By Sister M. Martha Pavelsky, MHSH
“Independence.” From toddlerhood on, our children are encouraged to walk by themselves. No one with any sense tries to prevent their walking because they might fall: spills are part of the process and another valuable lesson, scary and painful though they be.
Middle-schoolers learn gradually to speak truth to power, starting with peers on the playground. If well mentored, they grow in courage as teens, finding their backbone and making hard choices as they enter adulthood. We agonize with them at times but cheer their insights and brave decisions.
On a parallel, our country struggles to become itself, free, courageous in confronting evil, determined to go forward no matter the price in lives or money—and if you’ve lost a loved one in one of our many armed conflicts, you know that “pricey” doesn’t begin to describe the pain.
As we sing our National Anthem on this July 4, enjoy fireworks and hot dogs, and recall the struggles that bought our freedom, let’s say a prayer of gratitude for all those—proud new parents, wise teachers, spiritual mentors, brave soldiers—who have bought and nurtured our independence, individually and as a country.
Let’s pray as well for people around the world who are still striving to be free and self-determining.
Whose example of hard-won independence inspires you? How will you express your gratitude for freedom this year?