O ALMIGHTY God, I sanctify, dedicate, and consecrate to Thee every beating of my heart, and every pulsation of my blood; and I desire to make this compact with Thee, that their every beating shall say to Thee: Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth; and I beseech Thee to impute this meaning to them, so that they may be before Thy Divine Majesty as the unceasing echo of that heavenly canticle, which seraphims sing without ceasing unto Thee. Amen. Amen.
MORE EXTENDED COVENANT TO BE RENEWED EVERY WEEK
The great efficacy of this covenant may be shown thus: Were a person to resolve that by every movement he made he wished to be understood to ratify and approve all the sins that are committed all over the earth, and to be held a partaker of them, it is easy to see what guilt he would thus contract. And if such an intention would have so great influence for evil, why should it not have immense force and merit for good?
O LORD God, my Creator, all my desire is before Thee, and my groaning is not hidden from Thee; but inasmuch as the necessities of this life prevent the constant application of my mind to Thy praise, I make with Thee this covenant, earnestly desiring that it may remain in force throughout this week.
Whenever I look up towards Heaven, I desire and intend to rejoice with Thee in Thine infinite perfections; that Thou art what Thou art, supremely strong and wise and loving and just.
As often as I open or close my eyes, I desire and intend to approve and concur in all the holy actions which Thine Only-begotten Son, and all the Saints in Heaven and just on earth, have ever done, or shall ever hereafter do, to Thy glory, and desire to be held a partaker in them all.
As often as I draw my breath, I offer to Thee the Life and Passion and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the merits and sufferings of all the Saints, to Thine eternal glory, for the welfare and peace of all the whole world, and in satisfaction for the sins of all men.
Whenever I sigh, I intend to detest and abhor every sin, as well my own sins as those which have ever been committed from the beginning of the world against the honour of Thy Name. Would that the slight and worthless offering of my blood might be accepted in satisfaction for them! Lastly, as often as I move my hand or my foot, so often do I cast myself with entire resignation upon Thy most holy will, desiring that Thou wouldst dispose of me in time and in eternity, according to Thine adorable good pleasure.
And, lest this fivefold covenant should be in any way made void, I seal it with the seals of Thy five most Sacred Wounds, earnestly desiring that it may have its full force with Thee, even though in any one of these actions it be not actually present to my mind.
To make of me a song
Rising on the wind
Spreading throughout the land.
By the movement of Your tune
I proclaim Your Love.
By the rushing of Your Spirit
Borne anew on hallowed wings,
I announce the Year of Favor.
Reclaim Your own.
Seat sons and daughters
Of Your Love
Upon Your Heart
On Mercy throne.
© 2013 Joann Nelander
All rights reserved
In these acts of giving do not fear a lack of means. A generous spirit is itself great wealth. There can be no shortage of material for generosity where it is Christ who feeds and Christ who is fed. In all this activity there is present the hand of him who multiplies the bread by breaking it, and increasing it by giving it away. (Saint Leo the Great, pope)
Everyday, everyday, everyday,
Fall upon my tongue
As dew upon the obedient grass,
Which yields to Your Wind,
To be proclaimed anew.
Forever, forever, forever,
Go forth from my mouth,
As spring rains
To water the parched earth,
Thirsty for You.
From a sermon by Saint Leo the Great, pope
In the gospel of John the Lord says: In this will all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love for each other. In a letter of the same apostle we read: Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God; he who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
The faithful should therefore enter into themselves and make a true judgment on their attitudes of mind and heart. If they find some store of love’s fruit in their hearts, they must not doubt God’s presence within them. If they would increase their capacity to receive so great a guest, they should practice greater generosity in doing good, with persevering charity.
If God is love, charity should know no limit, for God cannot be confined.
Any time is the right time for works of charity, but these days of Lent provide a special encouragement. Those who want to be present at the Lord’s Passover in holiness of mind and body should seek above all to win this grace, for charity contains all other virtues and covers a multitude of sins.
