Celebrating our liberties, including those at risk

On this Independence Day, we celebrate our freedoms as Americans. It’s a good exercise to read The Declaration of Independence, and it’s also a good exercise to read the Bill of Rights, the first Ten Amendments to our Constitution, spelling out what those freedoms are.

Read the list of our civil liberties after the jump.  As you do, consider which of these are currently under attack–by our own government, by government-connected organizations such as public universities, and by other entities. [Read more…]

Pope gives Mary Magdalene same status as Apostles in church year

Pope Francis has elevated Mary Magdalene’s saint’s day to a “major feast,” putting her on the same level liturgically as Christ’s apostles.  The pope wants Christians to consider Mary, who first told the apostles about Christ’s resurrection, as “a paradigm of the ministry of women in the church.”

Should non-Catholic Christians follow this promotion and make a big deal of Mary Magdalene’s Day on July 22? [Read more…]

“Bring to his work a mighty heart”

In observance of today’s holiday, the Daily Oklahoman printed excerpts of a Memorial Day address by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., in 1889, when the memory of the Civil War was still fresh.  You’ve got to read this speech.  It features an eloquence and a depth of sensibility that we almost never hear today, certainly not from politicians or other public figures.

He talks about the honored dead, of course, but he also makes applications about what the generations that follow can learn from them and from observing Memorial Day.

I give a brief sample after the jump, but please click the link and read the whole thing. [Read more…]

Why Memorial Day?

The difference between Veterans’ Day and Memorial Day, we are reminded, is that the former honors the living who served their country in the military, while the latter honors those who died in the line of duty.  And we have lots of people to honor today.  The number of Americans who died for their country is 1.1 million.

Why May 30?  It goes back to the original observances, just after the Civil War, in 1868.  The plan was to decorate the graves of the slain with flowers.  (Here in Oklahoma, we use this day, which some call “Decoration Day” to put flowers on the graves of all of our loved ones who have died.)  On May 30, flowers are in bloom. [Read more…]

“To get to you, they’d have to go past us”

Most military recruiting ads lately have had a self-help theme (“be all that you can be”) or have encouraged enlistment for all of the job training you would get. But this ad, shown after the jump, invokes the purpose of military service. And it reminds us why we should all be grateful for those in military vocations–particularly those who laid down their lives for their neighbors–on this Memorial Day. [Read more…]

The Holy Spirit

Sunday was Pentecost, fifty days after Easter, commemorating the day that the Holy Spirit was given to the Church.  The Holy Spirit may be the most mysterious person of the Trinity–the revealer rather than the revealed; not the Savior, but the one who brings us to the Savior; not the prime object of faith, but the creator of faith.

After the jump, what we need to believe about the Holy Spirit, and what it means.   [Read more…]


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