Religious freedom day
FEAR of the LORD is pure, enduring
forever. The statutes of the LORD are true, all of them just; 11 More
desirable than gold, than a hoard of purest gold, Sweeter also than honey or
drippings from the comb.
Our Lord showed no fear of the money changers or the priests when He overturned the tables in holy zeal for the statutes of the Lord. Is the Holy Spirit moving you to make a real change today? Are you being called to be holier, stronger, more committed to God and better prepared for the trials and persecution of our world? Consider the message of The Holy League.
History-Pope St. Pius V formed the original Holy League in response to the dire situation in which Christian Europe found itself in 1571. Small bands of Catholic men and remnant armies from various nations came together under the spiritual leadership of the saintly pontiff and the military leadership of Don John of Austria. By prayer and fasting, they implored the help of God’s grace, through the intercession of the Mother of God, and, by the grace of Almighty God, on October 7, 1571, at the Battle of Lepanto, the Christian fleet won a crushing victory over the Ottoman Turks, saving Christendom and western civilization.
The Battle Today
At this particular moment in time, the Church finds itself in a similar situation to that of the Church in the late Sixteenth Century. However, instead of a physical enemy on the horizon, the Church and the family (the domestic Church) are threatened daily by relativism, secularism, impurity, and confusion regarding Church teaching. The battle today “is not against human forces but against the principalities and powers, the rulers of this world of darkness, the evil spirits in the heavens” (Ephesians 6: 10-12).
To combat the forces of evil in today’s society, the Holy League strives to call men back to the state of grace and to transforming the culture through prayer.” The Holy League, in fidelity to its mission as a Roman Catholic solidarity movement:
· Provides a Holy Hour format which incorporates Eucharistic adoration, prayer, short spiritual reflections, the availability of the Sacrament of Confession, Benediction and fraternity.
· Encourages consecration to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the Purest Heart of Joseph.
· Promotes the Precepts and Sacraments of the Church, especially through devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament and the praying of the Most Holy Rosary.
· Creates a unified front, made up of members of the Church Militant, for spiritual combat.
· Strives to have a regular monthly Holy League Holy Hour available to men in every Roman Catholic parish.
Holy League Vision
The Vision of the Holy League is to develop a network of parish based regular monthly Holy Hours with confession and fraternity for men.
The Holy League, in a Spirit of Marian Chivalry, under the patronage of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Saint Joseph, seeks to provide opportunities for the faithful to unite in prayer, especially monthly Eucharistic Holy Hours, for purification from sin and predisposition to Supernatural Grace for the fuller exercise of the threefold offices of Priest, Prophet, and King received at Baptism. The particular prayer of the Holy League is the monthly Eucharistic Holy Hour.
Ways to cultivate a loving reverence for Christ in the Holy Eucharist. As other sons and daughters of Mary, let us honor her son and our God by visiting the tabernacle.
Mindful Habits of Reverence
· Receive Holy Communion frequently, daily if possible.
· Approach the Communion devoutly; make sure your attire is in keeping with the sacredness of the occasion.
· Avoid all unnecessary noise during the sacred moments of the Consecration of the Mass.
· Attend weekday Mass whenever possible.
· Prepare to receive our Eucharistic Lord. Following the Mass prayers by using a Missal is recommended.
· Spend at least fifteen minutes in prayer as an act of thanksgiving after receiving Christ's Body and Blood in Holy Communion.
· Often make a spiritual communion, particularly when attending Mass without receiving the sacrament of the Eucharist.
· Have Holy Masses read for the souls of your loved ones.
· Participate in the Forty Hours Devotion of our parish churches.
· Get into the habit of reciting ejaculatory prayers in honor of the Real Presence.
· When genuflecting before the tabernacle say: "Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, I adore and love You."
Religions and religious organizations have been responsible for a great deal of good being done in the world, from the founding of worldwide charity organizations to simply inspiring people to be kinder and humbler on a daily basis, as well as more sympathetic to the plight of his fellow man. Unfortunately, an often-observed characteristic of many religions is that their faithful often try to convert others to their faith, and when those others refuse, the consequences can be grave. From the Roman persecutions of Christians in the ancient times, to the infamous Spanish Inquisition, to the witch hunts of Puritan America, to the Islamic Jihads (or secular progressives for that matter) still occurring today, it is easy to see how dangerous religions can be if not checked, and how overzealous believers in a certain god or no god at all can be in attempting to force everyone else to believe as they do. This is why it is enormously important to make sure religious freedom is granted and protected to all, and this is why the Founding Fathers of the United States of America saw this as such.
On January 16, 1786, soon after the United States of America came into existence as a sovereign nation, the Virginia General Assembly adopted Thomas Jefferson’s landmark Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. This statute then became the basis for what we know today as the First Amendment, which guarantees religious freedom to all people residing in the U.S.A. Every year since then, a statement is released on this same day by the president of the United States officially proclaiming Religious Freedom Day.
How to Celebrate Religious Freedom Day
A good way to celebrate Religious Freedom Day is to do some research about what life used to be like before religious freedom was protected, and every person had the right to believe as he or she chose.
· “The Name of the Rose” is both an excellent book and an excellent movie, which quite accurately depicts what life was like during the Inquisition, and how far the inquisitors were willing to go to find and punish people they suspected of sorcery.
· The young adult novel titled, “The Witch of Blackbird Pond” can also help one understand what it was like to be the least bit different from the rest of the villagers in 17th century New England, and just how dangerous it was to avoid church.
· 1951’s Quo Vadis, on the other hand, demonstrates how badly Christian were persecuted during the reign of the Emperor Nero in Ancient Rome.
· “The Diary of a Young Girl”, written by Jewish teenager Anne Frank during the height of the Nazi persecution of Europe’s Jewish population is both interesting a heartbreaking when one thinks about all of the other innocent children like Anne who died horrible deaths for simply being of the wrong religion.
· The works of Salman Rushdie could also prove to be a very insightful read, as the author himself received years of death threats after the release of his acclaimed novel “The Satanic Verses”, which was critical of Islam was published.
It could also be an interesting idea to have several of your friends of different faiths get together for coffee and discuss how positively religious freedom and the freedom to not practice any religion at all impact all of your lives and help make them better. Religious freedom is a wonderful thing, that should be fully appreciated and celebrated.
Blues in Memphis, Tennessee
* * Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, the 2021 IBC has been postponed until 2022 * *
The Blues Foundation presents the International Blues Challenge, the world's largest gathering of blues acts. The clubs up and down Beale Street are filled with a variety acts as they compete for cash, prizes and industry recognition. The quarterfinals take place throughout the clubs on Beale Street and then the finals held at the Orpheum Theatre.
Today is my sister’s birthday; Denise Gail (her name means “To be devoted …to the joy of the father); please pray for her intentions.