The Pastor's Corner (June 2, 2023)

The Pastor's Corner

by Fr. Bob Hoffman

With Memorial Day just behind us, we head out on summer vacation. And a highlight of the summer for many will be the Fourth of July.

On the Fourth of July, we celebrate the many freedoms that enjoy in this country. On Memorial Day, we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of preserving those freedoms.

To properly appreciate those freedoms, we must have a proper understanding of freedom itself. On a visit to Camden Yards in Baltimore in 1995, Pope Saint John Paul II said, “Every generation of Americans needs to know that freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.”

Thus, true freedom is not the ability to do or to be whatever we want. Rather, true freedom is having the right to do what we ought to do. It is the ability to choose what is right.

The ability to choose what is wrong is not freedom. In choosing what is wrong, we choose what is sinful. We are not free when we do that. Instead, we are slaves to sin.

When we choose what is right, then we are truly free. We are free to become what God intends for us to be. We are free to flourish. This freedom might be called freedom for excellence.

As you celebrate our freedoms this Fourth of July, remind your children what true freedom really is. And help them on their own path to excellence.