Dusk is setting and fireworks are starting to explode throughout the neighborhoods; in a little while I should be able to see fireworks on the horizon from the town south of our house. The fourth of July is being celebrated as it has for my whole life – or is it?
Today I tried very hard to find ‘typical’ July 4th movies and documentaries on our cable TV and I couldn’t. I turned the TV to the cable music station that plays seasonal/holiday music to at least hear some patriotic music and it was playing modern music like the Steve Miller Band and funk music – the only connection to July 4th was that our country was mentioned – none of the standards. It seemed that the day was being celebrated as a party day with no attention to reason for the celebration. History it seems just isn’t as important as it was in the past; people don’t want to be bothered by our national patrimony – waste of time – not entertaining.
It is dawning on me just how hard it will be to encourage those I meet to come to terms with the faith of our fathers; what I thought was a resistance to the patrimony of the church is actually cultural disdain of why we are who we are. People don’t want to be reminded of the reasons we are here – maybe because it reminds them of the obligations we owe to those who preceded us – both nationalistically and eternally.
Tonight, it is melancholy to sit back hear celebrations that are being enjoyed for the entertainment factor only and not for the cultural and historical import. Just as it is melancholy to witness many in church just going through the motions of attending Mass and not truly participating, not giving the Mass a chance to affect their lives. Faith in both the country and most importantly Faith in God seems to be ebbing in importance with many and this is very precarious.
But, I am also reminded that in 1776 the times were very precarious, and of course through the millennia the Faith has gone through precarious times and we are still here to celebrate the gift of liberty and faith. May, the God of our fathers, bless us in our journey and strengthen us in our participation in the experiment of the United States and the reality of God’s own plan.