Today we celebrate the day when the United States declared its independence from England in 1776. Much has happened between then and now, and much of that has been troubling. We have lost our spiritual moorings, Catholics as much as anyone else.
We celebrate freedom as though it's a license to satisfy every whim and fancy that we might concoct. However, Catholics need look no further than the Liturgy of the Hours that priests and religious are obliged to pray daily. Many laity do so as well. During Morning Prayer, or Lauds, we pray the prophesy that St Zachary uttered after he bestowed the name "John" on his son, St. John the Baptist. It is called the Benedictus. Read it. I'll bring over the pertinent passage below:
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to set us free from the hands of our enemies, free to worship him without fear, holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.
God gave us our freedom so that we would worship Him and be holy and righteous in His sight. All the other benefits are secondary. However, we have forgotten our obligation to give Him due worship and obedience, squandering our patrimony on our own silly and often wanton cravings. Our nation is ejecting Him from its life. Unless we as a nation turn and repent, we will experience the awful consequences of our rebellion. When we reject Him, we also reject His protection and blessings.
I've written on these themes durinng previous Independence Days. I've quoted 2 Chronicles 7:14. Pursuant to that, I went to Mass this morning and was heartened to see the church almost full. The homily was another matter. The homilist spoke of Thomas Jeffferson and his deist beliefs. He relayed that towards the end of his life, Jefferson received a plea from a Christian man urging his conversion. Jefferson replied that he hoped we'd all get to heaven in our own ways. The homilist approved that attitude of Jefferson's. Ladies and gentlemen, that is indifferentism - not to be lauded from the pulpit. One of the ways that we are to obey God is to preach the Gospel and seek conversions. Jefferson's friend was apparently striving to be obedient to that command and was politely rebuffed by Jefferson. While we can hope that Jefferson repented, we cannot indulge in indifferentism ourselves. Indifferentism is one of the sins that is killing the Church and nation, and it's particularly egregious when committed by Catholic clergy, who are especially tasked with saving souls.
Meanwhile, with the time that each of us still has, let us continue to pray, receive the Sacraments and obey Our Lord.