July 4 reminds U.S. citizens to be grateful—for our country, constitution, history, and local communities. We are right to give thanks for these gifts. We are wise, though, to guard against forms of patriotism that become idolatry.

Jesus began with the sacred “insider” Jewish law and expanded it, inviting his listeners to a larger, more hospitable view of life. In Jesus’ mindset, we blur lines between enemies and friends for the sake of creating community that includes everyone by way of compassion, forgiveness, and generosity. It is fine to love my country, but even finer is to love my spiritual community which transcends nationality, race, and philosophy.

My daily life might incorporate many “borders” and therefore categorize those outside the borders as other, or even as enemy. Whom do I consider an enemy? Someone from another political party? A person who ridicules my faith? What pray can I offer today for that enemy?

——Vinita Wright serves as Managing Editor, New Product Development at Loyola Press, Chicago, IL. Click here to enjoy Loyola Press’s “31 Days with St. Ignatius,” a month-long celebration of Ignatian spirituality in honor of St. Ignatius’ Feast Day on July 31. Content includes articles, blog posts, and videos to help you learn about and apply the principles of Ignatian spirituality.