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Principles of Freedom: Citizenship and Patriotism

In the United States of America, both concepts—citizenship and patriotism—are intrinsically related to the concept of freedom. The Founding Fathers envisioned a wider participation in the government from the part of independent moral people who felt the responsibility of improving their lives, the lives of their families, and the lives of their communities. They envisioned a nation of proud independent and freedom loving people that would respect and defend their their home, their city, their country.

Citizenship and Character

This last Memorial Day was punctuated by a brief civics lesson before dinner with friends and family. I posed the question: How is Memorial Day different from Veterans Day?  The children quickly suggested it had something to do with honoring our military. I then gave the example of a family member giving their life forContinue reading “Citizenship and Character”

Found by Joy

Fullness of joy is a perpetual journey or round of leaving our comforts to minister and bless others with our gifts and, in turn, accepting their reciprocation. “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (KJV, John 15:11-13). The crescendo of joy is found in losing self for friends and others.

That Your Joy May Be Full

Literature, and indeed art in general, has allowed humans to overcome their hearts’ shortcomings to first articulate and then preserve what would otherwise lay mute as stone, or, at most, take brief if adorable forms such as those of excited labradors, for example, whose joys turn to dancing in happy circles and to much wagging of the tail. What is more, with great literature our choice of joys is not this one or another: we enter with our own joys and leave with many more.

Epiphanies of Joy and Felicity

As we entered the school all the children stood and began singing Christmas carols in English. We were overcome with emotion. Tears flowed with a new desire to help this little nun, her school, and her ministry. As we gave her a donation to finish the school she rejoiced and said, “I knew the Lord would provide a way for me to do this school once I began.” I remember thinking at the time, “If a little nun in the Philippines can bless the lives of so many children by starting a school, then so can I in a prosperous place like California.”

Joy, Felicity, and Bliss to Perfected Happiness

Joy happened again this morning with this 6:30 a.m. email! This is from the mother of an aspiring young scholar. “Well, Eli has a new calling! Eli and I spoke out at the school board meeting last night in front of a room of at least 100. Eli was the star of the meeting, theContinue reading “Joy, Felicity, and Bliss to Perfected Happiness”