We just finished celebrating the birthday of our Declaration of Independence which became a reality at the conclusion of the Revolutionary War. This annual celebration reminds us that our independence and the freedoms gained were achieved only after the sacrifices made by many brave men and women. However, that freedom is not absolute. It’s freedom to live nobly and do good. As the bible tells us, “Live as free men but do not use your freedom as a cloak for vice.” (1 Peter 2:16) and “My brothers, remember that you have been called to live in freedom—but not a freedom that gives free rein to the flesh.” (Gal 5:13).
One of our most cherished freedoms is the freedom of religion. In more than a few places around the world, Christians don’t enjoy that freedom. Christians are persecuted and slaughtered in some places. They are even forbidden to openly practice their faith. It’s not that bad here in the U.S. However, freedom of religion is being more narrowly defined than it ever has been in the past. Governmental laws, policies and judicial decisions are stifling the religious freedom of individuals and religious institutions involved in charitable and educational endeavors.
In recognition of these infringements on the freedom of religion, churches throughout the country participated in the Fortnight for Freedom. It was a time of prayer for religious freedom and raising awareness to the challenges eroding this freedom. Let us pray that our country which boasts of tolerance may be tolerant of sincere religious beliefs outside of church buildings as well as inside.
- Fr. Carl
“If something uncharitable is said in your
presence, either speak in favor of the absent, or
withdraw, or if possible, stop the conversation.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars