Adult Faith Formation Column for the Sunday Bulletin of St. Michael Parish, Livermore, California
This weekly column is a short meditation on the Bible readings of the Sunday Mass. The meditations are direct quotations from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, papal encyclicals, writings of the Saints, and similar orthodox sources.
Saturday, June 9, 2012
Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, 17 June 2012
...Both our civil year and liturgical year point us on various occasions
to our heritage of freedom. This year, we [United States Bishops] propose
a special "fortnight for freedom," in which bishops in their own dioceses
might arrange special events to highlight the importance of defending our
first freedom. Our Catholic institutions also could be encouraged to do the
same, especially in cooperation with other Christians, Jews, people of other
faiths, and indeed, all who which to defend our most cherished freedom.
We suggest that the fourteen days from June 21 -- the vigil of the
Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More -- to July 4, Independence
Day, be 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 would
emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty....
To all our fellow Catholics, we urge and intensification of your prayers
and fasting for a new birth of freedom in our beloved country. We invite you
to join us in an urgent prayer for religious liberty.
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.
-- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops,
Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty,
"Our First, Most Cherished Liberty: A Statement
on Religious Liberty."