By Wally Arida
Posted July 5, 2007
Freedom, Catholic Deacons and Christian determination are our main story clusters in this edition.
This week we celebrate our Independence Day as a nation. It's a great time to ask ourselves this week's Burning Question: "What is Freedom? What does it mean to us?" Surely, it's more than fireworks, parades and hotdogs. We ask you to reflect upon it and share your comments with us.
Catholicism in America is historically rooted in our most fundamental beliefs as Americans. We need to celebrate this day as a fundamental celebration of our American rights of freedom of religious expression. "Red, White, Blue and Catholic too!" is a great blog that tells the whole story. And in a great Fourth of July reflection, Catholic writer Peggy Noonan delivers an inside look at America today with "The way it goes in America."
While from Washington DC, US Bishops lamented the stall in Immigration reform, saying, "We cannot accept the toil of a large underclass which does not have full rights in our society. This strikes at the very character of our nation and lessens us as a people."
Pope Benedict this week also reflected on the Christian concept of freedom. He adds that Christ "in obedience to the will of the Father, offered Himself for love," calling it a perfect act of freedom. While worldwide, reports say our Christian faith is under attack and religious freedom remains a primary concern. A most serious situation exists in Iraq where Christians are being systematically attacked by the Muslim extremists.
But all is not all doom and gloom. Since the 1986 conversion of Dr. Scott Hahn from Protestant to Catholic, it seems more and more prominent Protestant leaders are finding the light and converting to the religion they ones despised. "The Tide Is Turning Toward Catholicism" tells the story.
Did you know that roughly half of all the permanent deacons in the Catholic Church live in the United States? They assist priests and tend to the needs of a growing church. "Deacons - On the front lines of faith" explains how service is the core of a Catholic deacon's calling. And "I felt God was still calling me" is one deacon's personal story of discernment and commitment to God and His Church.
In last Sunday's Gospel, Jesus was resolute in travelling to Jerusalem. In "ON THE ROAD WITH JESUS: DETERMINED AND RESOLUTE," Fr. Bobby T. tasks us about our own personal commitment to Jesus. In another reflection, Fr. Martin M. poses this challenge: "How do you follow Jesus?" What would your life look like if you really put God first? And we bring you another wonderful reflection called "Loving God With Whole Mind and Heart."
GET INSPIRED! Here's a truly ispirational story, "The Greeting Card That Woke Me Up." And if you think life, indeed, is difficult, Jesus tells us "Worrying does not make it any less difficult." Read about it in "DIFFICULT BUT NOT IMPOSSIBLE."
LIFESTYLE STORIES. Do you think you can pass the US Citizenship Test if you took it today? We have the test - just the more difficult questions - and we challenge you to take it just for kicks. It's a good brushup on your civics quotient.
And we bring you great summer grilling tips! We start off with seven very important tips that will help you get your barbecue to come out perfect each time. And we teach you how you can savor the barbecue flavor — minus the risk. It's our "Tips for low-fat summer grilling - without the unpronounceable chemicals."
Enjoy your weekend and have a great and blessed coming week.
Keep the faith. Peace.
Publisher & Editor in chief