Culture: June 2010 Archives

Flag Day

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US flag2.jpgFlag Day is celebrated every June 14, in commemoration of the June 14, 1777 authorization by Congress making the "stars and stripes" a national symbol for the United States of America. Congress said: "Resolved that the flag of the thirteen United States be Thirteen stripes alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation." The national observance of flag day came with President Woodrow Wilson's 1916 proclamation establishing the day. In 1949, President Harry Truman signed an Act of Congress naming June 14 as "National Flag Day." More info can be found here.

My Knights of Columbus Council (Fr McGiveny Council 10705, New Haven, CT) and 4th Degree Assembly sold US flags over the weekend at Church. So, I am proud to say that a US flag is flying happily in front of my parents' house. You may know that the 4th Degree of the KofC was the last of the four degrees instituted by the KofC, not known by Fr McGivney, but entirely consistent with the mission of the KofC. For more info on the 4th Degree, see this website.

There is a great human interest and patriotic story in today's New Haven Register on a gesture of patriotism and empathy for our nation and for our soldiers serving abroad. I am happy that the context for this admiration for freedom and the flag which symbolizes our God-given freedom is Our Lady of Pompeii Church (East Haven, CT), my family's parish church. Also, we have in the story an example of how young people can reach out to others. The Colombian Squires bring together faith and action in a fitting way.

Today is also a wonderful day to think of Father Michael Morris, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York and professor of history at St Joseph's Seminary who has a high love for flags, especially the US flag. He's got a beautiful one flying in his office.

Where are you?

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Creation of Eve Michelangelo2.jpg

The very first question that God asks man in the Bible is, where are you?  "The Lord called to the man, and said to him, where are you?" (Genesis 3:9)  It is not a question that demands sophisticated answers nor are there multiple answers to this question. Rather, it is a question of concern from a loving father and the only demand placed upon this question is that one answers truthfully, even if the truth exposes something to us that highlights our selfishness and our need for God.

Before God asked Adam this question Adam had committed a sin by disobeying God's commandment and ate from the tree God had forbidden him to eat from. Adam had forgotten about God's love and choose to place his own will and desires over the will and desires of God. Now Adam, ashamed and afraid (which is always the fruit of sin) tries to hide from God because he realizes something dramatic has occurred in his relationship with the Lord. The Lord simply asks him, Adam, where are you?

This question, as old as the Bible itself, God continues to ask us today. Throughout our lives, throughout each day, and often several times a day, God is continually asking us, "My son or my daughter, where are you?  In other words, where is your heart right now?  Is it tired, frustrated, angry?  Is it overwhelmed by the demands of life?  Is it engrossed in selfish activities?  Is it immersed in lust, pride, envy, jealousy, etc?  Is it distracted by the things of this world?

When the Lord asks us this question it is an invitation from him to turn our eyes away from the many distractions we often promote and to turn our eyes once again towards Him. It is our Father, gentle tapping us on the shoulder and calling us back to Him.  Rather than living in future events, or reliving past wounds over and over again it is an invitation to experience God in the present moment, the only place where we can be guaranteed to encounter God.

Brother Jeremiah Myriam Shryock, CFR, a Fourth Year Seminary Student Saint Joseph's Seminary-Dunwoodie, Yonkers, NY. Brother Jeremiah was ordained a deacon on May 29, 2010 with three other Franciscan Friars of the Renewal by the Most Reverend Manual Cruz, an auxiliary bishop of Newark. A poem of Brother Jeremiah's, "After Eden,"  was published here.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]



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This page is a archive of entries in the Culture category from June 2010.

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