Now well into summer, we prepare to celebrate another Fourth of July. As we approach Independence Day, we are concerned about many things in the world. We should take a moment to reflect on our gifts of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. These are our freedoms: to help others, to responsibly learn and live our lives as God’s children, to bring peace, to worship our God. People of other countries long to live as we live, to practice their faith and educate their children as we do, and to have the freedoms that we have. We have freedom to do so many things that others cannot even attempt.
Our most important gift is our freedom to practice the hidden, invisible gift of Faith as we choose. At the end of the day, it is Faith that makes everything work and grow, Faith that makes the difference in life. When Faith is lost, unhappiness, confusion and judgmentalism creep in around us. We can only see the difficulties ahead. When we see this happen in our world, we have a solution, indeed a responsibility: to renew, celebrate and practice our Faith.
"Our most important gift is our freedom to practice the hidden, invisible gift of Faith as we choose."
The invisible, hidden reality of Faith in God is built into the structure of our country. It was Faith in God, first, that founded and formed us, a brash Faith to build a new world where families could freely worship, work and thrive. It is this hidden, invisible but often forgotten gift, which is the singular, irreplaceable component of our American humanity. As now we experience and seek to address the flaws in our human and societal condition across the land, it is time to call forth the Faith in God which brought about our existence in the first place. He has surely blessed us in this Faith and is with us in our challenges. His Son, Jesus Christ, was present at our founding. He is with us now.
In gratitude for those who have given their lives for our freedom, for those who have nurtured and protected it, and for those who strive to bring it forward in Faith, we pray for our country. May you and your family enjoy a blessed Fourth of July, knowing the wisdom and grace of growing ever closer to Our Lord. May God Bless America, Light of the World!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+Most Reverend Stephen J. Berg
Bishop of Pueblo