Reflections on loving God, being Catholic, being a woman, being ill, loving life and anything else that comes to mind.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

40 Days For Freedom

At the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen from December 7 through December 18, a treaty will be offered, in which signatories cede their sovereignty to a world government, one that does not yet exist and for which we will have no vote. First, and remember this, this is the United States so President Obama's signature is not enough to cede sovereignty, the treaty must be ratified by two-thirds of both houses of Congress. So we won’t immediately find ourselves ruled by the U.N. But his signature would send the message that many Americans actually want world government, that many of us want to give up governing ourselves and be governed by U.N. committees that we aren’t allowed to elect.

We live in a republic. It’s not a democracy though we do have a representative form of government. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a republic as a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law. We hold the supreme power. We govern ourselves. Our elected officials and representatives serve us. We, ourselves, are responsible for our public lives (and private too) within the boundaries of the Constitution of the United States of America. Though Catholics (and other Christians) are taught to obey the state, what do we do when we are the state? The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us:

1915 As far as possible citizens should take an active part in public life. The manner of this participation may vary from one country or culture to another. "One must pay tribute to those nations whose systems permit the largest possible number of the citizens to take part in public life in a climate of genuine freedom."(1)

We live in the nation where “the largest possible number of the citizens [] take part in public life in a climate of genuine freedom.” That’s the gift God has given American citizens. And we are responsible to Him for what we do with this gift. We must decide whether we will be the light of the world, [a] city set on a hill or if we will set our light under a bushel. We must decide if we will let all see []our good works and give glory to []our Father who is in heaven. This is a Catholic issue. This is a Baptist issue. It is a Methodist and Evangelical and Non-denominational issue. This is a Christian issue. This is an issue of what we are in our very essence, creatures whose work is to glorify God.

We are in a time of great anxiety and fear: there is much corruption in both parties; we are governed by bullies and thugs, by the greedy and the selfish and the envious. In fact, the exceptions are those who humbly serve us. Along with the freedom God has given us comes the responsibility to act to address the fraud and corruption that “are incompatible with the requirements of justice.”(2) Corruption is not a party issue, it is a human issue, an issue of original sin. I believe many of us want to act but we don’t really know what to do. From this day, I pledge to make this blog a place that points out actions we can take. Often, they will be things I myself am doing. We all know I’m sick so if I can do it, then practically anyone else can too. Fallen Sparrow is also working on this project with me (3) and in fact suggested the first act.

And he fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was hungry. (Matthew 4:2)

Let’s begin with a 40 Day Fast For Freedom. Let’s become hungry too. Hungry to do the jobs God has given us, to do the work for freedom. It’s quite simple: the United Nations Climate Change Conference begins on December 7. On October 30th, we begin 40 days of fasting, sacrifice and prayer for freedom. Our fast will culminate on December 8th, which Catholics and some other Christians celebrate as the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. We might pray the Rosary, or the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, or the Lord's Prayer, pray extemporaneously, or just set aside a period of five or ten minutes each day to pray the Psalms: Psalm 127 comes to mind first. But also Psalms 23, 51, 54, 55 and 138 through 143 come to mind as particularly appropriate. People might come together in groups to pray (and groups are a powerful way to battle fear).

Fasting and sacrifice can be just as simple. For those same 40 days, give up a an hour of TV to read Scripture. Spend time writing or calling your Congressman and Senators (4) instead of going shopping. Give up a favourite food or beverage. Choose something simple to do or give up for the next 40 days. Follow our Lord into the desert so that we might each be prepared to do the job of preserving the freedom He has given us. Copy the people of Nineveh whom our Lord praised.(5) Let’s join together as a nation in prayer, sacrifice and fasting humbly begging God to grant us what we need to reclaim and preserve our freedom.

Let us make a special offering of ourselves, through prayer and sacrifice, on November 3rd, election day. Several important elections are taking place that day throughout the country: governor's races in Virginia and New Jersey, a special Congressional election in New York State, a gay marriage ballot question in Maine, and countless local and municipal elections nationwide. Pray that God's will and a spirit of freedom guide the electorate in those races.

We have been promised freedom. The freedom to worship God in holiness and righteousness. That’s why the pilgrims came to these shores, for the freedom to worship God in holiness and righteousness. That’s why we have the first amendment to the Constitution, that we might be free to worship God in holiness and righteousness. And we know, if we think about it for the merest second, most of the world does not have such freedom. Most of the world is constrained to worship God as their states dictate. Why would we trust those who do not even allow their own citizens the freedom to worship God in holiness and righteousness with imposing a world government on us? How foolish we would be to trade the freedom God has given us for the tyranny of the United Nations.

"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people,
and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David,
as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
that we should be saved from our enemies,
and from the hand of all who hate us;
to perform the mercy promised to our fathers,
and to remember his holy covenant,
the oath which he swore to our father Abraham,
to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life.

And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people
in the forgiveness of their sins,
through the tender mercy of our God,
when the day shall dawn upon us from on high
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace." (Luke 1:68-79)

(1) The Catechism of the Catholic Church
(2) Please make further suggestions for prayers in the comments box.
(3) Others, who would like to participate, please email me @ allisurdatgmaildotcom (replace the usual)
(4) You can find your representatives at:
(5) Matthew 12:41

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