Today’s Latin phrase for men is also the state motto of West Virginia: “Montani semper liberi,” which translates “Mountain men are always free.”

I don’t know where it originally comes from, so if you do know, leave the answer in the comments below.

I like this Latin quote because it reminds me that freedom isn’t merely remaining a citizen of a free nation. There are free Americans who are slaves to their addictions, cubicles, and vices. To be free is to pursue the challenges of the world. To become fully alive on the face of this earth.

And the mountains. There is something about the mountains that humbles us. They are ancient. We are new. They are vast. We are tiny. And yet in our freedom, we can climb them and descend them.

Every religious culture has built its temples, shrines, and churches on mountains. Jerusalem itself is on a mount. Rome is the city on seven mountains. The mountain is the natural means by which men ascend to something higher than themselves. This tired ascent is the sacramental sign of freedom.

Become free. Become a free montanus – a mountain man.