Shop Now Login/Register View Quote View Cart
1.800.221.5175
Catechetical Programs
Christ In Us, Parish Edition Grades K - 6 View Details | Buy Now
Christ In Us, School Edition Grades K - 6 View Details | Buy Now
We Believe Catholic Identity, Parish Edition Grades K - 6 View Details | Buy Now
We Believe Catholic Identity, School Edition Grades K - 6 View Details | Buy Now
We Live Our Faith Catholic Identity Edition Grades 7 - 8 View Details | Buy Now
Our Catholic Faith Grades 4 - 6 View Details | Buy Now
One Faith, One Lord Grades 7 - Adult View Details | Buy Now
Discovering God Ages 3 - 5 View Details | Buy Now
God's Own Making Grades 4 - 8 View Details | Buy Now
Between You and Your Child Grades K - 8 View Details | Buy Now
Sacrament Programs
Core
Believe • Celebrate • Live Reconciliation Primary Ages 7 and 8 View Details | Buy Now
Believe • Celebrate • Live Eucharist Primary Ages 7 and 8 View Details | Buy Now
Believe • Celebrate • Live Confirmation Ages 12–15 View Details | Buy Now
Believe • Celebrate • Live Confirmation Restored Order Ages 7–9 View Details | Buy Now
Believe • Celebrate • Live Reconciliation and Eucharist Intermediate Ages 9 and 10 View Details | Buy Now
We Believe and Celebrate Baptism View Details | Buy Now
Supplemental
We Gather in Prayer Kit Grades K–Adult Buy Now
My Reconciliation and Prayer Book Ages 7–9 View Details | Buy Now
My Mass Book Ages 7–9 View Details | Buy Now
We Believe and Pray Grades 4–6 View Details | Buy Now
Catechetical Bilingual
Creemos Identidad católica Grades K–6 View Details | Buy Now
Vivimos nuestra fe Grades 7–8 View Details | Buy Now
Nuestra fe catolica Grades 4–6 View Details | Buy Now
Una sola fe, un solo Señor Grades 7–Adult View Details | Buy Now
Entre usted y sus hijos Buy Now
Sacrament Bilingual
Core
Creer • Celebrar • Vivir Reconciliación Primaria Ages 7 and 8 View Details | Buy Now
Creer • Celebrar • Vivir Eucaristía Primaria Ages 7 and 8 View Details | Buy Now
Creer • Celebrar • Vivir Confirmación Ages 12–15 View Details | Buy Now
Creer • Celebrar • Vivir Reconciliación y Eucaristía - Intermedio Ages 9 and 10 View Details | Buy Now
Creer • Celebrar • Vivir Confirmación-Restauración del orden sacramental Ages 7–9 View Details | Buy Now
Creemos y celebramos Bautismo View Details | Buy Now
Supplemental
Mi Reconciliación y libro de oración Ages 7–9 View Details | Buy Now
Mi libro de la Misa Ages 7–9 View Details | Buy Now
Lifelong Learning
Bibles
The Compass Bible for Catholic Teens Buy Now
My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories Buy Now
La Biblia católica para jóvenes Buy Now
Adult Resources
Everything About Parish Ministry I Wish I Had Known Buy Now
Becoming a Parish of Mercy Buy Now
The Wounded Body of Christ Buy Now
Missionary Discipleship Buy Now
Catechism
YOUCAT Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church Buy Now
Catechism of the Catholic Church Buy Now
United States Catholic Catechism for Adults Buy Now
General Directory of Catechesis Buy Now
National Directory of Catechesis Buy Now
YOUCAT: Catecismo Joven de la Iglesia Católica Buy Now
Prayer Books
YOUCAT: The Youth Prayer Book Buy Now
Parent's Guide to Prayer Buy Now
Prayerbook for Catechists Buy Now
Sagrada Biblia: Dios Habla Hoy Buy Now
sadlierReligion Hero-1.png

June 21, 2016 WBAS Topics Holidays, WBAS Topics Prayer, WBAS Cat Prayers & Reflections, REL Seasons - Feast Days/Holidays, REL Topic- Prayer

Celebrating Freedom

The more media I am exposed to, the more I appreciate the Cardinal Virtues. While justice is always a timely pursuit, the other three virtues – prudence, temperance, and fortitude - sound stodgy and out-of-step with contemporary needs and desires. Nevertheless, when the Founding Fathers drafted the Declaration of Independence, I’m pretty sure they didn’t define “pursuit of happiness” as unbridled hedonism or the license to say anything publically that comes to one’s mind, no matter how inflammatory.

22-WBAS-Celebrating-freedom

So as Independence Day approaches, it is worth pondering how the practice of these virtues leads to authentic freedom and true happiness. I am helped in this regard by a recent study of the Gospel of Matthew. Spending a hefty amount of time with the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) is a heart-lifting experience. While never employing the actual words “temperance, prudence, and fortitude,” Jesus certainly extols them by calling upon us to be makers of peace, bearers of mercy, and cultivators of pure hearts. Doing so requires some restraint on our part – from bearing grudges and lashing out at others in anger or frustration. We can’t foster a holy life without also exercising discretion about choices that are good for body as well as soul. And it takes no small amount of strength to reject notions of happiness that provide “feel-good” fixes instead of long-term fulfillment. As Father Michael Himes points out, the Beatitudes provide a very different description of what a happy and blessed person looks like.

In addition to the Beatitudes, the Sermon on the Mount offers a startling counter to minimalist concepts of justice. Instead of simply following the law as prescribed, Jesus draws us further – to walk the extra mile, give away the cloak, turn the other cheek. It sounds like a lesson in masochism and yet Jesus uses these examples as a way to live as inhabitants of God’s Kingdom. Freedom comes, not from doing what we want, whenever we feel like it. Rather, it emerges when we embrace the choices we have to love instead of hate, to forgive instead of seeking vengeance, to sow seeds of peace instead of cultivating discord. Pondering this long-ago sermon might be a lovely way to consider the precious freedoms we enjoy as a country, and then to pursue the happiness that comes with living as Beatitude people.

prayer-for-celebrating-freedom-750px.png

Download Now

Bright Ideas

  • Review the Beatitudes with your family or class. Talk together about what it means to freely choose to live each one. How might this cultivate happiness and blessing?

 

 

photo © iStockphoto