Yes, cloistered nuns do celebrate the Fourth of July and thank God for our freedom and pray for our nation intensely that she may find her way back to God again. Being cloistered, naturally means we do not go out to parades and firework shows. An interesting fact in our history was having the best ringside seat to the Jemez Springs fireworks display and parade for years before drought stopped the fireworks. Our monastery was so close we could actually see the firemen launching fireworks, while folks lined the highway outside our fence. We’ve had to get more creative in East Tennessee. Not anxious to deal with explosives ourselves, we simply observe from a happy distance and enjoy all the bangs, and booms, and echoing rumbles while keeping an eye out for distant bursts and flashes. The patient waiting while nuns were facing three different directions, ready to call out for the others where to look reminds us of the hope our nation still has. Freedom is not for complete license to do whatever we want. It is to do what we ought. It’s telling that we saw not so much municipality’s professional fireworks displays but rather those of families and individuals. Smaller, yet more numerous. We cannot abandon hope that responsible dutiful freedom in our land may be regained. Keep looking, keep your eyes peeled while on a hilltop for the slightest flash of light, of good souls, of people again ready to follow God’s ways using the gifts he has amply provided.