One Monk of the Order of Saint Benedict

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The Word of God and the Body of God reveal each other -- the homily worships both.

July 03, 2006

For the Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America

Matthew 25:14-30

It is not enough to have freedom, but do nothing with it.
If we don’t use our freedom to do any positive good— and if we use our freedom to do positively bad things— we lose it.
The history of the human race has always shown that when we use our freedom for evil, evil enslaves us.
Freedom exists for doing good or else it disappears.
On this day in the year of our Lord seventeen hundred seventy-six, the assembled representatives of the thirteen united States of America solemnly published and declared these states to be free and independent, absolved of all allegiance to Britain and its monarch.
The first sentence of our Declaration of Independence asserts that all nations have separate and equal status from the Laws of Nature and FROM NATURE’S GOD.
Our nation’s Declaration of Independence declares that national independence comes FROM GOD.
The Declaration of Independence expressly founded our American nation on a natural entitlement FROM GOD.
The very first sentence of the Declaration of Independence, the very first sentence of our nation’s birth certificate appeals to God for its very existence.
The SECOND sentence of the Declaration of Independence says that the unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are GIFTS FROM GOD— and that “these truths” of divine providence are “self-evident”.
Finally, the LAST sentence of our national Declaration of Independence invokes “reliance on the protection of DIVINE PROVIDENCE”.
The founding fathers of our nation did not think that any freedom could be had outside of God and God’s moral laws.
In 1999, Pope John Paul II was in St. Louis, where he spoke the following words.
God has given us a moral law to guide us and protect us from falling back into the slavery of sin and falsehood.
We are not alone with our responsibility for the great gift of freedom.

The Ten Commandments are the charter of true freedom, for individuals as well as for society as a whole.

America first proclaimed its independence on the basis of self-evident moral truths.

America will remain a beacon of freedom for the world
as long as it stands by those moral truths which are the very heart of its historical experience.
And so America:
if you want peace,
work for justice;
if you want justice,
defend life;
if you want life,
embrace the truth—
the truth revealed by God.

In this way the praise of God,
the language of Heaven,
will be ever on this people’s lips:
“The Lord is God, the mighty….
Come then,
let us bow down and worship.”

Today is the two hundred and thirtieth birthday of our nation.
Our national freedom and rights, our personal freedom and rights— all freedoms and rights— come from God.
We are Americans, and the Catholic Church shows us how to use and to enhance our freedom by worshiping Christ our King and his Father.
We also benefit from God’s use of his freedom.
Here in his Eucharistic flesh and blood, God freely chooses to be our food and drink, our heavenly visitor, our clothing and home, our savior and eternal life.

That God Be Glorified in All


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