On Patriotism

"While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian." 
~ George Washington, The Writings of Washington, pp. 342-343

"The decline of patriotism in America is due to a decline of religion. As men cease to love God, they also cease to love their neighbor. No one proves this better than Mathew, the author of the first Gospel. He was at one time as unpatriotic a citizen as ever lived: his land was over-run by a foreign power, his fellow-citizens lost many of their civil and political rights- and yet he welcomed the foreign power to his bosom for the basest of all motives, financial booty. He became a publican, that is a collector for the Romans, thus not only selling out his country men, but even filching from them to enrich himself as a subject of the invaders. One day, while collecting his taxes and counting his profits, Our Divine Savior passed by. "Come, follow Me," He said to Mathew, and Mathew with no other promise than a peace which shown in the Divine Countenance became an apostle, an evangelist, and a martyr. He became more than that-the greatest patriot in the Gospels. His Gospel might be called the Gospel of Patriotism. Tireless he becomes in unfolding the glories of his people, the traditions of his land, and the prophecies of its spiritual triumphs. Time and time again he goes back to the past, turns over the pages of Isaias, Jeremias, Micheas, David, and the Kings; ninety-nine times to be exact, he quotes from the glorious pages of his people, and crowns it all with the thrilling message: You are a great people! From Israel comes the Savior; from our clouds comes the Messias; from our earth the Redeemer. Hail! Christ is your king.

He became a patriot because he found his God. May we all go and do likewise."

Posted on July 4, 2011 and filed under "Fulton Sheen", "fourth of july", "patriotism".