Happy 4th of July!

07-04-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Granato

My Dear Friends,

Today is also the anniversary of our first year reopened for Sunday Masses after last year’s coronavirus pandemic. As you know, we were told to shut down and close our doors for public Masses from mid-March to June of 2020, and then we had a month of only daily Masses before last July 4th weekend. It was a very sad three and a half months last year when we couldn’t celebrate a public Mass on Sundays.

Personally I believe the Church and public worship is an essential item for the good of our souls, and yet too many people, mostly politicians, were insisting that churches were non-essential and therefore should be closed. As many people have pointed out, liquor stores, pot dispensaries, abortion clinics and certain kinds of “peaceful” demonstrations were considered essential and allowed to remain open. Yet Christians were not allowed to gather and pray and Catholics were not allowed to receive the Bread of Life. After a year of public Masses (albeit for several months there were still capacity limits for attendance at Mass) we are just now seeing an increase of attendance at Mass, and for that we can be grateful.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” St. John the Evangelist wrote, “Perfect love casts our all fear.” Our country has survived and I believe will continue to survive despite the bad politicians of both political parties that have subjected and continue to subject us to an assault on our freedoms and on the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, especially for the unborn. John Hancock, the first signer of the Declaration of Independence, wrote, "Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual. ...Continue steadfast and, with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us." President John Quincy Adams wrote, "The hope of a Christian is inseparable from his faith. Whoever believes in the divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures must hope that the religion of Jesus shall prevail throughout the earth. Never since the foundation of the world have the prospects of mankind been more encouraging to that hope than they appear to be at the present time. And may the associated distribution of the Bible proceed and prosper till the Lord shall have made 'bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God' (Isaiah 52:10)."

President Thomas Jefferson, drafter of the Declaration of Independence, wrote, "God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever..." President John Adams, signer of the Declaration of Independence, wrote, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Now before anyone counters with other quotes from the Founding Fathers that seem to contradict these statements, I am fully aware of the various and varied quotes by Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams and many others. One thing is certain as we celebrate the founding of our country; these men believed that God had truly blessed them and their endeavor to break away from King George and create a new country. Their names are in the annals of history of this great country. They were men, in every aspect of that word; men who were imperfect and sinners but nonetheless men of history that cannot be whitewashed or forgotten. They are to be remembered as men and as founding fathers of our country, acknowledging the faults and the sins of men and women these last 245 years and the many unjust laws that were and still are passed, but it is a history that we remember, and in the cases where we have lived up to true justice, a history that is to be honored.