This weekend as we celebrate the Fourth of July, we relish the liberty for which our forefathers fought and sacrificed. We are the land of liberty, freedom, and opportunity. And while freedom is a great blessing, it is not enjoyed by all people around the world. Freedom is not an end in itself. Otherwise, it becomes a false idol; it takes the place of God, the only one we should adore. Freedom has limits and boundaries which, if not respected, lead to chaos, violence, and self destruction. St. Peter, in the New Testament, tells us, “Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cloak for vice.” (1 Peter 2:16)
And Pope St. John Paul II teaches us that, “Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.” (Homily of His Holiness John Paul II, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, October 8, 1995)
One of the blessings that God bestowed upon the human race was free will or freedom. We know from the story of Adam and Eve what happened when they abused that gift (Genesis 2 and 3). Satan entered into human history, and we have had problems ever since.
Today, our religious liberty and freedom is being threatened by the courts, legislature, and executive branch of the government which wants to restrict freedom of religion to the four walls of our church buildings. Some of the teachings of the Bible and our moral beliefs are being labeled as hate speech and bigotry because they contradict the views of modern culture. The late Cardinal George of Chicago opined that while he expected to die in his home, his successor would die in prison, and his successor would die as a martyr. Perhaps that insight is a bit far-fetched. However, many years ago when Margaret Sanger was told that legal contraception would lead to abortion, she said that would never happen. Well it did. What will happen to freedom of religion if we do nothing?
“Although the good God does not allow us to see him, he is none the less present in the Blessed Sacrament; none the less ready to grant us all we ask.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars