One of the goals of faith is to live in freedom. Freedom is a prerequisite for joy. The freer you are, the greater capacity for joy that you have. It is why Christ wants you to live in freedom. It is why the Church is such a promoter of freedom. But it is a freedom properly understood.
Freedom for our nation comes much closer to the notion of license; I am free to do whatever I want. But license to do whatever one wills often leads to a lessening of freedom, not a greater expression of it.
Let us take just one example: Anger. There is righteous anger about which Scripture says, “If you are angry, let it be without sin.” Then there is destructive anger. How many times I have been taught by well meaning people to let all my anger out. What they don’t mean is deal with anger, what they mean is to scream into a pillow or punch the couch. This is not letting your anger out, it is practicing it.
Remember when you mother used to say, “Don’t do that (use that word, make that face,) because one day it will come out when you don’t want it to.” Mom was spot on and she didn’t have to go to seminary to learn that. Practice your anger enough, and it will come out at the wrong time. But also your anger then has control over you. People, things, and situations also have control over you. Long after the guy cut you off and has completely forgotten that you even exist, he still had control over you if you are steaming and mad and looking for vengeance. He is enjoying the latte that he has just picked up out of his cup holder and you can’t think straight, are plotting revenge, and planning to kick the dog when you got home.
That is not freedom.
WARNING HERE: This does not mean one does not deal with angry feelings. You can’t just push them down. But there are alternatives to letting your anger take over.
What if every time someone cut you off on the road you said a Hail Mary for them instead of doing finger exercises? What if encountering a rude person at the mall drove you to a prayer for them instead of a curse? What if being on hold gave you the opportunity to say a rosary instead of playing projectiles with desk implements? What if nobody could control you again? What if you went wild? What if you were happy?