Freedom. The human desire for freedom is something that inheritanly lives within all of us, something we strive for and protect. Human beings are willing to fight and die for freedom. As Americans, this Memorial Day we will remember those who died in the service of our country. Also as Catholics we will reflect on the meaning of true freedom and thank God for the Chruch which is the way to that freedom, freedom we as Catholics are called to live in the fullest.
We honor those in my cirlce of family and friends as well as yours who paid the ultimate price for the freedom that we all enjoy as Americans. My fear is that too many Americans today have diminished the meaning of freedom or distorted it beyond what we recognize. True freedom is much deeper and more meaningful.
Take the HHS Mandate, and our religious freedom that is coming under attack. We as Catholics have to stand up for our freedom, just as the Church who has defended the dignity and freedom of the human person for two-thousand years. For a deeper reflection on freedom that what we will get from the media or a typical Memorial Day event, the Church teaches us that freedom is derived from nature and the whole of our humanity. We know that we are more than the material world, for we have the capacity to “appreciate creation and give thanks”.
One of the reasons why we as human beings are willing to fight and die for freedom is because the need for freedom is imprinted onto our very nature. By virtue of our ability to reason and our free will, we are impelled to seek the truth, especially religious truth! And having found truth, we are obligated to live it to the best of our ability.
Consequently, it is the obligation of the state to ensure that its citizens are free to exercise their religious freedom. However, if the state fails in its obligation, or is attacked by another state, then, at some point, human beings will rightly and necessarily fight and die for true freedom.
This Memorial Day Catholics rightly honor our fallen brothers and sisters, but we also remember our Church, who has defended the dignity and freedom of the human person for over two-thousand years.