Wow, I can honestly say I never intended to stop posting for as long as I did…It’s been quite some time, so you could say I’m well-rested and ready to go.
It’s actually with quite an exciting purpose that I write today. You see, as I was glancing around at other blogs I follow, I came across this post from Father Z’s Blog (a very good source on Catholic current events, and a source of inspiration for me, I might add. Check it out sometime) about a document published by the United States Bishops yesterday, April 12. The statement is concerning Religious Freedom.
What struck me as I read Father Z’s comments about the statement, as well as the statement itself (right HERE) was how quickly and easily we can forget things like this fight for Religious Freedom. In our world of 24-hour news coverage and constant Tweets and Facebook notifications, things tend to come and go quite fast. For some things this is OK; I would rather forget the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series last year; and the sooner the Cubs’ 2012 season is over the better. But for other things, the rate at which news comes and goes is very alarming indeed.
Even though CNN has stopped covering the HHS mandate, for instance, it is still coming this August, whether we remember or not. Something I loved about the Bishops’ statement was how it chronicled seven, yes, SEVEN, specific attacks by our government on religious freedom in the past 12 months or so. Now, I can remember reading about each and every one of these attacks. But because of the nature of our national media, it seems like these happened over the course of years. In reality, it was in a matter of months (and by the same administration too, don’t forget).
Now, do I suspect this as a plan by the national media or the Obama administration? In part, yes. I think it is quite convenient to space all these attacks out, letting them get their coverage and endure the backlash for a few weeks, and then have the American public more or less forget they ever happened. That is a problem!
I am so thankful for the Bishops’ writing this statement for that very reason. It has reminded me about all that is at stake when our government launches attack after attack on our Church and religious freedom as a whole. I hope this post can serve as a reminder to you as well and to restore the zeal and courage necessary to fight such evil and injustice.
The last thing the Bishops’ say in the statement (in case you don’t make it that far) was to call for a “Fortnight for Freedom” dedicated to prayer, education, and awareness of religious freedom and the current attacks by our government. It is scheduled for June 21 (Vigil of the Feast of St. Thomas More, who himself once took a stand for religious freedom and conviction) through July 4 (did you catch that significance?), and the Bishops are encouraging all dioceses to participate though planning special events sometime during those two weeks.
I encourage all of you to keep a watch for those events and make plans to participate in as many as possible. We must not forget what is going on in our country! To help with that, try praying this prayer the Bishops have written in preparation for the “Fortnight for Freedom”:
Almighty God, Father of all nations,
For freedom you have set us free in Christ Jesus (Gal 5:1).
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.
Hope you all continue having a Blessed Easter season. Check back here for more posts in the coming days!