6

Allow Jesus to be the way for us to follow, the truth for us to rely on, and the life for us to exist for. May He transform us into our own majestic, holy people.

May this continuation of the Easter celebration bring a sense of newness and a reliance on God to each of our souls.

Author: Laura Stephens, FF Sacrament Preparation Catechist

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