The Daily Dose

Isaiah 53:5-6

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Jacques Maritain: The Dynamism of Freedom

These things being understood, one immediately perceives the consequence they entail from the point of view of what one can call the dynamism of freedom. The first freedom (freedom of choice) exists for the sake of the second freedom (freedom of spontaneity or of independence) toward which the aspirations of personality themselves tend. I have called this second freedom, freedom of spontaneity or of independence. In order now to describe it more clearly in its relation to the aspirations of the person, we can also call it freedom of exultation and, in the Pauline, not the Kantian, sense, freedom of autonomy.

The freedom of choice, the free will, is not its own end. It is ordained to the conquest of freedom in the sense of freedom of exultation or autonomy. And it is in this conquest, demanded by the essential postulates of human personality, that the dynamism of freedom consists.

In this dynamism are involved two essentially distinct forms, which I can only briefly discuss; a social form and a spiritual one. If we remember what has just been said about the two defeats inflicted in us in respect to the claims of personality in its pure formal line,—one by divine transcendence, and the other by the burden of nature,—we can say that the object of the social form of the dynamism of freedom is to remedy the defeat inflicted by nature; while the object of the spiritual form of this dynamism is to remedy the defeat inflicted by the transcendence of God.

In the order of social life, it thus appears that the end of civil life is a common earthly good and a common earthly undertaking, whose highest values consist in aiding the human person so that it may free itself from the servitudes of nature and achieve its autonomy in regard to the latter.

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