Tomorrow we will stand together at the downtown rally in San Antonio in solidarity with those who believe in the founding principles of our nation pertaining to our God-given right to freely exercise our religion, to proclaim that our religious liberty is inviolable and sacrosanct. No government can violate our conscience and force us to participate in evil.
In Matthew 22 our Lord berated the Pharisees who were seeking to trap him and denounce him to the Roman authorities. He drew their attention to a Roman coin with the face of Caesar. Yes, as citizens we pay our taxes and at times we consider with great anxiety what the government does with our taxes against our moral principles. We call to mind the Obama administration’s funding of abortion as part of aid to foreign countries. But we are not morally complicit in every action taken by government bureaucrats. However when our Catholic religious and corporate institutions comply with the government’s direct mandate to provide for abortion-inducing drugs in our health care plans or with state and loc al governments’ directive to allow children in our adoption agencies to be turned over to same sex couples, we become directly complicit in the evil which we cannot submit to as Catholic citizens.
In the famous Nuremberg trials in Germany after World War II, not only military leaders of the Nazi regime were put on trial for war crimes but also judges and doctors. They all were following orders of the gangster state led by Hitler and his henchmen.
George Santayana, the Spanish-American philosopher, poet, novelist, and essayist is well known for his often quoted maxim, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. Santayana also wrote, “Religion in its humility restores man to his only dignity, the courage to live by grace”.
In his Fortnight for Freedom homily on July 4th, Archbishop Charles Chaput reminds us that our Lord in the gospel of Matthew was addressing our higher calling as believers – to render unto God what belongs to God. That we will be struggling against the secular tide in our culture is a given. We will not have the moral strength to resist if we do not first and foremost “master and convert our own hearts” to give ourselves to God completely.
Archbishop Chaput also reminds us of what God said to Ezekiel, “I have appointed you as a sentinel. If I say to the wicked, ‘you will surely die’ – and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them … I will hold you responsible for their blood.”
Yes, we must continue to speak our unceasingly for religious liberty but never apart from what we proclaim boldly as Catholics especially during October every year (Respect Life month) that life is sacred and human dignity can never be violated from the beginning and end of human life because we are made in the image and likeness of God.
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Holy Father’s Prayer Intentions For 2012
General Intention: New Evangelization. That the New Evangelization may progress in the oldest Christian countries.
Missionary Intention: World Mission Day. That the celebration of World Mission Day may result in a renewed commitment to evangelization.