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Friday Thoughts – George Harrison and True Freedom

I watched a Martin Scorsese directed documentary on the quiet Beatle, George Harrison. As a musician, I have profound respect for him. He was a terrific songwriter because he was able to communicate in song what people were feeling. He was able to direct emotion outwards from his Rickenbacker, or Strat, or Martin. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” remains one of my favorite songs of all time.

This documentary went through not just his musical life but his personal life. I found out he was raised Catholic. Baptismal graces laid latent with him, even when he pursued Indian mysticism. I have no doubt he pursued the God whom he encountered as a child. He said he was turned off by the rules and lack of encounter, no doubt in line with the thinking of his contemporaries. He found “what was lacking in Catholicism” in Indian mysticism. Where rules bound him as a child, a freedom in meditation allowed him to roam unchartered territory.

What I found interesting was the general distrust or desire to be free from his body both expressed by him and by his widow about him. For a man who was so sensual in his style and demeanor, he desired nothing more than to be free from the senses.

What he saw in his sensuality was incomplete and so he made the false assumption that it is in spirituality devoid of sense that one is free and at peace.

We are made as body and soul and are meant to be such, to be perfected as such, despite our own degradation of the body we have been given. Original sin doesn’t get enough credit here.

I believe he desired freedom, but was led not towards true freedom in the cross of Christ, but, rather ironically enough, only a material freedom. Spiritual freedom cannot occur by our own work, even through meditation. We only become free through the salvation of the Paschal Mystery.

About Fr. Kyle

I am a priest of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. I was born and raised right outside New Orleans. I attended Catholic school my entire educational career. By the time I graduated high school, I had two paths to choose: rockstar or priesthood. I pursued both for awhile but eventually came to the understanding God's will was priesthood and my will was rockstardom. After making that decision, to allow God's will to be mine, I needed a new way to channel my creativity. I began writing as I finished up my formation for priesthood. I still play music, but priestly ministry comes first. My bride: St. Rita of Cascia Parish in Harahan, LA.

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