Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Independence Day....

This Wednesday once again we happily celebrate our independence as a nation. For many, it is a time for barbecues, picnics and vacations. It is a time to remember the great land in which we have the good fortune to live. Geographically, it is beautiful: the forests and the meadows, the mountains and hills, the lakes, rivers, streams and two great oceans. It is rich in fertile soil and minerals. It is rich and beautiful in the diversity of its citizens. We have much to be thankful for.

Without question, there are many ills in this land. The USA is not Heaven. As people who appreciate the sacrifices and work of our predecessors, we hopefully are making our own efforts to correct injustice, prejudice, hatred and greed wherever and whenever we see them. We can always rely on the power of the vote—that is to vote for the representative who has character and is the more honest and believes in serving rather than power. But, we should also do our part to be fine citizens.

There is an unhealthy attitude of selfishness today. It was probably always around, but personal greed seems more apparent today. It is that demeanor by which one takes rather than gives. It sees America as a way to make an easy buck, to have a carefree life without responsibility. It is a prevailing belief in entitlements—what can the government do for me rather than what can I do to make our country better. Sacrifice has no place in this climate.

We might, this week especially, remember the character of good men like George Washington and those who fought for our independence as a nation. They simply did what was right—even if it meant risking their lives to end oppression. We should pray to God to have the same sense of right and the willingness to sacrifice for it. Now, is the time to live and work for justice, peace, and love. Particularly, let us do so for those who are not able to defend or help themselves: the sick, the poor, the homeless, the discriminated, and the unborn.

Fr. Stanley