Holy Family

Holy Family

Monday, July 4, 2011

Feast of Saint Elizabeth of Portugal

Good morning. Happy Birthday America! As I reflected upon the readings for today and thought about it being the Birthday of our country, I couldn’t help but wonder if the Declaration of Independence were to be written today would it be anywhere near the same document. Today we read in our first reading from the Book of Genesis how if Jacob remains true to God he and his descendents will be blessed and God will protect them. Our Psalm for today is taken from Psalm 91 in which we say to the LORD, "My refuge and fortress, my God in whom I trust.” And, in the Gospel we read of how Jesus cured the people and yet they ridiculed Him. Our first reading suggests that God rewards and protects those, including nations, who earnestly seek him, yet as a nation we can neither expect to receive God’s Blessings nor expect to receive His protection. As a nation, indifference and unbelief has become the mainstay cultural phenomenon. It is unlikely, were the Declaration of Independence to be written today, that God would be a consideration. Of late there is increasing push for eliminating “In God We Trust” from federal buildings and coinage; in fact there is an ever-increasing push to eliminate God entirely from the social consciousness. I recall the fight here in Indiana over placing our nation’s motto on our license plates. Imagine that! Media, literature, art are all are a reflection of the soul of a nation. Yet do we find God there? Do we find God in the recent passage in New York State of the Marriage Equality Act? This bill introduced by Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York, who claims to be Roman Catholic, declares that marriage is a fundamental human right. That is correct, marriage is a fundamental right, but the good lawmakers, including Mark Grisanti (R-Buffalo), who said that although he is a practicing Catholic, “I cannot legally come up with an argument against same-sex marriage”, are confused. For starters, my good legislators, equality is not equivalent to sameness. Marriage from the beginning of time, by its very definition is a union limited to one man and one woman, not two men, or a man and a monkey, but one man and one woman. The recent passage of legislation which clearly ridicules God is a reflection of the current-day religion within this country, a religion of the Self, a religion based on personal success and the achievement of one's own goals and self-aggrandizement. From the beginning and even now we do not need to be told what marriage is. “But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother (and be joined to his wife), and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh.” The Marriage Equality Act is not about marriage, as marriage is something which can only be enjoyed by one man and one woman. No, it is about destroying what is good and decent in this country. It is about eliminating the basic anthropology and sense of common good which has served to protect family and children for over 5,000 years. More and more in order to be considered belonging to the American culture, as Catholics we are being asked to remain silent on the moral issues of our time. Even from within the pews the message is “Be your own Catholic!” Sin has become a thing of the past; within America today it is about what works for me. The future for America appears mighty bleak. May heaven help us. I console myself with the words of Blessed Pope John Paul II: “Do not be afraid!” The task that awaits us is enormous, but we must believe as Charles Carroll did that all things are possible with God; we must not turn away, we must live out our daily lives and our marriages as reflections of the Love of Christ, to make known His presence in our lives as best we can and leave to God the outcome. Happy Birthday America! Make a great day!

Today we recall the good life, gifts, and works of Saint Elizabeth of Portugal. We likewise as Americans take time to recall the courage and faith of our Founding Fathers, and take time to enjoy the liberties their courage and faith provided for us.

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