Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Claire Martin writes in the Denver Post this morning about the passing of Bonnie Brae Tavern’s Hank Dire (click here) and the restaurant his parents established when he was 5 years old and that he worked in all his life. I was 2 years old when my dad started his business. We tried working together, and our unsuccessful effort makes me appreciate people like Hank Dire and his father. Might have something to do with their Catholic faith.

 Go into any Catholic church in the world today and for the next three days at daily mass, and you’ll hear these and the rest of the words (click here) that St. Paul wrote in his 2nd  letter to Timothy. Some think these are the last word written by St. Paul, his “last will and testament”  and his final instructions to his disciple Timothy and to each of us.   

“I remind you to stir into flame
the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands.
For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice
but rather of power and love and self-control.
So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord.”

Some priests may be suggesting that hearing and pondering these words of St. Paul is good preparation for  the Fortnight for Freedom (click here) that Catholics across the country are being called to observe in preparation for the upcoming elections. Here in Denver speakers will share on “Christian Faith and American Democracy: A Growing Gap?”, “Catholic Politicians: Revisiting JFK’s 1960 Speech on the Absolute Separation of Church and State.”, and “Accommodation Abomination: the HHS Mandate and American Law.” 

It might surprise some that President Franklin D. Roosevelt believed prayer was important to our country. This is a prayer he broadcast over the radio on this date, June 6, in 1944 at a perilous point in World War II:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest-until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home - fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas - whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them - help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the Nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too - strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us Faith. Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in our sons; Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister Nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.


Read more at the American Presidency Project: 

I think St. Paul would like this prayer, and he'd like President Roosevelt for not being ashamed to say it. Our pennies say "In God We Trust," and many of our problems as individuals and as a country are being caused by a loss of this trust.  

How about you, do you trust God? If not, stop in a Catholic church today. Or just read 2nd Timothy, it's a short letter. As you read or hear Paul's words open yourself to that trust. What are you being called to do? What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail? God bless you.+

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