OSV Alive in Christ Logo
Understanding Our Catholic Faith

How We Know God’s Will: Free Will

Free Will

For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another.
Galatians 5:13-14

Free Will

God wants humans to come freely to his love. Free will gives you the power to make choices and to act on them. This is both the right and the responsibility of Catholics trying to be disciples of Jesus. Humans don't always choose to do good. Sometimes they choose to sin. If you cannot freely decide how to act, you cannot truly choose what is good.

You mature spiritually and morally as you exercise your free will. You learn from your good choices as well as from your mistakes. Free will makes you accountable. God asks you to be part of his plan and then lets you choose your response.


Within every person is a conscience that moves him or her to make good choices and avoid bad choices. Scripture and Tradition feed and inform your growing conscience as you navigate through the various choices in your life. The Holy Spirit is always ready to assist you. Your informed conscience brings you closer to God and the Christian community.


  • What feelings or thoughts does the statement "Free will makes you accountable" raise in you?
  • What people or events have been most important in forming your conscience?
  • What steps have you taken to allow Scripture and Tradition to inform your conscience?


Lord Jesus, open me to the still voice within, where I will find guidance and direction to lovingly do your will. Amen.

resource thumbnail

Catholic-Parent Know How

An easy-to-use, practical guide helps parents be informed and engaged in the faith formation of their child.


resource thumbnail

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha: People of Faith Cards

Children encounter models of our Catholic faith through these beautifully illustrated People of Faith cards. Contains a prayer and brief biography on the back of each card.

$7.95 (25-pack)