Oct 6, 2017
Dear friends in Christ,
As Catholics, we are called to be patriotic. A patriot is one who loves the land in which they live, their
neighbors and fellow countryman, and those who have gone before us. A patriot is called to be loyal and work for the good of all in the country.
Patriotism comes from the idea of family. Each one of us is born into a family; we do not choose our parents, God determines that. We owe our parents respect mainly because they have brought us into the world. We also are brought into the world in a certain place and amidst other people and a community. Therefore, not only do we owe are parents respect, the fourth commandment emphasizes this, but also we are to respect the land and community, ultimately the country, into which we are born and/or live, in part because the land provides for our growth and others in the community and nation support and encourage us. Here is the definition from the Catholic Encyclopedia: “Patriotism is a special form of piety binding a person to his historical and cultural sources. As such, it makes certain practical demands of the person: loyalty to his nation, collaboration in its political order and the will to seek the moral perfection of his people.”
As patriots, we are called to be loyal to our nation. When I was young and going to a Catholic School, my class would say: "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Our flag symbolizes the land we live in and for some the land they are born in, our community and the people we live with and are related to, and those who have gone before especially those who have died for our country. One of the most profound moments in a funeral burial for a veteran is when the flag is given to a
relative of the deceased. The military personnel handing the flag to them says: (if U.S. Marine Corps: ) "On behalf of the President of the United States, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and a grateful nation, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one's service to Country and Corps. God bless you and this family, and God bless the United States of America." Our flag is a symbol of our land and all of us united and standing together, even those of the past.
As patriots, we are called to build unity and to acknowledge that we are all members of a country, this land we call the United States of America. We are to stand with one another, support one another especially the most vulnerable, the sick and suffering, and those who have lost love ones. We are to be involved in politics in order to implement laws and policies which are for the good of all. We are to try to form the moral foundations of our country so that they are in line with God’s order so that we reach our true homeland of heaven.
As patriots, we are to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves, working through any disagreements, and in so doing, to strengthen our land, our country, and its people. Let us ask God to help us be One Nation, under God with liberty and justice for all.
God bless you,