Monday May 30, 2016  – Memorial Day for a corrupt world

We live in a corrupt world.memorial day 2016

We know this.

Since the fall of mankind – the betrayal in the Garden of Eden – mankind has been frustrated to find peace in the world.

Today in the United States of America, we celebrate Memorial Day, a sacred holiday set aside to remember the brave men and women of our armed forces who sacrificed their lives so that our country – and much of the world – could remain free.

If not entirely free, somewhat free. Or at least with some hope for freedom.

It doesn’t always work out the way we plan.

It’s messy.

We live in a corrupt world.

We know this.

Over the weekend, my family and I attended a grand parade on the streets of downtown Indianapolis. It was a parade that honored both the biggest single day sporting event in the world – the Indy 500 auto race – and the nation’s reverence for its veterans.

We got downtown early. Saved a good spot for the parade.

And while the clock ticked away, I wandered over to one of the many memorials to veterans that mark the beautiful downtown area.

I stood.

And I looked up and read the words etched in stone.

This one happened to be about the Vietnam War, but there were others, too.

This one had a lot of information, but the excerpts of “letters from the front” are what caught my eye. A collection of what had to be some of the final thoughts that went through the minds of soldiers as they wrote home to friends, parents, wives and children.

Pretty somber stuff on a parade day.

But that’s the point.

We celebrate with parades and colors and hoopla and pretty girls and marching bands and race car drivers.

But we also acknowledge that behind the celebration – behind any celebration we have across the world – is that layer of evil.

We live in a corrupt world.

We know this.

Wars were fought in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan … Korea, France, England … Boston, Atlanta, Virginia.

Wars were fought everywhere.

Wars ARE fought everywhere.

What is a good Christian to do? How do we reconcile our internal longing for peace and joy with our intellectual understanding that peace may never, ever, be possible?

Today’s first reading …

“He has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature, after escaping from the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire.

“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love.”

A great piece of scripture that reminds us that in the beginning is the promise … in the end, there is love.

In between?

It’s messy.

So we do what we can … each one of us.

We do what it takes to leave this world just a little bit better than we found it.

The men and women who fought and died for freedom? They accomplished that goal, although they may not have known it at the time.

It is because of them that we continue to uphold the ideals of freedom and peace and peaceful co-existence in a troubled world.

White, black, purple … Catholic, Protestant, Jew or Muslim … man, woman, child … it does not matter.

We all want peace.

But …

We live in a corrupt world.

We know this.

About the Author

Dan McFeely is a Carmel, Indiana, writer, communications business owner, book editor and a former professional journalist at The Indianapolis Star. A "cradle Catholic" who once felt the call to the Priesthood, he is now happily married to his wife, Sue, and enjoys spending time with his three granddaughters (and two cats). For the past decade, Dan has worked as an Adult Faith Formation Minister, currently serving as a spiritual director for the men's and women's Christ Renews His Parish program at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Carmel. He is a graduate of the Ecclesial Lay Ministry program offered by the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana through St. Joseph's College; and has studied theology as a student at Marian University. He previously studied journalism and political science at Indiana University. Currently, Dan loves to read and study the Catholic faith on a daily basis. He is particularly fond of the works of Thomas Merton and modern day scholars and theologians.

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7 Comments

  1. You are so blest’ to have come up with a bautiful reflection which doesn’t apply only to your country but to all countries as well.
    May all of us enlightened by the Holy Spirit so that we can do our part in alleviating the ills that lead to corruption.
    Through collective prayer may we win these battles that plague all nations.
    God bless you and family, Dan.

    God bless you mote

  2. sorry for that thing down there that was not deleted during editing..owe it to a sensitive screen..

  3. A beautiful reflection. Thanks Dan.
    I believe that in the end what matters is only love. We received it from God when he sent His only son to die for us.. yet there is so much corruption and hatred in the world today. We are all called to reciprocate this by loving our fellow men just as we were loved.

  4. Thank you dan we also preparing to celebrate our53 three yrs of self rule,I sit back and ask my self, what I see today what reasonable to my grandmother,my father and let’s die rot in prison no. Why corruption ,power and money worshiper is the order of day.pray that all kenyans of all work life, we put our country first.God bless you God bless kenya

  5. Every generation including our grandparents, parents and us have that same evil to contend with. Our children and grandchildren will face the same battles against evil. The race is not over yet nor is the human race. However, because of Jesus we know the victory is ours. Your message brought tears to my eyes.
    God Bless!

  6. Dan from a 21 year Army Service Veteran thank you very much for your thoughtful reflection!

    Let us never forget and remain always thankful!

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