Friday, July 02, 2010

My austistic son, the eve of July 4th weekend, and I love America.

Today, as I sat in my office, my youngest and autistic son called me on the phone from his summer school. He said, “Hey Dad, I need some money to go to Dairy Queen across from the school.” He is in summer school and attends with a number of other children who either have some mental or physical (or both) limitation. His teachers intended to take him and the entire class of students to Dairy Queen. Like so often what happens, I had given him about $5 earlier in the morning, but he had lost it! Nevertheless, I took off from work for a few moments and joined my son at the local Dairy Queen with about 25 other students. I am always excited to see my son. He is autistic but he is a joy to be around. His simplicity of heart and good will is a genuine resting place for me because of my crowded and busy life.

In addition, I rejoiced in seeing how the teachers treated the other students as they lined up to purchase items at the Dairy Queen counter. With a beautiful face and a wide smile, the counterperson smiled as she attended the obviously handicapped children. The children comprehended the universal language of ice cream, milkshakes, soda, and corn dogs. The teachers treated each student under his or her charge with patience and attention; tending each as the student was a son or daughter.

The experience reminded me of the grace with which Our Lord treats each of us, despite our weaknesses, sins, and faults, or our tendencies or fallibilities; He attends us with grace. All He asks is our love and obedience in return and adherence to the truth. His truth. The good, really good, thing about all of this is that in life, we must seek the truth in charity. If we ignore the truth, we do so at our own peril.

On the eve of our national 4th of July weekend and celebration, I am very thankful that I live in America, that my family lives here, and that this land still loves and lives freedom. I am thankful despite all that has occured and the injustices of people who commit and endorse the killing of kids in the womb, or the elderly or infirm, or the “inconvenience” of those who are weak and need our attention, I still love this country. I am thankful despite the politics of reprisal and the agenda of politicians driven by ideology and agendas rather than truth and right order. I still love this country. I will be singing this weekend. Somewhere, probably at Church or thereafter, “God Bless America” and “The Star Spangled Banner” will be sung and with a heart full, I am thankful for the men and women over the last two centuries who have given their lives, their time, their energy, and efforts to defend this Nation. May God grant repose of the faithfully departed veterans, fathers and mothers, and friends that have gone before us. May God heal our land and bring it to the Truth with charity in peace.

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