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40 Days for Conscience: July 1st to August 9th

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Consciences formed in accord with Holy Mother Church, the Church that Christ Himself established, do not support HHS! From July 1st to August 9th, join Catholic Sistas in the next prayer campaign, 40 Days for Conscience.

As you may know, the deadline for our bishops to violate their consciences or face undue tax burden, lose their tax-exempt status and possibly end up in jail is August 1. If ever there was a time to fervently pray for the continued united voices of our bishops in the United States, now is it. We need you to commit to join us in prayer. Please join us by participating with us on Instagram and Facebook, where we will be conducting the campaign. Each day a new petition will be unveiled, giving you a new petition to pray with us for the day. 

“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced on January 20 that almost all employers, including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those “services” in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies.In so ruling, the Administration has seemingly ignored the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. As a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics must be prepared either to violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so). The Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.We cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens because of their religious beliefs. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America’s cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture, only to have their posterity stripped of their God given rights. All that has been built up over so many years in our Catholic institutions should not be taken away by the stroke of an administrator’s pen. This order reduces the Church to a private club, destroying her public mission in society. In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same.”  ~ Cardinal George

Encyclicals and Church Documents that support Freedom of Conscience:

What else can I do?

Join the USCCB in their Fortnight for Freedom starting June 21-July 4.

Review the USCCB’s fact sheet.

Send an e-mail to Congress.

Read comments by the USCCB in response to the latest mandate rule.

Text FREEDOM to 377377 to get the latest updates from the USCCB.

Ask St. Thomas More to intercede for us, as he is the patron saint of religious freedom.

Watch these videos on religious liberty.

Read 12 Things Everyone Should Know about The Contraceptive Mandate.

Read what the Church really teaches about Love and Sexuality.

Read up on HHS Mandate Legal Resources.

Add this to your daily prayers:

Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty

O God our Creator,
from your provident hand we have received
our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
You have called us as your people and given us
the right and the duty to worship you, the only true God,
and your Son, Jesus Christ.
Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit,
you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,
bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel
to every corner of society.

We ask you to bless us
in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.
Give us the strength of mind and heart
to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;
give us courage in making our voices heard
on behalf of the rights of your Church
and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.

Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father,
a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters
gathered in your Church
in this decisive hour in the history of our nation,
so that, with every trial withstood
and every danger overcome—
for the sake of our children, our grandchildren,
and all who come after us—
this great land will always be “one nation, under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

“I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.” ~ Cardinal George

“We must promote religious liberty for all people. Every man and woman must be free to profess his or her faith, whatever it may be. Why? Because that man and that woman are children of God.” – Pope Francis 

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Catechism Doctrine Faith Formation Ink Slingers Lent Liturgical Year Martina Offering your suffering Ordinary Time Prayer

#FishFriday – It’s Not Just for Lent

If you’ve heard the buzz lately, you know that the bishops plan to readdress and reemphasize that the faithful abstain from meat on Fridays, but do you know why? I know that, for many of us, this can come across as “lotsa rules” or “how can the Church be so determined to focus on this {perceived minutia} when we have so many bigger fish to fry?” – pun intended. It’s simple when you understand the core of Christ’s love for us. It’s about the spirit of the law vs. the letter of the law. Let me give you an example of both.

Letter of the law:

Days of Penance*

  • Can.  1249 The divine law binds all the Christian faithful to do penance each in his or her own way. In order for all to be united among themselves by some common observance of penance, however, penitential days are prescribed on which the Christian faithful devote themselves in a special way to prayer, perform works of piety and charity, and deny themselves by fulfilling their own obligations more faithfully and especially by observing fast and abstinence, according to the norm of the following canons.
  • Can.  1250 The penitential days and times in the universal Church are every Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.
  • Can.  1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
  • Can.  1252 The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.
  • Can.  1253 The conference of bishops can determine more precisely the observance of fast and abstinence as well as substitute other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety, in whole or in part, for abstinence and fast.

