November 11, 2012

November 11, 2012 Column Father De Celles

So the People Decided. The election is done and the people have spoken. Unfortunately, wittingly or unwittingly, by a small majority they have chosen leaders who oppose the right to life, traditional marriage and religious liberty, and, frankly, Catholicism. I am very concerned about the effects, near term and long term, of this election, and have many thoughts running through my mind as I look back and, especially as I look forward. But I will refrain from sharing most of those thoughts with you today lest I say something imprudent due to lack of sleep and other factors. (Note: I write this after a mostly sleepless night, on Wednesday morning, Nov. 7).

But let me say this: Lord tells us told us over and over again: “Be not afraid.” And he reminds us:

“Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? …Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry…” (Mt. 6: 26, 29-31)

Let me also thank all of you who have taken to heart our efforts to defend religious liberty, the unborn, and marriage, and I encourage you to continue to do so. Special thanks to all who worked so hard the last few months, whether through prayer or other practical activity. In particular, on behalf of all the parish, let me thank Liz Hildebrand, Bob and Gerri Laird, and Mychele Brickner for all their hard work, creative advice and innovative ideas. And, as always, thanks to the parish staff.

Looking forward, I ask you to remember the words of St. Paul, and then join in the words of Archbishop John Carroll (which I have printed here before):

St. Paul, 1 Timothy 2:1-4:
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

Prayer for Government, by Archbishop John Carroll, first bishop and archbishop of Baltimore, and of the United States (1791):

“We pray, Thee O Almighty and Eternal God! Who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy, that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of Thy Name.

“We pray Thee, who alone art good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal, and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, Pope N., the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of his Church; our own bishop, N., all other bishops, prelates, and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise amongst us the functions of the holy ministry, and conduct Thy people into the ways of salvation.

“We pray Thee O God of might, wisdom, and justice! Through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.

“We pray for his excellency, the governor of this state, for the members of the assembly, for all judges, magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability.

“We recommend likewise, to Thy unbounded mercy, all our brethren and fellow citizens throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal.

“Finally, we pray to Thee, O Lord of mercy, to remember the souls of Thy servants departed who are gone before us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of peace; the souls of our parents, relatives, and friends; of those who, when living, were members of this congregation, and particularly of such as are lately deceased; of all benefactors who, by their donations or legacies to this Church, witnessed their zeal for the decency of divine worship and proved their claim to our grateful and charitable remembrance. To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light, and everlasting peace, through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Amen.”

Oremus pro invicem, et pro patria. Fr De Celles