Intentions of the Holy Father for April

Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

To Our Nation's Servicemen and -Women

Dear Sir or Madam:

I have never served our country under arms.  I have never endured the rigors of basic training or the deprivation of the campaign.  I have never been away to a foreign for many months or years.  I have never been shot at or shelled.  I have never been put on alert, standby, or shipped away from my family.  I have never been maimed.  I have never been killed, or seen my best friend killed.

You have done all these things for the rest of us, so that we might enjoy a land of peace, where people are ruled by laws, rather than by tyrants, so that we may build a culture of civility and opportunity.  Because of your heroic conduct and generous hearts filled with a willingness to sacrifice, we have a country that is the envy of the world, and in a good way.  Foreign nations might detest our nation for any number of reasons, but not for the conduct of our soldiers abroad, which, with very few exceptions, has been exemplary and a source of national pride.  When the odd bad seed has caused problems, the rest of you have nobly stepped up your own service to stand in the breach and to restore our national honor.

I read an account of a Muslim woman in the Middle East who converted to become a Christian at great personal risk.  She was inspired by you, good soldiers, because of your conduct: after a battle, you care even for the enemy wounded, and treat the bodies of their fallen with respect and dignity.  You do not seek to heap catastrophe upon the enemy, but use your prowess in battle to minimize the number who must perish.  You do not demand sacrifice of others, but sacrifice yourself, very much as our Lord willed to do.  You give chocolate bars to children, and play sports even with the sons of your fallen enemies.

You are inspirations and role models to us all.

May God bless you and keep America from ever ceasing to be grateful for you.  For what it is worth, you have my thanks.

Yours Gratefully,
Ryan Haber
Kensington, Maryland

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