Future Priests of the Third Millennium

A little insight into the life of seminarians from various dioceses preparing for ministry as Roman Catholic priests, including daily activities, personal interests, special events, the spiritual life, news from the seminary, and almost whatever comes to our minds!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy Independence Day

Often I find myself musing on the relationship between church (my Church) and state (my country). In college, the political philosophy of the American Founding was a significant object of my study. Now as a seminarian and aspiring pastor of souls, I wonder about how I will be able to maintain a balanced love of both, especially as those loves and loyalties occasionally stretch my heart in different directions.

But today, our nation's birthday, is simply a day to be grateful to Almighty God -- grateful for the tremendous blessings of freedom, procured by sacrifice undertaken out of love, and under-girded by the sound principles enshrined in our Declaration of Independence. In short, I will always strive to treasure the principles of the American Founding, modern though they may be. I will strive to maintain that those principles are compatible with Catholic Teaching and, at their best, provide fertile ground for a free, religious, and virtuous society.

I think of one of the giants of the American Catholic Church, and one of the greatest American patriots, our own Archbishop John Ireland.

And I offer these pearls of wisdom for the day:

The Servant of God Pope John Paul II, in a 1997 address welcoming the new U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, spoke favorably of the American Experiment.

And in recent memory, our present Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI blessed our country as well.

Finally, I read a very nice piece yesterday in which I learned an interesting fact about the much-maligned writer of the document whose delivery we celebrate today.

God Bless America!
All Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit!