Is anything more beautiful than freedom? One of our founding fathers, Patrick Henry, said: “Give me liberty or give me death!” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Give_me_liberty,_or_give_me_death!
In a way, Jesus Christ said the opposite: “Give Me death, so I can give you liberty!” Amen?
I found a beautiful Kingdom POWER resource last night. I planned to blog about it this morning. Except we were without power until 1:00 PM. Thanks to spectacular thunderstorms and torrential rains.
But although storms in Life might temporarily impact our temporal power, nothing in all creation can separate us from the King of Kings who loves us. Nor from the Kingdom Power He wields through His Overcoming Love. Amen?!
Which leads me to today’s POWER resource — Religious Freedom Week, sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). It’s happening right now — June 22 through June 29, 2018. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, head of USCCB’s Committee for Religious Liberty, exhorts:
“We encourage people of faith to reflect on the importance of religious freedom so that we might have the space to carry out our mission of service and mercy, and we invite everyone to pray for our brothers and sisters who face intense persecution in other parts of the world.” https://religionnews.com/2018/06/21/catholic-leaders-use-religious-freedom-week-to-highlight-social-services/
The week’s theme is “Serving Others in God’s Love.” And its “heartbeat” seems to focus on two vital aspects of how we (as Christians) are called to live out our faith.
We are to be in the world — loving and serving our neighbors. We are also to not be of the world — and to follow our Spirit-led conscience, if forced to choose between our faith and worldly authorities.
For a two-minute video introducing the week: https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/bishops-video-series-encourages-prayer-action-for-religious-freedom-week-37390
For access to short daily videos and/or one-page summaries to guide your meditations and prayers throughout the week: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/religious-freedom-week/index.cfm
Although today’s Reflection highlights faithful Christians who died centuries ago, its relevance to our world today is inescapable:
“On this feast of Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher, we remember these saints who were martyred in 1535 for standing up for the sanctity of marriage and the freedom of the Church in opposition to England’s King Henry VIII. In our country today, the Church faces challenges to her freedom to serve in healthcare, child welfare services, and education.
While we seek to be faithful to Christ by serving our neighbors, ignoring conscience cannot be the condition placed on people of faith for service in the public square. Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher show us what faithful service looks like. They loved and served their country. Yet they rightly recognized that they were being forced to choose between the Church and the king.
They were faithful to the Church. May their example continue to illuminate the path for us, as we seek to faithfully serve our Church and country.” http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/religious-freedom-week/upload/Religious-Freedom-Week-2018-June-22.pdf
Let me close with the question they ask on Day 1 of Religious Freedom Week:
What do conscience and religious freedom mean to you?
Please post your comments below.
Diana Furr, a.k.a. Abba’s Girl
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