In this “land of the free,” some think of freedom as the ability to speak and act as one wishes, but as citizens of these United States of America, approaching once more the anniversary of our independence, we know that true freedom means something much more than satisfying our individual desires and impulses.
We are, as stated in our Pledge of Allegiance, “one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”
True freedom considers the rights and privileges of the whole, of all people. It is not isolationist, but rather looks to secure the economic, political, cultural and social conditions that ensure a just and peaceful society. But all too often in our individualistic society we neglect to look toward the greater good, focusing instead on personal wants and needs. But this is not the kind of freedom that our forefathers fought and died for.
Nor is it the freedom that our Christian faith calls us to live and profess. Christ himself gave us the ultimate example as he freely chose to give his life for the sake of us all and in doing so, freed us from the bonds of sin and death. In the freedom of Christ, then, let us choose to follow his example of love.
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As Saint Paul tells us, we should: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3,4)
Our forefathers would be pleased.
I hope you are well and enjoying the summer.
Jeannie Korte, manager of spiritual care
HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital, Highland