Tomorrow the United States recognizes its birth on the July
4th holiday. In addition to celebrating, Fr. John Bartunek LC
suggests we spend some time praying for the new evangelization
of our culture.
“Here in the United States, Catholics are
fully engaged in the Fortnight for Freedom,” he writes
in a letter to supporters of the RCSpirituality.org. “This
initiative started a couple years ago, when the USA Bishops
tried to galvanize the faithful in defense of religious freedom,
both through prayer and action. I love the initiative, and
I love the name of the initiative. Much of the
history of western civilization has been shaped by the exalted
vision of the human person that Jesus lived, died, and
rose from the dead in order to communicate to us.
At the core of that vision is the precious gift
of spiritual freedom.”
Fr. John said the true freedom of the mature
Christian is in the "heart and spirit," and the saints are
the ones who developed this freedom to the full, like
one of his favorites, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. “They have
enjoyed its full fruits, and so it’s no surprise that
they have consistently been the greatest influencers of culture.”
suggests we re-visit one of the RCSpirituality’s Retreat Guides, Sitting in the Side Pew: A Retreat Guide on St.
Elizabeth Ann Seton.
“St. Elizabeth Ann was the first native-born
citizen of the USA to be canonized, and she has
a lot – I mean a lot – to teach
us all,” he said. “I recommend in a special way
the PDF version of this retreat, which has some nice
bonus material (Pope Paul VI’s canonization homily). Take a look
at the introduction and invite others to a deeper Christian
maturity following St. Elizabeth Ann’s example.”