My Dear Sisters and Brothers,
As we celebrate our nation with the Fourth of July holiday to start the month, it is important for us to reflect on the connections between Catholic stewardship, discipleship, and American patriotism.
As Catholics, we are called to be good stewards of the gifts that God has given us, including our time, our talent, and our resources. This means using these gifts in ways that honor God, build up our communities, and serve our sisters and brothers in Christ. In doing so, we are living out our calling as disciples of Christ. The Corporal Works of Mercy are central to who we are as Catholics.
American patriotism, in its purest and best form, is a natural outgrowth of Catholic social teaching, stewardship, and discipleship. It is a recognition that we have been blessed to live in this nation that has an imperfect history and made up of diverse cultures. We are also gifted with freedom of religion that enables us to live out our faith in every moment. Faithful citizenship is a call to use our gifts and our resources as good stewards to make our country a better place, to serve our fellow citizens, and to uphold the founding values that have sustained our nation these past two centuries.
At the same time, it is important to remember that American patriotism is not the same as blind nationalism. We are called to love our country, but not at the expense of the Gospel, our Catholic faith, or our commitment to Catholic social justice teachings and the common good. We must always be willing to critique our country when it falls short of its ideals and to work for change when necessary. We must be faithful stewards and bold Catholics to address sin when it manifests itself in unjust laws, economic inequality, disrespect of the sanctity of life, etc.
As we celebrate the Fourth of July holiday, let us remember that our Catholic faith calls us to be good stewards, faithful disciples, and patriotic Americans. Let us pray for our country, for all our elected officials, our leaders, and for all those who strive to make the United States of America a better place. Let us commit ourselves anew to using our gifts and our resources to serve others, to work for justice, and to build up the common good.
May God bless you and your families, and may God bless our nation to truly reflect the Kingdom of God.
In Christ, through the intercession of
Blessed Pier Giorgio, I love you.