Veterans Day is coming up in a week! For over 100 years, we have remembered those who served our country in uniform on 11 November – first as Armistice Day, and then, since 1954 as Veterans Day. A few years ago, the Department of Veterans Affairs broadened that tradition of observance and appreciation to include both Veterans and Military Families for the entire month of November. Besides the annual rituals of remembering them with wreaths and visits to their tombs, many organizations celebrate this upcoming weekend honoring the veterans in various ways. Many popular restaurants and other retailers across the nation are giving them free meals, discounts, and other freebies Veterans Day. Some parishes plan to pray the Patriotic Rosary on Veterans Day.
In the context of yet another tragic mass shooting a week ago – this time in Lewiston, Maine – peace and prosperity in our nation is a matter of grave concern and consideration. Every solution that has been proposed will not make our nation safe and secure unless we give priority to spirituality and family life. The profiles of most shooters reveal emotional and mental issues arising from dysfunctional families and mental health. That’s all the more reason for us to listen to what our Church has been at pains to promote. These words of Pope Francis, delivered at various events, are worth remembering and practicing:
– “The family is the foundation of co-existence and a remedy against social fragmentation.”
– “Every threat to the family is a threat to society itself. The future of humanity, as Saint John Paul II often said, passes through the family. So protect your families! Protect your families! See in them your country’s greatest treasure and nourish them always by prayer and the grace of the sacraments.”
– “We need simplicity to pray as a family; it is very beautiful and a source of great strength! And also praying for one another! The husband for his wife, the wife for her husband, both together for their children, the children for their grandparents….praying for each other. This is what it means to pray in the family and it is what makes the family strong: daily prayer.”
– “Living together is an art, a patient, beautiful, fascinating journey. This journey of every day has a few rules that can be summed up in three phrases which I have already repeated many times to families, and which you have already learned to use among yourselves: May I? Thank you, and I’m sorry.”
Let us speak about these to our family and thus help every member of our family connect with God and with one another.
Your brother in Christ,
Fr. Abraham Orapankal