Only by prayer and fasting Print
In Your Name
Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010 -- 12:00 AM

In Your Name by Deacon Jack

Our nation faces many challenges and our bishop has called for two days of prayer on Monday, Nov. 1, (All Saints Day) and Tuesday, Nov. 2, (All Souls Day).

Never before in our country's life, which was built on the family, has the sanctity of the family, of life, and of marriage -- one man and one woman -- been so endangered.

"If my people, who are called by my name, humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Our country is caught up in many important issues. Regardless of one's views of the war(s) in the Middle East, we are at war with all its human costs.

We are an affluent nation with many living in poverty and many unemployed or under-employed. We are beset by racial differences and part of a global community confronted by terrorism and environmental threats.

Deal with urgent moral choices

We must deal with urgent moral choices! First and foremost is addressing the most essential right: recognizing and protecting the sanctity of all human life, especially of the unborn child. We must not give up hope; we must pay homage to our God, humble ourselves, and ask God to pour his divine mercy on our country, seeking the salvation of all.

We must not rely on political parties to save our nation nor for political parties to bring us the blessings of salvation. We must rely on ourselves to carry out our Christian mission as citizens, fulfilling our calling to bring the truth and love of Christ into our world where they are so dearly needed. We must do it and trust, believing God will respond.

Don't underestimate your capacity to make a prayerful difference. Would you please dedicate one day (Monday to Saturday) each week indefinitely for the restoration of our country? At a minimum, wherever you are, join us in prayer on Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 1 and Nov. 2, so that we turn back from our sins.

Go in peace and love to your local church and pray that our good-faith efforts will bring God's forgiveness and love. All of us are imperfect and in need of reform. As we reform ourselves, God will watch and respond.

If Catholics remain engaged, there is much good we can contribute to our nation and world. Recall Zechariah 8:20-22: "Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts and to implore the favor of the Lord.'"

Give faithful witness

Let us amend our lives, purifying ourselves from every defilement of flesh and spirit. Do penance, reparation, self-denial, and self-giving. Forgive others, bring peace to troubled relationships, give faithful witness, and endure suffering. Seek the peace that surpasses all understanding. Remember everything works for good for those who love God.

Yes, we must elect leaders who live Godly lives and will serve God's people justly. The future of our country is at risk. We must not continue further in our demise; our country is no longer the leader of the free world, but rather potentially a nation of crime, despair, division, and poverty.

Please ask your family and friends to pray, fast, and give alms (Mt 6:1-18) and petition God to turn America back into the land of the free and the brave -- a safe harbor of true faithfulness. We must be prayer warriors before our country loses its grace and hope.

In Luke 18:1, Jesus told his disciples about the necessity to pray always without becoming weary. Make November 1 and 2 days of beseeching prayer as our U.S. Catholic bishops seek to help Catholics form their consciences in accordance with the truth so we make sound moral choices. The responsibility for faithful citizenship rests with each of us.

May God have mercy on us! Thank you for your efforts to help our country and our world. God is calling us to help America turn back from its sinful ways. Mt 19:26: "With God, all things are possible."

Deacon Jack Fernan is a permanent deacon in the Diocese of Madison.