As we prepare to celebrate that greatest of all mysteries, by which the blood of Jesus Christ did away with our sins, let us first of all make ready the sacrificial offerings of works of mercy. In this way we shall give to those who have sinned against us what God in his goodness has already given us.
Let us now extend to the poor and those afflicted in different ways a more open-handed generosity, so that God may be thanked through many voices and the relief of the needy supported by our fasting. No act of devotion on the part of the faithful gives God more pleasure than that which is lavished on his poor. Where he finds charity with its loving concern, there he recognizes the reflection of his own fatherly care.
In these acts of giving do not fear a lack of means. A generous spirit is itself great wealth. There can be no shortage of material for generosity where it is Christ who feeds and Christ who is fed. In all this activity there is present the hand of him who multiplies the bread by breaking it, and increasing it by giving it away.
The giver of alms should be free from anxiety and full of joy. His gain will be greatest when he keeps back least for himself. The holy apostle Paul tells us: He who provides seed for the sower will also provide bread for eating; he will provide you with more seed, and will increase the harvest of your goodness, in Christ Jesus our Lord, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.
An Offering to the Sacred Heart of Jesus O divine Heart of Jesus, grant, I beseech Thee, eternal rest to the souls in purgatory, final grace to all who are to die today, true repentance to sinners, the light of faith to pagans, Thy blessing to me and to all who are mine. To Thee, O most loving Heart of Jesus, do I therefore commend all these souls, and for them I offer all Thy merits, together with the merits of the most Blessed Mother and of all the saints and angels, and also together with all the Sacrifices of the Mass, the Holy Communions, the prayers and good works that are made today throughout the entire Christian world.
From a homily by a spiritual writer of the fourth century
May you be filled to the complete fullness of Christ
Those who have been considered worthy to go forth as the sons of God and to be born again of the Holy Spirit from on high, and who hold within them the Christ who renews them and fills them with light, are directed by the Spirit in varied and different ways and in their spiritual repose they are led invisibly in their hearts by grace.
At times, they are like men who mourn and lament over their fellow men, and pouring forth prayers for the whole human race, they plunge into tears and lamentation, on fire with spiritual love for mankind.
At other times they are enkindled by the Spirit with love and exultation that, were it possible, they would clasp in their embrace all mankind, without discrimination, good and bad alike.
Sometimes they are cast down below all mankind in lowliness of spirit, so that they reckon theirs to be the lowest and most abject of conditions.
And sometimes they are held by the Spirit in ineffable joy.
At one time they are like a brave man who puts on the king’s full armor and goes down into battle; he fights bravely against the enemy and defeats them. In like manner, the spiritual man takes up the heavenly arms of the Spirit and marches against the enemy and engaging in battle tramples the foe beneath his feet.
At another time the soul is at rest in deepest silence, tranquility and peace, existing in sheer spiritual pleasure and in ineffable repose and a perfect state.
Again, the soul is instructed by grace in a certain understanding in the ineffable wisdom and the inscrutable knowledge of the Spirit on matters which neither tongue nor lips can utter.
Then again, the soul becomes like any ordinary man.
In such varied ways does grace work within them and many are the means by which it leads the soul, renewing it according to God’s will and training it in different ways so that it may be set before the heavenly Father pure and whole and blameless.
We, too, therefore must make our prayer to God and entreat in love and in great hope that he may bestow upon us the heavenly grace of the gift of the Spirit. We pray that we, too, may be guided by that Spirit and that he may lead us into the fullness of divine will and refresh us with the varied kinds of his repose, that by the help of this guidance, exercise of grace and spiritual advancement, we may be considered worthy to attain to the perfection of the fullness of Christ, as the Apostle says: that you may be filled to the complete fullness of Christ.
Robert Reilly, acclaimed author of THE CLOSING OF THE MUSLIM MIND, imagines a scene in Heaven: a Muslim catechized by Jesus Himself.
By Robert Reilly
Scene: Before the heavenly Throne.
Muslim (upon seeing Christ): “Is this a dream?”
Christ: “No. Something much better.”
