In the light of our first reading we might ask: Which is the truer human freedom: Being able to do something you want to do, or (out of love) not doing something you would like to do? In our Christian tradition, true freedom is inseparable from love. Thus, just as true love is not possible without true freedom so there is no true freedom without love. For when love is excluded then freedom becomes self-centered and isolates us from others. And since being in loving and self-giving relationship is integral to being human, freedom divorced from love is fundamentally dehumanizing. Unfortunately, Eve and Adam were tricked into believing that freedom could be separated from love, and by eating of the forbidden fruit lost that intimacy with God that had been their great privilege. Monastic asceticism and its efforts to resist slavishly doing what our self-centered hearts urge us to, is not simply about denying ourselves but about growing in love and thereby regaining our true freedom and humanness.