FORTNIGHT FOR FREEDOM

Opening Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in us the fire of your love.

REFLECTION: Religious liberty is not only about our ability to go to Mass on Sunday, or pray the Rosary at home.  It is about whether we can make our contribution to the common good of all Americans. Can we do the good works our faith calls us to do, without having to compromise that very same faith? What is at stake is whether America will continue to have a free, creative and robust civil society–or whether the state alone will determine who gets to  contribute to the common good, and how they get to do it. (from Our First, Most Cherished Liberty U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.)

George Washington wrote that “the establishment of civil and religious liberty was the motive that induced me to the field of battle.” Thomas Jefferson assured the Ursuline Sisters–who had been serving a mostly non-Catholic population by running a hospital, an orphanage, and schools in Louisiana since 1727–that the principles of the Constitution were a “sure guarantee” that their ministry would be free “to govern itself according to its own voluntary rules, (Our First, Most Cherished Liberty..)

The Civil rights movement was an essentially religious movement, a call to awaken consciences..   In his famous “Letter from Bermingham Jail” in 1963. Reb. Martin Luther King Jr. bodly said, “The goal of America is freedom… I would agree with St. Augustine that ‘an unjust law is no law at all’..How does one determine when a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. and unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. (Our First, Most Cherished Liberty..)

IT IS A SOBERING THING TO CONTEMPLATE OUR GOVERNMENT ENACTING AN UNJUST LAW. AN UNJUST LAW CANNOT BE OBEYED. An unjust law cannot be obeyed. In the face of an unjust law, an accommodation is not to be sought, especially by resorting to equivocal words and deceptive practices. If we face today the prospect of unjust laws, then Catholics in America, in solidarity with our fellow citizens, must have the courage not to obey them.  No American desires this. No Catholic welcomes it. But if it should fall upon us, we must discharge it as a duty of citizenship and an obligation of faith. (Our First, Most Cherished Liberty..)

WHAT WE ASK IS NOTHING MORE THAN THAT OUR GOD-GIVEN RIGHT TO RELIGIOUS LIBERTY BE RESPECTED. WE ASK NOTHING LESS THAN THAT THE CONSTITUTION AND LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES, WHICH RECOGNIZE THAT RIGHT BE RESPECTED.IN INSISTING THAT OUR LIBERTIES AS AMERICANS BE RESPECTED.

DAILY PRAYER:  ALMIGHTY GOD, Father of all nations, For freedom you have set us free in Christ Jesus. WE PRAISE and bless you for the gift of religious liberty, the foundation of human rights, justice and the common good. GRANT to our leaders the wisdom to protect and promote our liberties. BY YOUR grace may we have the courage to defend them for ourselves and for all those who live in this blessed land. WE ASK this through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, our patroness, AND IN the name of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. WITH WHOM you live and reign, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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FORTNIGHT FOR FREEDOM

Did you know that the Catholic Church has asked for special prayers from  June 21 to July4, 14 days to pray for Religious Liberty in this Country.  I should have told you all on June 21st, but it is not to late to join in the last 4 days of prayers.   Fortnight for Freedom started about 8 yrs ago, when the American Bishops  decided that we are loosing our Religious Freedom in this Country at a faster rate than ever before. Fortnight is to bring attention to this fact, and to pray for wisdom and help from our Almighty God to preserve our basic right in this Country.

From well before Cardinal Gibbons in the late 1800’s, Catholics in America have been advocates for religious liberty, and the landmark teaching of the Second Vatican Council on religious liberty was influenced by the American experience…We have been staunch defenders of religious liberty in the past. We have a solemn duty to discharge that duty today. We address an urgent summons to our fellow Catholics and fellow Americans to be on guard, for religious liberty is under attack both at home and abroad.

Of particular concern are certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion. Many of you have pointed out that concerted efforts have been made to deny the right of conscientious objection on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices. Others have spoken to me of a worrying tendency to reduce religious freedom to mere freedom of freedom of worship without guarantees of respect for freedom of conscience.(Pope Benedict SVI, Jan 2012)

I will post more information Friday night, for now, here is the DAILY PRAYER FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY. Which of course, we can say anytime during the coming year.

ALMIGHTY GOD, Father of all nations, FOR FREEDOM YOU have set us free in Christ  Jesus. We PRAISE AND BLESS you for the gift of religious liberty, the foundation of human rights, justice and the common good. Grant TO OUR LEADERS the wisdom to protect and promote our liberties. BY YOUR GRACE may we have the courage to defend them for ourselves and for all those who live in this blessed land. WE ASK THIS through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, our patroness, AND IN THE NAME of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, WITH WHOM YOU LIVE AND REIGN, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

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