Breaking Out of Bondage

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Breaking Out of Bondage

We, both as a society and as individuals, need tools for getting out of bondage.  Who?  Me?  Us?  What kind of bondage could we possibly be in?  For starters, how about our daily media which, by the evils it presents as possibly happening to us, can plunge us in the prison of fear, or are we held in the grip of such everyday things as the opinions of others?  The things we shy away from can indicate our place of bondage.  Some of us remember singing, “Don’t Fence Me In.”  Can we sing the same today and really mean it, or have we built more fences since then?  On the other hand, in Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall” we read that the persona’s neighbor claimed, “Good fences make good neighbors.”  It seems our stance of being in or out of bondage depends on our perspective.  Our ability to concentrate can be a good fence shutting out the noise of the carpenter working in the next room, but it can also cause us to miss fresh vibrations and sensations, new insights and input which could be valuable for our work.  Being always consistent may be another good fence. It can make us a loyal friend, predictable for those who count on us.  It can also make us less open to the surprises of life, less flexible, less willing to give in a difficult situation when a tilt to the left or right could make all the difference in the world. In Christ we “have not received a spirit of bondage so as to be again in fear.”  Surprisingly, Scripture tells us this is not limited to humans alone, for it is the eager longing of all creation to be delivered from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God (cf. Rom. 8:15, 21).  As the second Adam, Christ on the Cross paid the price of our freedom from bondage, but in adopting us as His own, He wants us to be His partners in restoring humankind and all creation not to bondage, but to the pristine harmony which existed in the garden at the beginning of time.

                                                                                    —Mary E. Penrose, OSB

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Sister Mary E. Penrose, OSB

Sister Mary E. Penrose is a Sister of St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, Minnesota. She edits readings for the liturgical Hours and writes reflections for the Community. And she is a tutor for the African Sisters attending The College of St. Scholastica. She was editor of a journal, Spirit & Life, for 18 years.
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