The month of July calls to mind so many wonderful memories: beautiful summer weather, 4th of July fireworks, cookouts with the smell of barbecue, family reunions, freedom and the year 1776. I also think about powerful symbols such as the American Flag (and The Star-Spangled Banner), the bald eagle, the Liberty Bell, the President and his White House.
Living in New York, how can I forget the Statue of Liberty?!
July is a time to give thanks to God for all that is good in the USA. There are a plethora of Biblical passages which teach us that Heaven is our true homeland. Before all else, I am a Catholic, a Christian, a Son of God, a believer and follower of Jesus... Keeping that truth in mind, we are then called to love the land where we are. The virtue of Patriotism is simply a love for one's country. There is another plethora of Biblical passages (and examples from Church history) which teach us to be, in the words of the dying St. Thomas Moore, "the King's good servant, but God's first".
July is a time to pray for the USA. Like an Old Testament prophet I must cry out that there is a pile of evidence that we are losing our way as a country. Politcal spin and influential cultural trends have had their effect on so many of us. Time to return to the LORD!
The month of July now calls to mind the dictator it is named after: Julius Caesar. Let's learn a lesson from history and take note of the depravity which toppled the great Roman Empire. We are more comfortable with conservative vs. liberal, right vs. left rather than right vs. wrong.
In all our confusion where can we turn to know the truth? What still unites us? In what ways do my opinions clash with what God has revealed? July is a time to pray...
+ Fr. Luke M. Fletcher, CFR
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