Religious Freedom: July 2012 Archives
Fourteen days of prayer, fasting and study have now concluded with the Sacrifice of the Mass offered by His Excellency, Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (Washington, DC). Below is the Archbishop's homily.
The homily given by His Eminence, Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, can be read here.
My dear faithful people of God and people of Good will,
Philadelphia is the place where both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were written. For more than two centuries, these documents have inspired people around the globe. So as we begin our reflection on today's readings, I have the privilege of greeting everyone here today -- and every person watching or listening from a distance -- in the name of the Church of my home, the Church of Philadelphia, the cradle of our country's liberty and the city of our nation's founding, so greetings to all of you from the people of Philadelphia. May God bless and guide all of us as we settle our hearts and minds on the Word of God.
Paul Claudel, the French poet and diplomat of the last century, once described the Christian as "a man who knows what he is doing and where he is going in a world [that] no longer [knows] the difference between good and evil, between yes and no. He is like a god standing out in a crowd of invalids . . . He alone has liberty in a world of slaves."
With the Church we pray,
God of justice, Father of truth, who guide creation in wisdom and goodness to fulfillment in Christ your Son, open our hearts to the truth of his Gospel, that your peace may rule in our hearts and your justice guide our lives.
And for the intention of religious liberty which we've been praying for the last 14 days,
Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty
O God our Creator, 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.