3 Reasons We Need the Fortnight for Freedom
1. Violence against Christians
Violence against Christians, exactly because they are disciples of Jesus Christ, has become a daily occurrence in countries throughout the world, including in the United States. Although we claim to live in an enlightened age, this physical violence, including brutal torture, sexual assault, and murder, is often merely the logical consequence of religious discrimination in other sectors of society. Sometimes this coercion is government supported while at other times governments allow it without punishment.
2. Coercion by our own government
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) began a Fortnight for Freedom in 2012, after President Barack Obama began the coercion of Catholic institutions through the Health and Human Services Mandate of the Affordable Care Act to pay for contraception and abortion. Since then, the fight for traditional marriage has seen one political loss after another. The imposition of same-sex marriage upon America by the federal courts has also attacked the religious freedom of all those who believe that marriage should only exist between one man and one woman.
3. Spiritual battleground
In the battle for religious liberty, the Church has weapons that the world does not possess. These weapons are what we believe, what we celebrate, how we live, and how we pray. Even if we lose political ground for a while, we will not surrender our spiritual territory because the victory already belongs to our Lord Jesus Christ.
“A Fortnight of Scripture and Prayer” equips you to engage in the Fortnight for Freedom.
“A Fortnight of Scripture and Prayer” is the result of requests to arm the Church militant with spiritual weapons. The USCCB has produced some spiritual resources for the Fortnight, but not in booklet form and not for the duration of the Fortnight (14 days). Also, while a novena of prayers is customary among Catholics, since the first novena (9 days) between the Our Lord’s Ascension and the Holy Spirit’s Descent at Pentecost, this Fortnight of Scripture and Prayer lasts as long as the Fortnight for Freedom because a novena would be too short.
Every day, we will post that day’s selection of readings and prayers so we may be united in our spiritual efforts.
The Scripture selections come from two of the main teachings on freedom in the New Testament. First, there are selections from St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. Then, there are selections from the Gospel of St. John. The selections are meant to provide continuity to one’s daily meditation over the period of 14 days. The Psalms also have continuity and correspond to themes in the readings and the Fortnight.
The daily prayer is taken from The Roman Missal. Sometimes, it is the Collect of the day while at other times it is the Collect of a saint/blessed from the U.S. In this Fortnight, all of the recognized saints and blesseds of the U.S. together pray for us by praying with us. If you are unfamiliar with any of them, you should investigate more details about their lives. Also, a title of Mary, the Mother of God, is included in the daily litany. These titles represent the cultural diversity of the Church in the U.S., and are associated with the other saints/blesseds of the day. Likewise, if there is an unfamiliar title of Our Lady to you, please investigate it so that you can appreciate the great diversity of the Church in the U.S. The order of the daily litany is: (1) the saint/blessed of that day, (2) a saint/blessed of the U.S., (3) a title of Mary, the Mother of God.
By the Sacrament of Confirmation, we are strengthened by the Holy Spirit in the daily battle. Let us rely upon that Spirit to grant us unity and perseverance in these days. Please join us in this “Fortnight of Scripture and Prayer.”
Mark E. Ginter, Ph.D.
June 18, 2015
Feast of Sts. Mark and Marcellian, Brothers, Husbands, Fathers, Deacons, Martyrs
Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.
Excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 2010, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.
Particular adaptations and proper texts for the Dioceses of the United States of America © 2010 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright holders.