A very happy Independence Day to you all! As we gather with our family and friends this weekend, we are especially mindful of all the freedoms we enjoy in this country, and which make our nation truly a great one. We are blessed to enjoy freedoms that other countries do not have and we are blessed that these same freedoms are something that form the very fabric of our society in the United States. That being said, we are also very thankful today for the countless veterans who have served our country in various ways, and those who are currently serving, for their tireless efforts to keep us safe and our freedoms protected. THANK YOU!
Most of us are likely familiar with the famous line found towards the beginning of the Declaration of Independence, stating that, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men 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.” Although the Founding Fathers of our country used these terms vaguely and even disagreed among themselves what this statement meant, our Catholic faith allows us to understand this statement in a more specific way than what they intended when writing it. As Pope St. John Paul II once wrote, “The splendor of truth shines forth in all the works of the Creator and, in a special way, in man, created in the image and likeness of God (cf. Gen 1:26). Truth enlightens man’s intelligence and shapes his freedom, leading him to know and love the Lord.” Further, he explains, “Human freedom and God’s law are not in opposition; on the contrary, they appeal one to the other. The follower of Christ knows that his vocation is to freedom.” As St. Augustine expresses it, “I dare to say that to the extent to which we serve God we are free, while to the extent that we follow the law of sin, we are still slaves.”
We pray for our country always, but especially today, that the laws of our land may reflect the truth of Christ, in which freedom finds its most authentic expression, and in which life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness find their ultimate fulfillment.
Blessings to you all,