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Mike Hayes
Our readers asked:

What Should Catholics do on Memorial Day?

Mike Hayes Answers:

Catholics should remember those who gave their life for country and freedom, just as everyone else does on Memorial Day. Perhaps even doing so at mass is a particular way for Catholics to celebrate the day. It’s not a sin to be patriotic and to remember that some things are indeed worth fighting for when other means have not secured our freedoms. People have sacrificed much for our freedom and gratitude is our response on Memorial Day.

At the same time, we should also pray for peace and hope for solutions that will not require war and bloodshed. Lastly, we should also try to unite with the poor who are often victimized by war, sometimes intentionally. Can we see Christ in all of these people? That is where we might want to try to be — to remember all that God hopes for our own freedom and how we clumsily have tried to achieve that. God who hopes for reconciliation for all people knows all too well that there is always a price to be paid for reconciliation. God offered his only son to us in Jesus and the cross is the obvious sign that we all need to work for peace in the world and that God will spare no expense in trying to make that happen with us.

The Author : Mike Hayes
Mike Hayes is the senior editor for the Googling God section at BustedHalo.com.
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Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • John Grady

    This is not about church and state it is about remembering those who sacrificed for us and what better way to remember them than in the Sacrafice of the mass. As a veteran of Iraq and other conflicts I served so you can say what you would like even though I may not agree with it. I have lost my brother to these two wars and today I went to mass to pay homage to their Sacrafice by glorifying Christ ultimate Sacrafice on the Cross. May God bless and protect the families and men and women who sacraficed for us and those who still hold the line. May God hold them in His arms until the day when we can thank them.

  • Eric

    Thank you, Julia, for your orthodox perspective. J. Moeller, no one is spitting on Afghanistan vets by not including them in the liturgy.

  • Julie Hagan Bloch

    Or, plain and simple, let’s keep the separation of church and state, to protect the integrity of both.

  • Tim

    J. Moeller,

    Julia is in support of love of one’s country. But, there is a level in which patriotism can go too far into Empire worship. If it is impossible for you to acknowledge that, then you may want to re-consider your values and priorities. It is healthy to remember that the United State is wonderful, yet flawed. Pointing out its flaws doesn’t have to be “America-hating”. It is a way of strengthening our country. Politics has nothing to do with this. It is a stance that we as Christians should all develop out of our Christian commitments, regardless of political affiliation.

  • J. Moeller

    Wow, Julia. Empire worship? I guess we know firmly what your opinion of the United States is. Thanks for giving the Leftist, America-hating perspective. All should be represented. And in some cases, repudiated. Regardless, my husband is in Afghanistan to protect you, too. You’re welcome, though I suspect you would spit on him if you met him.

  • Julia

    Much as I often rail against dichotomies, I have serious doubts as to whether seeing Christ in all people (especially the victimized) can be reconciled with syncretizing liturgy with state holidays. A healthy and humble love for one’s country is all well and good, but to mix patriotism into our worship is nothing short of idolatry. The Mass is full of ortho-doxy (i.e. giving glory where it belongs) that is profoundly subversive of any empire-worship, from the 1st century to the 21st, although we the Church haven’t always had the wisdom to notice. Let’s remember who we’re really worshiping – not to mention the catholicity of the Church Universal, which should transcend all other loyalties.

  • Liz

    Great answer, Mike. Thanks!

  • Kim

    I loved the last sentence. I used it as my Facebook status on Memorial Day. Thanks for sharing.

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