Rules and laws are barriers to one’s conduct. We hear rules and laws and think of freedoms that are being kept from us. Freedom is more than that though.
Think of a school surrounded by cliffs. The children come out for recess, but none of them go anywhere for they fear the cliffs. Now, a fence is put around the school and the children now run around and play during recess. Surely, the barrier that is the fence actually gives the children the freedom that they need.
So, rules and laws sometimes can actually give us freedom and protect it. Sure, some may actually restrict freedom, but we cannot lump in all rules and laws. So, this begs the question of ‘What is freedom?’ if sometimes barriers actually provide us freedom.
Surely, the children appeared free without the fence. Indeed, when we say freedom, many times we really mean able to do what one ought, not whatever one wants. Think about it, some people are murderers and want to murder others or are thieves and want to steal from others. Surely, being able to murder or steal are not what we talk about when we say freedom.
So, while governments make rules and laws to protect the body, the Church goes further and makes rules and laws to protect the soul. Many people do not give proper respect to the soul and eternal life, so they will not see the rules and laws of the Church as loving. The Church wants us to be free to love God and neighbor completely, with body and soul.