Muslim: “I didn’t expect to see you here far above everyone. I thought you were coming back at the end of time to break the Cross, as we Muslims believe.”
Christ: “No, I’m not coming back to break the Cross. Rather, I was broken on the Cross, which is why you’re able to appear before me today.”
Muslim: “But we believe that the all-powerful God would not allow one of his prophets to be treated that way. That is why we refuse to believe you were crucified. It was some other man, or a shadow.”
Christ: “But I am not simply one of the prophets. I am God. I chose to allow myself to be treated this way to fulfill what the prophets foretold of the Suffering Servant.”
Muslim: “But God can’t do that! He can’t suffer and die.”
Christ: “Who are you to limit what God can do?”
Muslim: “But we are the true defenders of God’s absolute omnipotence. God is whoever is all powerful."
Christ: “So, right is the rule of the stronger?”
Muslim: “Yes. God decides because He is the strongest.”
Christ: “And He can decide anything?”
Muslim: “Yes, anything, and whatever He decides is just.”
Christ: “He is not bound even by His own word?”
Muslim: “No, not by anything.”
Christ: “But I am the Word. I am true to Myself. Pure will and power are arbitrary, tyrannical. I would be a despot.”
Muslim: “But we were taught that God cannot be confined by our human ideas of justice.”
Christ: “From where did you think you got those ideas of justice in the first place, if not from Me?”
Muslim: “I don’t know. Islam tells us to submit without questioning. The great al-Ghazali taught us that, ‘the mind. . .once it testifies to the truthfulness of the prophet, must cease to act.’”
Christ the Redeemer by Andrea Mantegna, 1493
Hail MARY, beloved Daughter of the Eternal Father. Hail MARY, admirable Mother of the Son. Hail MARY, faithful Spouse of the Holy Ghost. Hail MARY, my Mother, my loving Mistress, my powerful sovereign. Hail, my joy, my glory, my heart and my soul. Thou art all mine by mercy, and I am Thine by justice. But I am not yet sufficiently Thine. I now give myself wholly to Thee without keeping anything back for myself or others. If Thou seest anything in me which does not belong to Thee, I beseech Thee to take it and make Thyself the absolute Mistress of all that is mine.
Destroy in me all that may displease GOD; root it up and bring it to nought. Place and cultivate in me everything that is pleasing to Thee. May the light of Thy faith dispel the darkness of my mind. May Thy profound humility take the place of my pride; may Thy sublime contemplation check the distractions of my wandering imagination. May Thy continuous sight of GOD ﬁll my memory with His presence; may the burning love of Thy heart inflame the lukewarmness of mine. May Thy virtues take the place of my sins; may Thy merits be my only adornment in the sight of GOD and make up for all that is wanting in me. Finally, dearly beloved Mother, grant, if it be possible, that I may have no other spirit but Thine to know JESUS and His Divine Will; that I may have no other soul but Thine to praise and glorify GOD; that I may have no other heart but Thine to love GOD with a love as pure and ardent as Thine.
I do not ask Thee for visions, revelations, sensible devotions, or spiritual pleasures. It is Thy privilege to see GOD clearly; it is Thy privilege to enjoy heavenly bliss; it is Thy privilege to triumph gloriously in Heaven at the right hand of Thy Son and to hold absolute sway over angels, men and demons. It is Thy privilege to dispose of all the gifts of GOD, just as Thou willest. Such, O heavenly MARY, is the ʻbest partʼ, which the Lord has given Thee, and which shall never be taken away from Thee, and this thought fills my heart with joy. As for my part here below, I wish for no other than that which was Thine, to believe sincerely without spiritual pleasures, to suffer joyfully without human consolation, to die continually to myself without respite, and to work zealously and unselfishly for Thee until death, as the humblest of Thy servants. The only grace I beg Thee, for me, is that every moment of the day, and every moment of my life, I may say, “Amen, so be it, to all that Thou art doing in Heaven. Amen, so be it, to all Thou didst do while on earth. Amen, so be it, to all Thou art doing in my soul,” so that Thou alone mayest fully glorify JESUS in me for time and eternity. Amen.
Narrated by Mariola Paini
In 1858 the virgin Mary Immaculate appeared to Bernadette Soubirous near Lourdes in France within the cave of Massabielle. Through this humble girl, Mary called sinners to conversion and enkindled within the Church a great zeal for prayer and charity, especially service to the sick and poor. From a letter by Saint Marie Bernadette Soubirous, virgin (Ep. ad P. Gondrand, a 1861: cf. A. Ravier, Les écrits de sainte Bernadette, Paris 1961, pp. 53-59) The lady spoke to me I had gone down one day with two other girls to the bank of the river Gave when suddenly I heard a kind of rustling sound. I turned my head toward the field by the side of the river but the trees seemed quite still and the noise was evidently not from them. Then I looked up and caught sight of the cave where I saw a lady wearing a lovely white dress with a bright belt. On top of each of her feet was a pale yellow rose, the same color as her rosary beads. At this I rubbed my eyes, thinking I was seeing things, and I put my hands into the fold of my dress where my rosary was. I wanted to make the sign of the cross but for the life of me I couldn’t manage it and my hand just fell down. Then the lady made the sign of the cross herself and at the second attempt I managed to do the same, though my hands were trembling. Then I began to say the rosary while the lady let her beads slip through her fingers, without moving her lips. When I stopped saying the Hail Mary, she immediately vanished. I asked my two companions if they had noticed anything, but they said no. Of course they wanted to know what I was doing and I told them that I had seen a lady wearing a nice white dress, though I didn’t know who she was. I told them not to say anything about it, and they said I was silly to have anything to do with it. I said they were wrong and I came back next Sunday, feeling myself drawn to the place…. The third time I went the lady spoke to me and asked me to come every day for fifteen days. I said I would and then she said that she wanted me to tell the priests to build a chapel there. She also told me to drink from the stream. I went to the Gave, the only stream I could see. Then she made me realize she was not speaking of the Gave and she indicated a little trickle of water close-by. When I got to it I could only find a few drops, mostly mud. I cupped my hands to catch some liquid without success and then I started to scrape the ground. I managed to find a few drops of water but only at the fourth attempt was there a sufficient amount for any kind of drink. The lady then vanished and I went back home. I went back each day for fifteen days and each time, except one Monday and one Friday, the lady appeared and told me to look for a stream and wash in it and to see that the priests build a chapel there. I must also pray, she said, for the conversion of sinners. I asked her many times what she meant by that, but she only smiled. Finally with outstretched arms and eyes looking up to heaven she told me she was the Immaculate Conception. During the fifteen days she told me three secrets but I was not to speak about them to anyone and so far I have not. This letter from St. Bernadette (linked above) is from the Office of Readings for this day. I put this letter here because the language in which she speaks of Mary’s apparitions is that of a child. Dear Bernadette was young and poor when The Blessed Mother appeared to her. She aspired only a simple life, was not overly bright, and it would seem that she was incapable of greatness by this world’s standards. Yet, the Blessed Mother appeared to her, and spoke to her kindly and gave her gentle instructions. When Bernadette first saw Our Lady, she did not immediately identify her. She saw, rather, a beautiful woman. In fact, she did not presume to admit that the lady was the Blessed Mother until she was told by the lady herself. Mary called herself the Immaculate Conception, a true expression of beauty. Mary’s message to Bernadette was simple and caring, like that of a Mother. Bernadette, although not great, was a saint of blessings and virtue. Mary chose to appear to her and laid upon her shoulders the charge of sharing Mary with others. Bernadette did not live a very long life… but it was one of patient suffering and hope for the world to come. "I cannot promise to make you happy in this world, but in the next" was the promise of the Blessed Mother to her daughter. Bernadette trusted in this promise, with that childlike faith and obedience that were so exemplary in her visits with Mary. This is an example of how Mary is a mother to us. Her apparitions to her gentle daughter Bernadette brings us a message of prayer and healing. Each time that Mary has visited us, she has come with the same tender love and caring. Let us always remember how deeply Mary loves us, how intimate she is with Jesus, and seek to follow her Motherly guidance and receive her consolation.
A Letter of Saint Marie Bernadette Soubirou
God of mercy,
we celebrate the feast of Mary,
the sinless mother of God.
May her prayers help us
to rise above our human weakness.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
The day has begun,
You have embraced
Your wee one.
I greet You
With the opening
Of my eyes,
That stream anew.
My slumber has brought me
To New Day.
The night was spent
In healing, and a continuity,
That like the day
Follows one unto the other,
Within Your sovereign embrace.
My body leaned
Upon You in trust,
To rise refreshed.
Phantoms of the night
Fled as Your Sun
Rose with purple dawn,
For I place my Trust
You knit me,
Body, soul and spirit,
Into a unity,
I have known
Since You willed me
Unity creating one nature,
Sharing in your dual nature
Of God and Man.
Born of God,
In the Holy Spirit,
I am wed to You
And made ready,
Sun on sun,
Remembering my frame,
And my need,
Stir into flame
Your Godly Presence,
So that the Bridegroom
Of my Soul
May this day
Take to Himself
The bride He won
From the Cross,
And I ,
Dust of the Earth,
May know the sacred bliss
Of having been chosen.
And living, in the flesh,
The Life of God.
©2012 Joann Nelander
Still the many veils
Stand between us.
I know they are the weave
Of my concupiscence,
Hanging over my heart,
Weighing the corners
Of my smile,
Hiding me from You
In my shame.
Must I forgive myself
For being other
Than Your Christ?
And repeated falls
Spoil my high hopes,
But I find them useful as well,
For the crushing of my pride.
The temptation to reign
In the place of God
Is Satan’s prompt,
And plays persistently,
Appealing in its disguise
And Evolution at its finest.
Unveiled before you
I see my call to be least,
And allow You to reign
Great in me.
Lord, triumph over vain glory,
The Father’s desires for me,
That my baptismal garment
Of purest white
In all the colors
Of Your Glory,
Even in His smallest work
And humblest creature.
From a homily on Matthew by Saint John Chrysostum, bishop
As long as we are sheep, we overcome and, though surrounded by countless wolves, we emerge victorious; but if we turn into wolves, we are overcome, for we lose the shepherd’s help. He, after all, feeds the sheep not wolves, and will abandon you if you do not let him show his power in you.
What he says is this: “Do not be upset that, as I send you out among the wolves, I bid you be as sheep and doves. I could have managed things quite differently and sent you, not to suffer evil nor to yield like sheep to the wolves, but to be fiercer than lions. but the way I have chosen is right. It will bring you greater praise and at the same time manifest my power.” That is what he told Paul: My grace is enough for you, for in weakness my power is made perfect. “I intend,” he says, “to deal the same way with you.” For, when he says, I am sending you out like sheep, he implies: “But do not therefore lose heart, for I know and am certain that no one will be able to overcome you.”
The Lord, however, does want them to contribute something, lest everything seem to be the work of grace, and they seem to win their reward without deserving it. Therefore he adds: You must be clever as snakes and innocent as doves. But, they may object, what good is our cleverness amid so many dangers? How can we be clever when tossed about by so many waves? However great the cleverness of the sheep as he stands among the wolves – so may wolves! – what can it accomplish? However great the innocence of the dove, what good does it do him, with so many hawks swooping upon him? To all this I say: Cleverness and innocence admittedly do these irrational creatures no good, but they can help you greatly.
What cleverness is the Lord requiring here? The cleverness of a snake. A snake will surrender everything and will put up no great resistance even if its body is being cut in pieces, provided it can save its head. So you, the Lord is saying, must surrender everything but your faith: money, body, even life itself. For faith is the head and the root; keep that, and though you lose all else, you will get it back in abundance. The Lord therefore counseled the disciples to be not simply clever or innocent; rather he joined the two qualities so that they become a genuine virtue. He insisted on the cleverness of the snake so that deadly wounds might be avoided, and he insisted on the innocence of the dove so that revenge might not be taken on those who injure or lay traps for you. Cleverness is useless without innocence.
