04 July 2010

Happy Fourth of July!!

Happy Independence Day to everyone! It is indeed a day to celebrate. Several of us who attend our parish met for Mass this morning, and then split up as one Dominican Sister went to help prepare her community's 4th of July BBQ for the four convents on their "block", while the rest of us left for a parade in a small town not too far from here. We stopped for "In and Out" hamburgers (to go) on the way into the parade town, and once again for rootbeer floats on the way out. The parade was not as great as we had been led to expect, but there were lots of people there celebrating one another, and the sections filled with armed forces bands, Blue Star Mothers, Gold Star Mothers --- all carrying pictures of their sons and daughters was very moving. I did have the strange experience of having one soldier salute me, and I "saluted" back (differing uniforms or habits, differing kinds of mission and service, differing ways of giving our lives, but mutual respect). I wiped more than a few tears away.

So, the others are off to neighborhood dinners, BBQ's and fireworks, and I am back at the hermitage with time to reflect on what freedom really is all about, and how very grateful I am that I have come to know that myself --- to whatever extent it has been realized in my life. I have written before here that freedom is the counterpart of divine sovereignty, that is we are truly free when God is sovereign in our lives. Freedom in this sense is the power to be those we are called to be. But most of us know freedom also as the environment which allows us to pursue this very responsible and peace-filled goal, and for that today, I am very grateful!

My very best on this anniversary of United States' Independence!

A somehwat sunburned
Sister Laurel M O'Neal, Er Dio