Fortnight for Freedom 2016

One Nation Under…

Hillary? Trump?

We are called to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). And the next verse says to “rejoice always!” With our hearts trusting in Jesus Christ and our minds illuminated by truth, we can do both as the political drama in America continues to unfold. For the next two weeks, let us join together in prayer for America’s first freedom: the freedom to exercise our religion. May America always be One Nation Under God.

Fortnight for Freedom — June 21–July 4, 2016
gather, learn, pray and fast, pilgrimage, share

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Prayer of the Day
Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty

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.

Amen.

Global Rosary Relay for Priests 2016

Encircle the World in Prayer for Priests

What: 24-hour relay of prayer for priests

When: Friday, June 3, 2016, Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Where: More than 80 shrines in 50+ countries; the rosary will begin in Siberia with the Joyful Mysteries, move to the underground Church in China, then to Australia, India, Eastern Europe, and westward, ending in Guatemala at midnight with the Sorrowful Mysteries

How: Participants will pray a specific set of mysteries of the rosary and then spiritually pass the prayer to the next location; individuals and small groups are encouraged to gather to pray in their homes or at their local parish; U.S. East Coasters can join EWTN in praying the Joyful Mysteries at 9:30 a.m. (rebroadcast at 9:30 p.m EST).

Pray always without becoming weary.
— Jesus, Gospel of Luke 18:1

 

Who do you want to surround in prayer?

Question of the Day 1:
In the remaining days of Lent, who will you surround in prayer?

Denver Catholic reports that its local Planned Parenthood clinic was surrounded in prayer for more than an hour during a Eucharistic procession March 5. Organizers anticipated 500 to 800 people, and somewhere between 1,500 and 1,800 people showed up, requiring adjustments to the logistics. The group prayed as they processed with the Blessed Sacrament seven times around the city block where the clinic is located.

It is easy to pray for those whom we love and those whose suffering we would like to see relieved. The Sacred Heart of Jesus asks more of us. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus raises the bar of the Old Covenant, which had become external practices done for show, and points us to the Spirit of the Law, where internal movements and attitudes of the heart are a critical component of religious practice.

Scripture of the Day: Matthew 5:43–48

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Question of the Day 2:
Who else needs you to surround them in prayer? Who do you know who most needs to experience God’s love and mercy? Who has no one to pray for them?

Prayer of the Day:

This Lenten season may our hearts soften and expand and be conformed to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. May we have the courage to choose and witness to the sanctity of human life. As we make the Stations of the Cross, may we recall how Jesus forgave his persecutors, which includes us, and receive forgiveness. May we receive also the grace to forgive others as God has forgiven us.

Saints who Show us the Way:

If I were to meet the slave-traders who kidnapped me and even those who tortured me, I would kneel and kiss their hands, for if that did not happen, I would not be a Christian today.

The Lord has loved me so much: we must love everyone…we must be compassionate!

Saint Josephine Bakhita (Sudanese, 1868–1947)

Charity Bowl 50: Betting on Jesus

Now Taking Bets on Charity Bowl 50

In honor of Super Bowl 50, Catholic Charities of Denver and Charlotte are betting on your generosity. The Catholic Charities executive directors from both cities challenged each other to raise $50,000 before the Super Bowl ends February 7. Results will be tallied and published one hour after the Super Bowl ends. The outcome is not determined by the score of the football game.

  • The winning charity’s CEO will hold a victory celebration when charity employees will dump cold sports drinks over him.
  • The losing charity’s CEO will dress in the opposing team’s colors and send a message of congratulations to the other charity.

Place your bet at charitybowl50.org.

Questions of the Day: Are there 1,000 people in the Denver or Charlotte areas — or anywhere — who love those football teams, who will bet $50 on Jesus? Are there 10,000 people who will bet $5?

Scripture of the Day: Philippians 2:1–5

If there is any encouragement in Christ, any solace in love, any participation in the Spirit, any compassion and mercy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing. Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but [also] everyone for those of others. Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus.

Quote of the Day

When we attend to the needs of those in want, we give them what is theirs, not ours. More than performing works of mercy, we are paying a debt of justice. — Pope Saint Gregory the Great (b. ca 540; d. 604)

 

 

Respect Life Sunday

Questions of the Day

Do you believe in the sanctity of human life? If you found out someone wanted to commit suicide, would you try to stop him or her? If you found out someone was plotting to kill others, would you do something about it? Will you join the pro-life movement in public witness to the sanctity of human life, which begins at conception in the womb?

On Saturday, August 22, nearly 80,000 people protested at 342 Planned Parenthood facilities around the country (and in a few foreign countries as well). It’s time to do it again, because some demons can be cast out only through prayer and fasting.

Event Details

What:  Protest government-sanctioned killing of unborn children

National Organizer:  protestpp.com

When:  Saturday, October 10, 2015,  from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., with some locations praying the rosary at noon

Where:  More than 250 Planned Parenthood facilities around the United States — find a location near you

Every Life is Worth Living

Prayer Intentions from Priests for Life

If you are unable to come out in person, you can always pray wherever you are.

