As discussed in the last article in this series, in order to know what we ought to do to be happy, we must understand who we are, which means understanding what we are. If we desire to be truly happy, we must learn the truth about ourselves. That deepest truth is found in our identity in the reality that each of us is a beloved son or daughter God, created in his image and likeness. This is a monumental statement; it is a life’s work to unpack more and more its meaning for our lives. At the same time, it should immediately have an effect upon our actions in the world. We should strive to live each day trying to live in the “glorious freedom” that we have as the sons of God.
If we are serious about living this reality, we should ask ourselves each day “what prevents me from living in that glorious freedom rooted in the truth of my deepest identity?” More simply, we are asking, “Why it is difficult to be free?” Because freedom is intimately bound up with truth, we are really asking, “Why do we struggle to know and accept our identity as beloved children of the Lord?”
To answer this question, we must return to the story of man’s creation and man’s fall from grace. In the beginning, God had a plan for man’s freedom which did not involve us going against the truth about ourselves. However, Adam and Eve chose to believe the lie of the serpent and place ourselves at the center of the world. When Adam and Eve sinned they lost the original freedom into which they had been born and in which they lived until the fall. Because they are our original parents, their actions had consequences not only for themselves but for the rest of humanity as well. When they were sent from the garden, we too were sent out from the garden. This is original sin. We struggle to know who we are not because God has abandoned us but because we have abandoned Him. Humanity became enslaved to sin, and concupiscence (a tendency to do evil) became a part of the human condition. The effects of sin were then and are now a loss of freedom to live and love God both individually and communally.
Because of original sin, each of us is wounded in all of our faculties: In our intellect, we can’t see the truth clearly; it is as if “for now we see in a mirror, dimly,”and struggle to recognize the truth in many situations. Also, we have a weakened will and place more importance on lower goods to the detriment of higher goods, often failing to choose the best good. In our passions we are often drawn towards what is not truly beautiful but what is actually base. We also suffer the effects of each other’s sins as a community and we are led to the temptation to sin by situations which are the direct result of other people’s actions. These effects do not remove our natural dignity nor destroy our nature but do make it difficult to be happy since they inhibit our ability to know and choose the good.
We might ask ourselves at this point why God gave us freedom at all. Wouldn’t it be better if no one could do something wrong or evil?
This is a rephrasing of an age old question asked by people since the fall. Why does God permit evil? As the CCC reminds us “to this question, as pressing as it is unavoidable and as painful as it is mysterious, no quick answer will suffice.” “With infinite power, God could always create something better. But with infinite wisdom and goodness God freely willed to create a world “in a state of journeying” towards its ultimate perfection.” Even in the garden Adam and Eve were journeying towards something and becoming perfected.
The communion with the Trinity which Adam and Eve were created to attain, was to be attained with full respect for their status as intelligent and free creatures.” Because of this man and woman “have to journey toward their ultimate destinies by their free choice and preferential love.” Because of this, “They can therefore go astray [and] indeed, they have sinned. Thus has moral evil, incommensurably more harmful than physical evil, entered the world. God is in no way, directly or indirectly, the cause of moral evil. He permits it, however, because he respects the freedom of his creatures” 
God will not force us to love him… because such an action would be contrary to the dignity of our free will and the truth of our humanity. Free will is a fundamental part of human activity. That we are free to choose is what makes human actions precisely human actions as opposed to any other animal’s action. As the Catechism reminds us “As long as freedom has not bound itself definitively to its ultimate good which is God, there is the possibility of choosing between good and evil, and thus of growing in perfection or of failing and sinning. This… is the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach.” Thus, God gives us freedom in order that we might be able to love, and respects this freedom (by allowing the consequences of our actions) even when we do not use it for this purpose.
 1 Corinthians 13:12
 CCC 309
 CCC 310
 CCC 311, cf. Veritatis Splendor 38, Gaudium et Spes 17
 CCC 1732