Sunday, November 4, 2012

Our First, Most Cherished Liberty

It's rare to have any large group speak with one voice.  But over the past number of months, the U.S. Bishops have unanimously called for prayer, study and action in defense of religious liberty.

In a remarkable--and quite readable--document entitled Our First, Most Cherished Liberty, the Bishops outline a number of concrete examples of recent attacks against religious liberty.  They remind us that religious liberty is more than mere freedom to worship.  And, in a riveting section in which they quote Martin Luther King, Jr. (who himself was quoting St. Augustine), they insist that "an unjust law is no law at all."

In a spirit of authentic patriotism and in recognition of the basic human rights upon which the U.S. Constitution rests, the Bishops have taken the lead at a pivotal moment in our history.  Men and women from a variety of creeds and backgrounds have joined in the movement.  So, in unison with the Bishops, let's join in their prayer for 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.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, Pray for us!