Learn About the Pro-Life Movement

More than 60 pro-life organizations co-sponsored the ProtestPP.com event. Following are just a few that provide opportunities for you to get more involved with the Pro-Life Generation:

Resources for Respect Life Month

2015 National 54 Day Rosary Novena

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What:  The Rosary Evangelization Apostolate invites everyone to pray the rosary for 54 days (27 days for petition and 27 days of thanksgiving)

Intention: For family and marriage, peace, sanctity of human life, and religious freedom

When:  August 15–September 10, 2015 (prayers of petition) and September 11– October 7, 2015 (prayers of thanksgiving)

Where:  At home individually, with family and friends, in parish communities, bible study groups, or with other groups

Event / Action Item for 08-03-15

The Fifth Commandment:  You Shall Not Kill

The Senate is expected to vote on S.1881 – A bill to prohibit federal funding of Planned Parenthood Federation of America around 5:30 p.m. Monday, August 3.

  • Watch Senate Session on C-SPAN
    [UPDATE:  Seven votes shy, the Senate blocks S.1881; Kaine and Warner voted NO, as expected. What’s odd to us nonpolitical folk is that one of the cosponsors of the bill, Mitch McConnell (R–KY) also voted NO. He did that because, somehow, in Washington Politics, it allows him to force a fresh vote later. With more videos to come from CMP and more time to rally the people of America and for God not only to convert minds and hearts but also to heal the wounds between men and women, perhaps the measure will pass the second time around. ]

Take five minutes and send an e-mail to your senators to let them know your position on this bill.

Questions of the Day:  Which business is Planned Parenthood in:  health care or research or politics? When is a non-profit org not really a non-profit (when its assets exceed $1.5 billion and annual excess revenue hits $100 million)? Are fertility and pregnancy diseases that need to be treated or is a woman’s capacity to bring new life into the world something to respect and support? Is abortion about “rights” or is it about responsibilities? When does a human being become a human being and deserve to have rights? Does Planned Parenthood offer women choices and care for women who want to have their children? (No. No care; no support; no choice.) Do you want your taxpayer dollars funding Cecile Richards’ 590,000$ annual salary?

But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even His life to love us. So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.

By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And, by abortion, that father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. The father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.

— Blessed Mother Teresa, speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast February 5, 1994

Perfect love casts out all fear.

Event: Fortnight for Freedom

What:  Fortnight for Freedom:  Freedom to Bear Witness

When:  June 21–July 4, 2015

Question for the Fortnight:  How can I contribute to a more just society?

Where:  events in dioceses across the country; list of events in the Diocese of Arlington

We must promote religious liberty for all people. Every man and woman must be free to profess his or her faith whatever it may be. Why? Because that man and that woman are children of God. — Pope Francis

Learn More: 

“It is too late to defend marriage. Rather than being defended, marriage needs to be taught and lived. The Church needs to be willing to become the place where that teaching occurs as well as the place that can sustain couples in the struggle required to live it. Fortunately, the spiritual inheritance of the Church has gifted it with all of the tools necessary for that task. It lacks only people who are willing to take up the struggle.”
— Father Stephen Freeman, “Marriage as a Lifetime of Suffering”

Event: The Meaning of Marriage

What:  Professor Alice von Hildebrand, author of The Privilege of Being a Woman, speaks about The Meaning of Marriage:  Understanding the Mystery of Faithful Love

When:  May 17, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.

Where:  Our Lady of Hope Church Hall and broadcast live online

Presented by:  The Institute of Catholic Culture

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Bonus 1:  Read Dr von Hildebrand’s Letter to a Young Girl

Bonus 2:  Watch Dr von Hildebrand’s talk on Restoring the Dignity and Vocation of Women (another ICC event from 2013)

Quotes of the Day
from Dr Alice von Hildebrand’s talk Restoring the Dignity and Vocation of Women

If I say something true in my talk, it is not mine; it is ours, because truth is essentially catholic, which means universal.  Whereas if I say something false, or truly stupid, give me a patent, because it is truly mine.

God has given women a mission of crucial importance, and one, you can say, is the cornerstone of society.

If you truly understand and respect the mystery of your sex, it gives you the key to the other sex.

Speaking of Simone de Beauvoir and her book The Second Sex, von Hildebrand says:

It just shows you the tragedy of a talented, intelligent woman whose pride is such she becomes totally blind.

Quoting Edith Stein (Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross), von Hildebrand says:

Edith Stein says the mission of women, therefore, is to foster life, to serve life.

National Day of Prayer 05-07-15

Pray with and for America 5-07-15

National Catholic Prayer Breakfast – 11th Anniversary

National Day of Prayer – 64th Anniversary

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Theme:  Lord Hear Our Cry

Verse:  1 Kings 8:28

Regard kindly the prayer and petition of your servant, Lord, my God, and listen to the cry of supplication which I, your servant, utter before you this day.


An open letter to America on prayer signed by 56 members of Congress


(some) Proclamations (or not) for the National Day of Prayer
(and maybe some fasting and humiliation, too,
and certainly some Thanks be to God)


(All of this, of course, upsets the people at the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which wants to end the annual National Day of Prayer. I suppose they do not understand that “Thanksgiving” is also prayer, but maybe they want to remove that national holiday from the calendar, too. The last time I checked, the federal government was not rounding up atheists and non-Christians, taking them to a secret location, and waterboarding them until they professed the name of the Jesus.)