As my friend shared his thoughts on the occasion of his son’s birth yesterday, he reflected that “It [his son’s birth] is good, meaningful, and a witness against death that marches with the intensity of a mob and the intention of a cancer.” I couldn’t agree more that the miracle of life and the beauty of an innocent child are incredible proof of God’s power and immense love for us. Even as humans continue to turn away from Him and choose death, God continues to pour out His love in ways that we all cannot miss unless we choose to ignore Him. Though a culture of death continues to spread and the worship of things and earthly comfort replace God in humans’ lives more and more each day, it is incumbent upon us to recognize that love is not dead and celebrate it where ever it is found.
Memorial Day is a solemn, but concrete example that we are not completely lost and love is not dead. Over a million of our fellow Americans have died defending our country, a country founded on Christian principles. At the time of their ultimate sacrifice, I believe that most Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, and Airmen probably didn’t have thoughts about the Constitution, the way-ahead for our republic, some philosophic idea, or patriotism. Rather, I believe that most likely thought of the friend next to them, the troops on their flank, and their family back home. That is, I believe that most laid down their life trying to take care for their friends, and as John 15:13 states, “no one has greater love than this.”
It is right that we should take time every Memorial Day and remember those who sacrificed their lives because their actions enable us to raise our families under basic freedoms that allow us to practice our faith and share truth with others. We owe it to those men and women to live our lives to the fullest and ensure that we continue to defend the Christian principles on which our country was founded. If not for them, you and I might not be here and we most certainly wouldn’t be sharing this communication. Additionally, beyond simply remembering their sacrifice, we ought to pray specifically for their souls, as it is a definite and important means to help them.
Men, we must ensure that we take time to recognize Memorial Day for more than a day off from work. It is the incredible love of so many that must be celebrated. Consider attending a ceremony, visiting the graves of those fallen in war, or simply gathering your family for a Memorial Day prayer. You might also pray specifically for the causes of Father Capodanno and Father Kapaun or find another means to personalize or uniquely focus your family’s prayer. If I may steal my friend’s words, I think it is good, meaningful, and a witness against death to remember the sacrifice and love of so many who gave their lives for us.
Those Catholic Men.