Happy Fourth of July! Picnics, festivals, family gatherings, athletic events, fireworks will be among the many activities today. We recall the words of our founders, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men [sic] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” How ever you celebrate, have a great day!
As a country we have much to be proud about ---such as the U.S. Bill of Rights, which guarantees freedom of religion, speech, assembly and the press ---, our nation is that beacon on the hill.
At the same time, our nation also walks in darkness --- Legalized abortion; being one of the world's major arms merchant; possessing the world's most dangerous nuclear arsenal; more than 11 million children living in poverty; rampant pornography; only giving less than 1 percent of its annual income to the poor of the world--- and is in need of healing and spiritual conversion.
A question to reflect on: "Am I a Catholic American? Or am I an American Catholic?" What comes first, our country or our God?
As one writer noted, “The question of whether Christians should help shape public policy and culture is hardly new. In 1935, Benedictine monk and American liturgical pioneer Virgil Michel clearly came down on the side of Catholic involvement in social problems. In a bold essay titled
“Liturgy as the Basis for Social Regeneration,” Michel quoted Popes Pius X and Pius XI to show that what happens at liturgy is the source of the Christian spirit that transforms society. Michel envisioned Catholics pouring out of their parish churches after Mass committed to applying the Christian spirit to economic, political and social problems. Michel’s essay placed the church in the midst of the world as its proper context, not as a transcendent or separate entity existing in some spiritual realm. His writings also affirmed that Catholic lay people are the means by which the Christian spirit reaches out into the modern world; they are the salt, light and leaven that transform the marketplace, factory floor, farm, university and statehouse.”
Our current polarized politics are not good for our country in the long run. There are many hard decisions that need to be made in order for our country to be that true beacon shining on a hill for others to see and imitate. Come Holy Spirit guide us, give us the courage to act. Today we begin a new chapter in our One in Christ Catholic Community. With the diocese having no priest to assign us as a sacramental minister, we will be relying on the generosity of our retired clergy to assist us on weekends. Thank you to Fathers Tim Baltes, Geno Doyle, Ralph Zimmerman, and Tom Olson who will be the primary retired clergy assisting us on weekends.
Have a faith filled week,