Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Reflections

This morning I attended mass. The mass was held at the beautiful prayer garden on the grounds of my parish at St. Michael. It was a beautiful ceremony. I hope that there will be more opportunities to have mass service in the prayer garden. I am going to borrow some of Father Larry's talking points in his homily as material for reflections.

Today we celebrate Memorial Day. Today we remember the sacrifices of those who have served and continue to serve our country in the armed forces. Today we remember those who have paid the ultimate price and lost their lives in defense of our country. Today we are reminded of the great evil that is war. Today we give thanks for our freedom, a freedom which many people even today do not enjoy.

As we reflect on this freedom, a freedom God yearns for all people, we reflect on how freedom is lost and why freedom is not guaranteed to all people. Our country's veterans and the men and woman currently serving in our military forces are responsible for protecting our country and for protecting the freedoms we are guaranteed in our country. Ironically even the United States, a country founded on the Christian principals, we can not guarantee the most basic and fundamental right of life. We are currently engaged in a war against terrorism. The justification of the war has been the defense of our country and the promotion of freedom for countries in the Middle East that don't recognize certain basic freedoms we enjoy in America. These are noble aspirations, but war is and should be the absolute final option after all other options are exhausted. We should ask ourselves if all other options had been exhausted, and we should also ask ourselves if we can truly promote freedom in another country when we can't even promote and protect the freedom of our own people in this country.

War is an absolute tragedy. God is certainly sorrowed to see all this fighting and war in the world. God yearns for us to discover peace and we can only find that peace through Him. We can only discover peace in our world when our world accepts and promotes the freedom of all people. Unfortunately, even those who fight under the name of freedom, often deny their very own of the freedom every life deserves. Are we really promoting freedom when we fund abortions oversees? Abortion is the exact opposite of freedom. It is not promoting choice it is suppressing choice. Abortion is a grave intrinsic evil, but there are many other intrinsic evils prevalent in our day. These evils of abortion and embryonic stem cell research are prevalent in our very country. Why are these obvious violations of freedom occurring in our country?

I think the root cause of these great evils, the civil rights issue of our time, is that of moral relativism and lust. Our current president, government, and hundreds of thousands of citizens in this country believe that truth is something that cannot be known. They believe that truth is relative and that each person has the "right" to decide what is right and wrong for themselves. The problem with this is that it leads to totalitarian rule. Truth lies in whoever has power. This is happening right now in our country. It should not come to a surprise to us. Pope John Paul II and Blessed Mother Theresa predicted this would happen over a decade ago. They had the foresight and knowledge that when any segment of society is denied basic freedoms, we all lose freedom. They recognized that the greatest threat to peace was not nuclear warfare, but the acceptance of abortion. If the most innocent among us are not guaranteed the most basic and first fundamental right of life, none of us are truly free. We are already seeing innocent people being arrested and ridiculed for standing up for the freedom and lives of millions of unborn.

We live in a culture that promotes promiscuous activity. Our culture embraces unchaste relationships and denies the existence and reality of truth. We are so confused as a culture that we have to have a debate on whether or not people of the same sex should be allowed to marry. This obvious misunderstanding of marriage is a reflection of our culture's lack of knowledge or denial of God's plan for marriage and family life. It is a denial of the meaning of the body and the meaning a true love. Our culture embraces lust and often times tries to convince us that lust is actually love when in fact it is the exact opposite. Lust is a taking for oneself whereas love is a giving of oneself. Our culture encourages us to do whatever makes us feel good for ourselves. Our culture is all about the individual. Our culture teaches us that sex is love when in fact it is God who is love. The conjugal act is an act of love because it is a complete giving of oneself to another. This act becomes an act of lust when it is not free, total, faithful and fruitful. If any or all of these things are absent from the act, it is not a true act of love. Until our culture comes to the realization that contraception and our unchaste practices lead to lust and not true love, we will continue to see attacks on our freedom. Many believe that living an unchaste life sets us free, when in reality it suppresses freedom. Living an unchaste life does not make us happy but only fuels the fire of our lust. When we live an unchaste life, we are not fulfilled and in fact we become very unhappy. Often our answer is to seek even more self pleasure, which only deepens our lustful passions and takes us further and further away from the true love which all of us desire.

I believe that moral relativism and our culture's confusion about the meaning of true love are the two most dangerous issues of our time. Abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and many other evils are the result of these two underlying problems. My mission is to promote the truth and dispel the evil myths of moral relativism and lust. We can only truly be free when all people are guaranteed the freedom and right to life. We can not protect that which we do not possess. While we are blessed to have many freedoms in this county, our county is not truly the land of the free. We live in a country and on an earth where peace is not a reality because freedom for all is not guaranteed. When freedom for all is guaranteed and truth is realized, then and only then will we have peace. Until that time, which we won't likely realize in our lifetime, we must protect the freedoms we currently do have and always promote complete freedom for all.

It is because of this confused world that we must have a military. I can't imagine being faced with the obligation to shoot another person even if this action is made in self defense. These soldiers are faced with tough, life altering decisions each day. I pray for each one of them on this day that they never forget the reason they are on the battlefield. May they know our profound respect and gratitude for the sacrifices they make on our behalf. May they not be troubled when they must make tough decisions in order to protect and save the lives of the innocent. I pray that God protect our military from all mental and physical harm and that they may come home to their families safe and soon. I pray for a quick end to the war and that through God's grace that all may come to realize complete and true freedom and discover peace and truth. I am dedicated to spreading this message of faith, family, freedom, justice, life, marriage, peace and truth. I ask you all to say a quick prayer for our veterans and military today. May we never forget the sacrifices they make and may we never forget the greatest sacrifice of all. Jesus showed us how to love completely and gave his very life for ourselves. May we never forget this great sacrifice and example of love. He asked for nothing and gave everything. May we do the same. God bless!

No comments: