Pastor's Corner

2024 06-30  Independence Day and Gratitude for the Freedoms we Enjoy

Written by: Father Neil Herlihy

This coming Thursday we celebrate the Fourth of July, Independence Day.  On this day, we celebrate the birth of our nation, and we are encouraged to cherish in a very special way the many freedoms we enjoy in this country.  We are blessed to enjoy these freedoms, and they should never be taken for granted.

As we know, we live in difficult and uncertain times.  There is uncertainty in our world due primarily to wars in Ukraine and Israel.  There is also much division and conflict in our nation due primarily to a rise in crime and illegal drugs, and concerns over our immigration policies.  Much of this division and conflict is reported in our various media outlets on a daily basis.  We also live in a society which over the years has become more secular in its orientation, placing some of our religious freedoms at risk.

Unfortunately, there are those in our society who are attempting to undermine our trust and belief in God, and in the process are distorting our precious freedoms.  As previously noted, on our money bills we proclaim, “In God We Trust.”   As disciples, and as citizens, we are invited to pray that this trust in God may be restored in our nation by our leaders.  Our bishops remind us that there is a need to strengthen the moral foundation of our country, a moral foundation based on faith and trust in the Lord.  There is also a need to reaffirm our commitment to truly make our country “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

The following prayer for Independence Day, titled “A Prayer for Gratitude and Remembrance” provided by the media outlet, “PRAYERSAVES” reminds us to be grateful to God for the freedoms we enjoy:

Gracious God, on this Independence Day, we come before you with hearts full of gratitude for the freedoms we enjoy, and the sacrifices made by those who fought for our independence.
We remember with reverence those who laid down their lives for the cause of liberty.
Their sacrifices inspire us to cherish and protect the freedoms we hold dear.
Help us to be mindful of the responsibilities that come with freedom – to love our neighbors, seek justice, and work for the common good.
May this day be a time of remembrance, thanksgiving, and commitment to the values that our nation was founded upon.
In your name, we pray.  Amen.

As we reflect on this prayer, and as we celebrate Independence Day, we are encouraged to take time to truly appreciate our faith and freedoms, and to be thankful for the many blessings that the Lord has bestowed on us and on our nation.

2024 07-17  National Eucharistic Congress, Indianapolis, July 17th – July 21st
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