*Pulled from the Vatican website

Spirit of the law:

  • Jesus has a particularly scandalous love for each one of us.
  • Jesus died on the Cross for you – yes, YOU!
  • Each Friday is an opportunity to unite our small sufferings to His redemptive suffering on the Cross.
  • Out of our love for Him, we offer something small {such as meat if that is a particular suffering for you} to show Christ that we recognize and appreciate His gift of salvation for us.
  • We are not limited to giving up meat, but can also offer up other acts of penitential suffering as well – this varies from person to person, depending on our particular struggles and sufferings.

When we break it down into two categories like this, we can see that the letter of the law is borne of the spirit of the law. Without the spirit of the law, it’s all just words. If your heart isn’t convicted to a love for Christ, all you will see giving up your precious meat on Fridays is just a mere inconvenience. It’s so much more than that. SO. MUCH. MORE THAN THAT. The next time you start to feel that way about the laws of the Church, look at the Cross and lay those feelings at His feet. Pray for Jesus to soften your heart to understand the foundation of the rules. They are all rooted in a love for Him. Promise.

Categories
Abortion BirgitJ Current Events HHS mandate Ink Slingers NFP and contraceptives Respect Life

FIAT: HHS Mandate and Why We Should Care as Catholics

The HHS Mandate has been prominently in the news for the past week or so. That the current administration would violate the religious freedom of the Catholic Church, by forcing Catholic institutions to provide abortifacient birth control to all employees, has resulted in a unification of purpose not seen in recent times – if ever. The USCCB  is pushing back – with one voice – as other clergy and Catholic leaders are seen in the national media. What will ultimately happen remains to be seen but many different avenues are being explored in a united effort to proclaim the respect for life that Mother Church sees as her mission.

Today I am sharing a wonderful, encouraging video produced by a growing video company, Lolek Productions, that is rich in its Catholicity. Thanks to Fr. Joshua McCarty and his vision, they are growing by leaps and bounds. Just this week, news of their new video – Fiat: A Catholic Response to the Healthcare Debate – about the beauty of the journey to NFP by a local family, has made it to his local newspaper. Since I could never presume to explain it better myself, I will simply share their description of the video and allow your heart to burst with pride in our beautiful Church and her mission for us all!

Birgit J

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Why should we care as “Catholics?”
It is a stance often seen as an obsolete stronghold in a world that moves much faster than an antiquated church, ruled under the heavy hand of a bunch of old men.

Why would the Church care about this?
It’s a plausible question, seeing as 98% of Catholic women have used some form of birth control.
The whole contraception controversy is shrouded in misunderstanding, yet the Church remains persistent in Her teaching about the life-giving purpose.

What is that teaching?
That every married couple have a dozen children? No, not at all. It is a much more endearing standard than that.
No matter if you are on the rocks financially or if you are trying to keep up with the Duggers, the teaching requires that a couple allow God to have the final say on the dimension of their family.

There are several ways to give God the power that is His-to be the Guide, Nurturer, Refuge and Creator of life. A couple invites God to their wedding to bless their commitment, and to hold them in love.
God is invited into their homes through daily prayer, love and sacrifice. God is invited into the bedroom when a couple gives of themselves totally, in the most vulnerable and beautiful way — body, heart and soul.

Trust is difficult, especially when speaking of something as life-changing as having children. With all the implications, just a few of which include financial and emotional, only a fool would run headlong into sex blindly. But that is not an accurate depiction of the teaching.
Through the design of a woman’s cycle, through her natural phases of fertility, through the natural attraction between a couple during a fertile time, through the firm and faithful decision of the couple to abstain from sex if they must, Natural Family Planning gives couples the ability to achieve or avoid pregnancy at a percentage of 99.5%. It is with that trust that a couple invites the Lord to put His seal on their life.

He is allowed His right as Creator and Designer. In their stunning trust, both husband and wife exude the beauty of Mary.


Fiat — “Let is be done unto me according to your word.”


Visit us on the web at http://lolekproductions.com

And on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lolek-Productions/154759447935572