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The Liberty of the Children of God


By Mr. Brian Kelly

Theme: Right and Freedom: Catholic Considerations on Misused

Title:The Liberty of the Children of God

From 2011 SBC Conference

Mr. Kelly’s talk examined the concept of liberty in its misused sense, in its true and natural sense as it proceeds from the embrace of the eternal truth of the natural law, and in its supernatural sense as it manifests itself under grace in the volitional acts of those who are reborn as adopted children of God. Americans have been saturated with expansive notions of liberty, some true, most false, from the time of the revolutionary war until today. Using the wisdom of the saints, Holy Scripture, and Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical “On the Nature of Human Liberty,” Mr. Kelly demonstrates how choosing to do evil, although a free act, is a self-imposed bondage to vice. Sin constricts the soul, narrows its capacity for good, and renders the will lame and blind like a man trying to walk in utter darkness. Kelly provides the more poignant passages from Leo XIII’s brilliant and challenging encyclical, which deal with every aspect of human liberty, and, most importantly, its divine right as due to the Church, and for which we pray the Leonine prayers after Mass. Taking Our Lord’s words, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free,” Mr. Kelly explains how liberty of the spirit is an effect of embracing the revealed truths of Faith. Freedom is not only a freedom from sin, but a freedom to do. To do what? Love God and perform acts of charity for our neighbor.

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