A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Happy birthday! Bonne fête!

Posted on: June 30, 2014

Tomorrow Canada marks 147 years since Confederation.

Our plans for the day aren’t set yet. Maybe we’ll hit a local park to take part in some Canada Day festivities. Maybe I’ll grill something for dinner, since this past weekend I finally asked my husband to teach me how to use the gas barbecue. Maybe this will even be the year we take in the fireworks on Parliament Hill.

No matter how low-key our celebrations—wearing head-to-toe red and white or painting my face just isn’t my thing—we’re proud and happy to be Canadian.

Not to mention thankful.

grandmother

My grandmother who immigrated to Canada from Denmark in the 1950s

I’m thankful for the courage my immigrant ancestors showed in making the journey to Canada to start a new life. And as I’ve read about the conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Ukraine and other countries around the world,  I’m thankful for the peace and the freedoms we enjoy here, including the freedom to choose where we live, which faith we practise, and which candidates we’ll vote for—not a thing to take for granted with a provincial election this month, a municipal election in the fall, and a federal election next year.

I’m thankful that this country welcomes people from many countries and ethnicities, since that wasn’t always true.

And I’m thankful for the opportunities we have to maintain and share our cultural heritage but still be Canadians with equal standing.

But as citizens with a duty “to contribute along with the civil authorities to the good of society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity and freedom” (s. 2239 of the Catechism), we can work to make this country an even better place to live in.

I pray that God would help us appreciate the country we have and guide us in building a society that better reflects our faith—one that works to reduce poverty, protect the unborn, care for the terminally ill, restore the environment, and look after those in need.

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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