Fortnight for Freedom

Posted by on Jul 6, 2015 in Pastor's Desk | No Comments

As we pause to celebrate Independence Day once again, we find ourselves living in a strange time in which the protections enshrined in the Bill of Rights are diminishing and in some cases disappearing completely. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have called for a “Fortnight for Freedom” from June 21 – July 4, 2015. They envision an intentional time of prayer, education and action in support of religious freedom, and offer the following prayer for our use:

O God our Creator, from your provident hand we have received our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, 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 nations, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.

Katherine Lee Bates famous poem “America the Beautiful” (first written in 1893) has long been my favorite patriotic song. Here is a stanza that we would all benefit from taking to heart:

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America! God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

Pr. Paul F. Becker

Open my eyes to behold wondrous things in Your Law. Psalm 119:18

p.s. Have you ever wondered why we started saying: “We shall serve Him!” at the end of the Divine Service? Here’s why: “…and the people said to Joshua, ‘The LORD our God we will serve, and His voice we will obey.’” Joshua 24:24