True Freedom

07-02-2023Letter from the PastorFr. Don Kline, V.F.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

My family enjoys celebrating the 4th of July. It’s a day when we get together as a family to enjoy quality time together - swimming, grilling burgers, and watching the fireworks. Typically, Americans understand this day as a day to celebrate our independence. The freedom we celebrate as Americans was won (and is maintained) by the sacrifice of many lives. Sadly, many have misunderstood and even abused the freedom we enjoy. I believe this abuse stems from the erroneous understanding that our freedom is a total freedom; a freedom that believes that a person does not need God.

This sort of “independent” thinking goes back to Adam and Eve who thought that they were free from God to do whatever they wanted to do. Of course, we are free but free to do what? Obviously, we are not free to do anything and everything. If I drive 50 mph in a 15 mph school zone, there will negative consequences when I am given a ticket by a police officer. Our choices do have consequences here and in the hereafter.

As you and I make choices, it is important to know that our choices need to be informed by God, for He leads us to all that is true, good, and beautiful. When our choices oppose God’s plan for us then things don’t go well for us and we are less free. Conversely, when our choices are in accord with God’s plan for us then we will find ourselves blessed by God and truly free.

Our “independence” works best when we make decisions through Him, with Him, and in Him. That is why a good relationship with Our Lord brings about a greater freedom. The Truth shall set you free. In a real way, good decisions and ultimately our freedom are results of our dependence on God. When we depend on God to make good and holy decisions we experience true freedom. The more we grow to be completely dependent on God, the more we can we enjoy real freedom that only God can offer.

God Bless,

Fr. Don Kline, V.F.

O GOD OUR CREATOR, from your provident hand we have received our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You have called us as your people and given us the right and the duty to worship you, the only true God, and your Son, Jesus Christ rough the power and working of your Holy Spirit, you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world, bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel to every corner of society. We ask you to bless us in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty. Give us the strength of mind and heart to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened; give us courage in making our voices heard on behalf of the rights of your Church and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith. Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father, a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters gathered in your Church in this decisive hour in the history of our nation, so that, with every trial withstood and every danger overcome— for the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and all who come after us— this great land will always be “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.