July 7, 2013

Fortnight for Freedom. Many thanks to all of you who took part in some way in our 2 weeks of prayer, sacrifice and action for Religious Liberty. Special thanks to all who came out to the daily Holy Hours, in particular to Bob and Gerri Laird who helped coordinate and promote them. Although the Fortnight is over, the battle is not done. So, each in your own way, commit yourself to continue to fight for Religious Liberty—and the protection of Life and Marriage..

Investiture with the Brown Scapular Next Weekend. Tuesday, July 16, is the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. For almost 8 centuries Catholics have been showing their devotion to our Lady and placing themselves under her protection by wearing the Brown Scapular and being enrolled in the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin of Mount Carmel. For those who wish to be likewise enrolled in the Confraternity and invested with the Brown Scapular I will do so in brief ceremonies next weekend: after the 9am Mass on Saturday, July 13, and after both the 8:45 and 10:30 Mass on Sunday, July 14. There is no sign up, and no specific preparation required. You may bring your own Scapular or receive one provided by the parish.

Fourth of July. As we come to the end of this week/weekend of celebrating our Nation’s birth, I offer some quotations from the Father of our Country to remind us all of the essential role that religion (particularly “our blessed religion,” Christianity) and faith in and obedience to God have played in making America the great nation it has been for over 2 centuries:

Circular Letter Addressed to the Governors of all the States on the Disbanding of the Army, June 14, 1783 (excerpt)

I now make it my earnest prayer that God would have you, and the State over which you preside, in his holy protection; that he would incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government, to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow-citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for brethren who have served in the field; and finally that he would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind, which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy nation.

George Washington’s First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789 (excerpt)

…[I]t would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official Act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the Universe, who presides in the Councils of Nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that his benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the People of the United States, a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes: and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success, the functions allotted to his charge.

In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own; nor those of my fellow-citizens at large, less than either. No People can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States.

Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency. And in the important revolution just accomplished in the system of their United Government, the tranquil deliberations and voluntary consent of so many distinct communities, from which the event has resulted, cannot be compared with the means by which most Governments have been established, without some return of pious gratitude along with an humble anticipation of the future blessings which the past seem to presage.

These reflections, arising out of the present crisis, have forced themselves too strongly on my mind to be suppressed. You will join with me I trust in thinking, that there are none under the influence of which, the proceedings of a new and free Government can more auspiciously commence…

…Since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven, can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained: And since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the Republican model of Government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people…

I shall take my present leave; but not without resorting once more to the benign parent of the human race, in humble supplication that since he has been pleased to favor the American people, with opportunities for deliberating in perfect tranquility, and dispositions for deciding with unparalleled unanimity on a form of Government, for the security of their Union, and the advancement of their happiness; so his divine blessing may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged views, the temperate consultations, and the wise measures on which the success of this Government must depend.

George Washington’s Farewell Address, September 17, 1796 (excerpt)

Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

It is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who, that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?

Oremus pro invicem, et pro patria. Fr. De Celles