Today the US Conference of Catholic Bishops sponsored a pilgrimage for life and liberty at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC and I was fortunate enough to go. It was amazing. First of all, the upper church was packed. This is a huge church and we were packed like sardines in the pews and there were people standing in the side aisles and in the many small chapels that line both sides of the church. There were even rows of chairs set up in the open area behind the last pews. The Shrine web site says the upper church seats 3500 and with all the chapels has a capacity of 6000. Bet you didn't see any news coverage of thousands of Catholics gathering to pray for life and liberty.
Archbishop Lori of Baltimore was the primary celebrant. He is the leader of the USCCB ad-hoc committee on religious liberty. He gave a rousing homily that resulted in a standing ovation when he was done. I normally do not like applause during Mass, but somehow his words needed an immediate response. Our faith is under attack. The secular culture is trying to push us into a closet so that our faith is unseen and unheard. But Christ calls us to proclaim the Gospel in every aspect of our lives. We do not hide.
Perhaps one of the most important things that Archbishop Lori pointed out is that the HHS mandate is not an isolated issue. It is a harbinger of things to come. He is very right. Obamacare has at least a thousand places where the wording is "The secretary shall decide...". There are already committees in place to decide who gets care and who does not; what care will be given and what will be withheld. First they make us pay for contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization. Then they will forbid the provision of nutrition and hydration at the end of life. They can declare that everyone over some arbitrary age is ineligible for cancer treatment. There is already consideration of withholding anything more than palliative treatment for stroke victims over the age of 70. These are decisions that should be made on an individual basis at the bedside by a patient(or his surrogate) and his physician. They cannot be ethically made by bureaucrats in Washington. Yet that is exactly what Obamacare promotes.
Religious liberty will be attacked on more than the health care front. In Canada, an education minister has declared that Catholic schools cannot teach that abortion is wrong. Expect to see the same sort of thing here if we allow the radical secularists to control our government.
This pilgrimage marked the beginning of a Rosary Novena for Life and Liberty. Even if you could not attend the pilgrimage you can join in the prayer. Please offer a Rosary or other prayer every day for the next nine days for the intention of Life and Liberty. As the Gospel said today, with God, all things are possible.
KITCHEN TABLE CHATS
Pull up a chair in my domestic church and let's chat!
I have worn many labels (Not in any particular order): Catholic, Wife, Mom,Gramma, Doctor, Major, Soccer Mom, Military Wife, Professor, Fellow.
All of these filter my views of the world. I hope that like St. Monica, I can through prayer, words and example, lead my children and others to Faith.