Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down
his life for a friend. (John 15:13)
Today, around the world, we gather to remember those who
laid down the greatest gift from God so that others could revel in the joys of
life. As I do every year during that moment of silence not only do I say a
prayer of thanks for those who made the ultimate sacrifice, I ask myself if I
could do the same. A very difficult question, indeed.
Watching the Remembrance Day ceremony from the national
cenotaph in Ottawa at home with a sick 7 year-old, I was moved by the crowds
cheering our war veterans and the deep understanding of sacrifice my son
showed. There was one simple gesture by a dignitary, however, that caught my
eye. As the representative of the Parliament of Canada laid a wreath at the
tomb of the Unknown Soldier, he paused and made the sign of the Cross. A
courageous act in a defiantly politically correct society.
It has been my experience that Catholics often feel the need
to apologize for their demonstrations of faith. We either furtively make the
sign of the Cross with a flick of fingers under their chin, or remove Christian
artwork when non-religious friends and relatives come for dinner. Really, we
should act to the contrary, taking courage from others and not be afraid to
show our Catholic faith to world.
With so many people lamenting the loss of morals in
our society, showing that we are not afraid to live a faith-based life is the
first, albeit small, step towards building a better society. The kind of
society that the many young men and women we remember today died for.