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Life is Difficult…
Free choice. This is the centermost reality of our human lives. As Sirach writes: “When God, in the beginning, created man, he made him subject to his own free choice” (Sirach 15:14). It is this truth that makes us human in the fullest sense. When God made us, he gave us both intellect and free will. He made us both body and soul. We are both temporal and mortal as well as spiritual and eternal beings. This reality makes our free choices in this life infinitely important. Life is difficult. It is difficult because we are presented with choices, small and large, on a regular basis. And reality dictates that our every choice has its corresponding consequences. It is the burden of a mature person to make choices and, at the same time, to be willing to bear the consequences of those choices, both the good and the bad. Because we are not divine and cannot know all things, we often have to make choices with incomplete knowledge and too little experience. Sometimes we even make choices based on our own ignorances. And on many occasions we make choices in the heat of emotion. It makes no difference what our intentions might have been, the consequences for those decisions are inevitable. More importantly, they belong to us for having made that choice. Sirach deepens our reflection on the idea of our free will by telling us: “If you choose you can keep the commandments; it is loyalty to do his will (Verse 15). This is a very clear and practical admonition for us. In order to use our free will more in line with God’s will, we must study, know, and practice obeying his commandments. The more we know them and understand them, the more possible it will be for…