July 4, 2012
Today we celebrate the freedom of the United States from a government in Europe that tried to tax us without democratically elected representation, and who tried to control our religious freedom. Folks came here to find freedom regarding those essential human rights. These are good things, and represent a development in human governance that amounted to a revolutionary step forward in human history as we know it. We have become a model and inspiration for every modern democracy in the world.

But “independence” on a spiritual level is a lie. We are “dependent” on God for every breath we take, and “interdependent” with every other Christian, believer on God, religious practitioner, human being of every race or culture, sentient beings, and even inanimate creation. As Jesus said, God causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust. God love them all. We are all in this thing together!

As we celebrate Independence Day in the United States let’s be grateful for our freedom. As modern political or governmental forces even in this great nation of ours try to erode those freedoms let’s peacefully, but firmly stand together and resist, even to the point of fines, taxes, imprisonment, or even death if need be (though I doubt it will come to that.) Let’s also stand with those in our church and civil leadership who represent this cause of freedom to our entire society. We are not alone.

But most importantly: Let’s walk in the wonderful dependence on God, and interdependence with each other and all creation. Let’s love everyone, friend and enemy, as Jesus loves them. This realization makes every breath, every relationship, and every step we take a miracle of life from God! It fills us with great joy!

Have a great Independence Day this 4th of July! Pray and play a bit together. Have a picnic, go to church! Enjoy your family, community, and church on this special day. Say a word of joyful thanksgiving for the great freedom we experience like so many in human history have only dreamed of, and make a commitment to maintain it as a great blessing to all humanity in God. HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

In Jesus,

John Michael Talbot

Founder, Minister General, and Spiritual Father

The Brothers and Sisters of Charity