“I have set before you today life and good, and death and evil. I call the heavens and the earth to witness about you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore choose life so you and your descendants may live, by loving the Lord your God, listening to His voice, and clinging to Him. For He is your life and the length of your days.”Deuteronomy, 30:15
Salvation is not the election of the worthiness of blood or deeds, but of faith.
Nothing humbles more than to accept that Faith itself comes as a gift to the justification of the believers that in goodwill surrendered before the Love of God alone.
And only through Faith in the Love of God can our own freedom be perfectly justified and experienced.
The scary thing about freedom is the independence of the spirit from the pretensions of the control of power and knowledge. We learn to be condescending with lies throughout all our lives, to accept the appearance of truth as truth regardless of the spiritual consequences of our choices. We always look for safety, insurance, risk management, and guarantees, and that makes our spiritual life more and more opaque with time. Why do our hearts get cold and petrified? Because we learn to do business with this world, we learn to be idolaters and adulterers, to the point that the pure freedom of belief, the only way to receive the Faith in the Love of God in the purity of living by Grace, looks like an impossible thing to achieve, or even like foolishness.
To the malice of this world, pure Faith is like a joke, a scam; it’s make-believe, wishful thinking.
But this malice hides ignorance. Lacking spiritual discernment, the mind can’t see through that opaqueness of the heart to check the belief that lies there: the Gnostic belief, in salvation through knowledge and power. The eagerness to judge the innocence of the Faith blinds the minds of the proud for their own naivety: they are lost in their despise for the Love of God because they have no escape from this cage in which they jumped and locked themselves in.
Malice and distrust are at the core of this evil and dark path denounced by Moses in his warning. There is no escape from this because that is the fruit of the freedom of belief that each person has, the sovereignty of the human spirit to make the ultimate choice.
So, we can choose our destiny after all.
But is this choice what the world understands as freedom?
Master of your fate? Captain of your soul?
To check the absolute abomination practiced in this adulterous and idolater world, we can look for the summary of the worldly belief in “freedom” –which is actually Liberty, the idolatry of human freedom away from all notion of good and evil– represented in this poem from William Ernest Henley, called Invictus.
Check this out and try not to vomit:
“Out of the night that covers me
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance,
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate
I am the captain of my soul.“Invictus” by William Ernest Henley
A generous soul could have some hope for a good spiritual meaning behind all this, but I can’t have any hope by myself. In this consists the stubbornness of the human resilience: the spiritual slavery to the Curse and the cult of lies of the Humanism.
We are made free to choose life and good, and that is not achievable in the misery of our life without God: only His Love can give us the blessings of life, real peace, and joy.
Out of the belief in the Love of God, our freedom only points out to evil and darkness: the void and absurdity of existence without Love. Only a very ephemeral pride can survive for a while in the lie of darkness, and even that through endless unrecognized blessings sustaining life. The idolatry lives on borrowed time given by the Love of God to sustain the very freedom that is used to reject Love.
Nothing will be more humiliating than this in the End, and that is why the warning from Moses is so important and universal. People should just know what they are getting into.
Yes, you can choose your destiny: to believe in the Love of the Almighty as the source, the destiny and the meaning of your life (“For He is the life and the length of your days“), or to believe in more mature and grown-up ideas like suggested in the poem.
You can be before God as a child in need of love or like an adult in need of honor.
You can surrender to Love and be conquered by the Holy Spirit, or you can have an “unconquerable soul”.
You can be humble and accept your need for Love, or you can be “unbowed”.
You can be honest about your fear of evil and death, and your desire to live forever in peace and joy, to find Mercy, or you can be fearless and “unafraid”.
You can be saved by the Good Shepherd, or you can be the “master of your fate” and the “captain of your soul”.
You can choose life or death, good or evil.