Fr. Paul D. Scalia: Freedom’s Two Prepositions

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*Image: Salvator Mundi by Andrea Previtali, 1519 [National Gallery, London]

By Fr. Paul D. Scalia, The Catholic Thing, June 26, 2022

Fr. Paul Scalia is a priest of the Diocese of Arlington, VA, where he serves as Episcopal Vicar for Clergy and Pastor of Saint James in Falls Church. He is the author of That Nothing May Be Lost: Reflections on Catholic Doctrine and Devotion and the editor of Sermons in Times of Crisis: Twelve Homilies to Stir Your Soul.


Fr. Paul D. Scalia“For freedom Christ has set you free.” (Gal 5:1) It’s a curious line from Saint Paul. What does it mean to be freed for freedom? Is that a tautology? Circular reasoning? As always, some context is in order.

Saint Paul writes to remind the Galatians that the Gospel had freed them from the Law of Moses and to warn them against lapsing back into the slavery of legalism. At the same time, he admonishes them not to use their freedom “as an opportunity for the flesh.” Their freedom was for charity, to “serve one another through love.” They were freed from slavery so that they could live freely for Christ. For freedom Christ had set them free. …

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