July 4 clip artYesterday morning I brought in the newspaper. It felt a little heavier than usual. Here’s why: it was full of advertisements — 26 in all — for stores having Fourth of July sales. Is that how the media would have us celebrate our country’s independence? Really? We all know that consumerism has reached an all-time high. There are folks who work hard to convince us that the answer to any of our country’s many ills is simply to spend more money. I guess you can tell that consumerism is a topic I have strong feelings about!

But let’s shift the focus. When it comes to our relationship with God, there’s no independence. We are dependent on God’s mercy for every breath we take. And our neighbor? There again, no independence. We are interdependent — humans, animals, plants, sun, moon, air — the whole nine yards. What affects one of us will affect all of us. Our survival as a planet depends on how well we care for one other. More on this some other time. I stumbled across two great articles over at Busted Halo that I think you’ll enjoy. If you have a little bit of free time today or over this holiday weekend, be sure to check them out. The first is (In)dependence Day by Jake Martin, S.J. He writes in a humorous way using lots of personal examples about the illusion of independence when we talk about God . The other is Declaring Your Independence: 4 Ways to Freedom this Fourth of July. Both articles will give you some food for thought as you munch on those grilled burgers and hot dogs and watch fireworks. To all of our readers we wish you a happy Independence Day!