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Our Lady of the Rosary Novena
Day Four, October 2

Today’s Topic: Religious Freedom

Intercession: For religious freedom to be preserved in our nation and around the world. 

PrayersOur Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

Reflection: The founding fathers of the United States of American believed that religion and virtue were foundational if the country was to succeed. In fact, in his farewell address, George Washington wrote: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness.” John Adams, another founder of the United States, also wrote these words: “It is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. Religion and virtue are the only foundations… of republicanism and of all free governments.”

Yet today, we see an attempt to limit religious expression in the public square:

  • We have seen in our nation in the last 10 years an HHS mandate for Catholic institutions to provide for sterilization, contraception, abortion-inducing drugs, and now even gender reassignment surgery.

  • We have seen Catholic foster care and adoption services in Boston, San Francisco, the District of Columbia, and the State of Illinois forced out of adoption or foster care services because they refused to place children with same-sex couples or couples who were living together and not married.

  • We have seen florists, photographers and bakers forced and penalized criminally and civilly because they did not want to provide their services for same-sex weddings and celebrations that violate their religious beliefs

  • We have seen Christian students on campuses denied student organization status, simply because they desire their leadership to be Christian and because they ask that leadership that they take a pledge to save sex outside of marriage.

As Catholics, we must be willing to stand up for the right of peoples, of all religions, to live their faith in the public square. As Pope Francis has stated, “[Religious] freedom remains one of America's most precious possessions.  And, as my brothers, the United States Bishops, have reminded us, all are called to be vigilant, precisely as good citizens, to preserve and defend that freedom from everything that would threaten or compromise it."

Religious freedom is a foundational principle of our nation, and a foundational principle of our Catholic faith. Let us not compromise in defending it.

Act of Reparation:

  • Read today the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops statement on Religious Freedom, “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty”: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/our-first-most-cherished-liberty.cfm.

  • Spend an hour in Adoration this week praying for the leaders of our national, state and local governments, and in particular, that they will uphold religious freedom in the public square.

  • Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intention and take time to reflect on how you live out your faith in the public square.

One step further: Learn more about religious freedom, current issues and enjoy a great video here: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/index.cfm. You can also spend some time learning about current cases in court and a deeper look at religious freedom here: https://www.adflegal.org/issues/religious-freedom.