Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fortnight for Freedom

I'm on vacation this week...that means lot's of time spent with the family - not much time in front of the computer. So expect little or no activity here on the blog. In the meantime, don't forget that the "Fortnight for Freedom" begins this Thursday - tomorrow!
In case you haven't heard about this event, the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishop (USCCB) describes it at their website: "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 power—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, catechesis, 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."

This is an important opportunity to pray in union with our bishops and the whole Catholic Church in America in support of the cause of freedom during this challenging time of persecution for our Christian faith. As a family, we intend to pray the following prayer, together with our whole parish and other parishes across the country:

O God our Creator,
from your provident hand we have received
our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
You have called us as your people and given us
the right and the duty to worship you, the only true God,
and your Son, Jesus Christ.
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.

Every day during this "Fortnight of Freedom," take some time to pray this prayer and join your voice to those of fellow Catholics in the cause of religious freedom.
Also, the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops provides this Litany in pdf format at their site:

In addition, the USCCB lists a series of reflection for each day of Fortnight for Freedom (also in pdf):

Please join other Catholics in this effort, not only with prayer, but by speaking out in support of religious liberty and against unjust laws.

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