Appleton, WI

July 4: Day by Day with Father Bill

The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes freedom this way:

The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. (Paragraph 1733)

I like to say that freedom is not doing whatever you want (freedom from) but freedom is for the betterment of our Church and world.
The American author, David Foster Wallace, says it this way:

The so-called real world of men and money and power hums merrily along in a pool of fear and anger and frustration and craving and worship of self. Our own present culture has harnessed these forces in ways that have yielded extraordinary wealth and comfort and personal freedom. The freedom all to be lords of our tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone in the center of all creation. This kind of freedom has much to recommend it. But of course there are different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talk about much in the great outside world of wanting and achieving…The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways each day.

The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States connects liberty, that is freedom, with justice. We are reminded that freedom without justice, and “justice is what love looks like in public“ (the theologian Cornel West), brings us up way short of what our country is all about!

Happy Fourth of July!

Father Bill+