In the face of renewed forms of abuse of freedom, we hope to recognize anew the importance of the Declaration of Independence anchoring our rights in God and not in the whims of people with political and/or social influence. Clearly,
“once God is forgotten, the creature is lost sight of as well”
(Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World of Vatican II, #36)
. With the Psalmist, humanity cries out:
“Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy”
We see in the struggle of St. Paul and his public trials the victory of grace in the midst of weakness. We pray for this faith as we face so many challenges as Christian Americans.
“Man therefore is divided in himself. As a result, the whole life of men, both individual and social, shows itself to be a struggle, and a dramatic one, between good and evil, between light and darkness. Man finds that he is unable of himself to overcome the assaults of evil successfully, so that everyone feels as though bound by chains. But the Lord himself came to free and strengthen man, renewing him inwardly and casting out the ‘prince of this world’
who held him in the bondage of sin”
As we celebrate the legitimate progress humanity has experienced in recognizing the dignity and natural rights of each person,
“our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.”
We continue to work with all people of good will in seeking the truth in love together.
“By his power to know himself in the depths of his being, he rises above the whole universe of mere objects. When he is drawn to think about his real self, he turns to those deep recesses of his being where God who probes the heart awaits him, and where he himself decides his own destiny in the sight of God”
. The “heart” is the place where we decide for or against the God who made us and all of creation for our care and enjoyment out of love. When we place our hands over our hearts as proud Catholics and proud citizens of America, may we always look to the source of goodness and life.
In Christ, son of Mary,