Happy 4th of July! We celebrate freedom this day, but at a time where our freedoms have slowly eroded over the past 2 decades, and more severely in the past 4 years. Pier Giorgio Frassati stood up to the rise of Facism in his day, during the time that Mussolini was on the rise to power. As defined by Merriam-Webster, Facism is a way of organizing a society in which a government ruled by a dictator controls the lives of the people and in which people are not allowed to disagree with the government.
While we can be grateful that our founders sought to prevent this kind of government, we have witnessed legislation and recent Supreme Court Decisions that, while not preventing us from disagreeing with the government, comes with a hefty price-tag when we do. Our country has required nuns asked to compromise their conscience. It has demanded business owners cater events contrary to their beliefs (by labeling it discrimination), or pay for certain “health” coverage that has nothing to do with health, and everything to do with forcing a secular belief system.
Now is the time for the New Evangelization. A time for young Christians to embrace the model of Pier Giorgio Frassati. It is time to show we are Christian through the love of Christ. This means a willingness to love no matter what the cost. What is Christian love in a society that has forgotten Christ?
- Talk to the homeless on the side of a street, and break bread with them. Seek to know, listen and discover ways to help them.
- Invest time with your families, and repair broken relationships.
- Forgive those whom have hurt you, remembering Christ forgave us while nailed to a cross.
- Visit those in prison, and be a sign of love and hope for them.
- Embrace those who are homosexual and fight for their dignity and freedom, while standing up for His truth that homosexual behaviors can never bring about true life and true freedom… but relationships founded in chastity can.
- Love the single mother seeking an abortion, and give them hope that the child in her womb is hope for our future. Help her to see that abortion will bind her, not free her, and there are many who are willing to help.
- Give to all who ask, without judging what they might do with your gift.
- Be willing to stand up for Truth with love. Don’t judge and don’t presume anyone’s intentions.
This is what Christ taught, and repeatedly, lives lived this way draw others to them. They bring about true freedom, but true freedom does not mean freedom from suffering. Rather true love expressed unconditionally will require suffering. This is the mystery of the cross.
May we all truly treasure what we have been given, for it can all be taken away in but a moment. Happy Independence Day!