True Freedom of the Mature Christian

True Freedom of the Mature Christian …

Dear Fellow Digital Missionary,

Here in the United States, Catholics are fully engaged in the “Fortnight for Freedom”. This initiative started a couple years ago, when the USA Bishops tried to galvanize the faithful in defense of religious freedom, both through prayer and action. I love the initiative, and I love the name of the initiative. Much of the history of western civilization has been shaped by the exalted vision of the human person that Jesus lived, died, and rose from the dead in order to communicate to us. At the core of that vision is the precious gift of spiritual freedom.

But, at least in my opinion, too often we limit our understanding of that gift to its political dimension. The RetreatGuideElizSetontrue freedom of the mature Christian is interior, in the heart, in the spirit. The saints are the ones who have developed freedom to the full. They have enjoyed its full fruits, and so it’s no surprise that they have consistently been the greatest influencers of culture.

On July 4th, the USA celebrates its political freedom and cultural values. Maybe you and I can spend some time that day praying for the new evangelization of our culture. To that end, Sitting in the Side Pewit may help to dip back into one of my favorite Retreat Guides, Sitting in the Side Pew: A Retreat Guide on St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. St. Elizabeth Ann was the first native-born citizen of the USA to be canonized, and she has a lot — I mean a lot — to teach us all. I recommend in a special way the PDF version of this retreat, which has some nice bonus material (Pope Paul VI’s canonization homily). Take a look at the introduction and invite others to a deeper Christian maturity following the example of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.

Keep counting on our prayers, and please keep us in yours. God bless you!

Yours sincerely in Christ,

Fr. John Bartunek, LC

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