Monday, June 18, 2012

A fortnight of prayer?

     I mentioned in my homily for Fathers' Day that honoring our Dad's requires that we appreciate what they have done for us and what they have given to us, and that we, their children, cherish and hold those gifts close to our heart.  It demands an awareness of the blessedness that must be defended and celebrated.  The values and traditions, the faith and sense of family that my Dad and Mom gave to my sister and me is a valuable legacy that we need to protect and defend.

     I also mentioned in that regard that the bishops of the United States have called for a FORTNIGHT FOR FREEDOM to be observed in all dioceses and parishes from June 21st through July 4th.  This two week period should be spent in prayer, study and reflection on the fundamentals of our religious heritage in this great land, and the legacy of freedom provided for us by the founders.  Here is the introduction for The Fortnight For Freedom found on USCCB's web page:

The fourteen days from June 21 - the vigil of the
feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More -
to July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this
"fortnight for freedom" -
a great hymn of prayer for our country.
Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series
of great martyrs who remained faithful
in the face of persecution by political powers -
St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More,
St. John the Baptist,
SS. Peter and Paul,
and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome.
Culminating on Independence Day,
this special period of prayer, study,
catechises, and public action
will emphasize both our Christian
and American heritage of liberty.
Dioceses and parishes around the country
have scheduled special events
that support a great national campaign
of teaching and witness for religious liberty.

In the Diocese of Greensburg
the Fortnight for Freedom
will begin with a Holy Hour
beginning at 7:30 pm
Blessed Sacrament Cathedral
in Greensburg.
All are welcome!

     Here is a Prayer for the Protection of Religious Freedom given to us by the Bishops' Conference.  A few people at Mass said that it was very powerful.

O God our Creator,
through the power and working of your Holy Spirit,
you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,
bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel
to every corner of society.
We ask you to bless us
in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.
Give us the strength of mind and heart
to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;
give us courage in making our voices heard
on behalf of the rights of your Church
and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.
Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father,
a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters
gathered in your Church
in this decisive hour in the history of our nation,
so that, with every trial withstood
and every danger overcome -
for the sake of our children, our grandchildren,
and all who come after us -
this great land will always be "one nation,
under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

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