Do not believe that this precept is beyond you power. More than anyone else, the Lord knows the true natures of created things; he knows that moderation, not a fierce defense, beats back a fierce attack.
Crown of Thorns,
Where the diamonds?
Where the gold?
Riverlets of Your Mercy
Covering Holy Face.
Crown of Thorns,
Kingship in rejection,
Shining as diamonds,
Pure as gold,
Blood, all holy,
Innocence dying on a Cross,
Satisfying the Father’s desire
For sons and daughters
Made holy in His Christ,
Now by our willing,
And humble assent.
Crown of Thorns,
They kingdom come.
Cover all my life,
And my sin
Nail to Your Cross.
Indeed, cover all of Time,
Till Time be no more.
You have dominion,
And I, Your least,
Cry in my wretchedness.
You Who have seen the Father,
And His Work,
And His Will,
Witness to Life and Love.
Firstborn of the Dead
Bless those who
Enter through the Veil
Of Your Flesh,
Your pierced side,
An open door.
You rule all the kingdoms
Of the Earth,
And all the peoples
For whom You were nailed
To the Tree,
Your Cross becoming
A Tree of Life,
Where Death sought victory,
But was ravaged,
As You assailed it
From Your grave,
A grave that couldn’t hold You.
Lord of the Now,
Alive in all
Covered in Your Blood,
No earthly monarch
Could love his people
As You Love us.
You make us priests,
Prophets and kings,
As Your Church marches
As Your Body.
Joined to its Head,
King and captain.
Alive in Your Divinity,
King of All,
Alpha and Omega,
King of Kings,
Embracing and transforming,
Reign over Past, Present and To Come.
We offer the sacrifice
Of our lives,
Sinful and faulty
As they are,
To live for Your announcing
The Trinity of God,
Witnessing with You,
For in You , we, too, reign
To be blessing
To the Nations
To be Church.
King of Al Nations,
And all Time,
You have dominion,
Glory and power,
Reign over all,
©2012 Joann Nelander
How poor am I?
No one suspects my poverty,
For I hide it
‘Neath empty bravado.
The fool fooling all,
I , too, believe
My haughty claims.
How poor am I?
Copyright Joann Nelander 2012
All rights reserved
The following meditations will probably rank high among many similar works which the
contemplative love of Jesus has produced; but it is our duty here plainly to affirm that they
have no pretensions whatever to be regarded as history.
They are but intended to take one of
the lowest places among those numerous representations of the Passion which have been
given us by pious writers and artists, and to be considered at the very utmost as the Lenten
meditations of a devout nun, related in all simplicity, and written down in the plainest and
most literal language, from her own dictation. To these meditations, she herself never
attached more than a mere human value, and never related them except through obedience,
and upon the repeated commands of the directors of her conscience.
The writer of the following pages was introduced to this holy religious by Count Leopold
de Stolberg. (The Count de Stolberg is one of the most eminent converts whom the Catholic
Church has made from Protestantism. He died in 1819.)
Be attentive to the small.
Diminutive things hide gift,
Less the glory,
Inviting in simplicity
And in need,
Making room for God to move
Upon the empty places,
To spend Himself.
God will not keep company
With vain glory,
Nor suffer the competition
Of the arrogant will.
Empty of self,
Win the Heart of God.
I have been flawed
For all the years
You have known me.
Ah, but You
Have known me.
In this is my hope,
That I have known You, too.
No one can chain the Word of God. Our bishops couldn’t have picked a more appropriate reading for this day, if they tried. Even slaves, those in chains and the persecuted can preach it. So preach it, People. Preach it!
My beloved, obedient as you have always been,
not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent,
work out your salvation with fear and trembling.
For God is the one who, for his good purpose,
works in you both to desire and to work.
Do everything without grumbling or questioning,
that you may be blameless and innocent,
children of God without blemish
in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation,
among whom you shine like lights in the world,
as you hold on to the word of life,
so that my boast for the day of Christ may be
that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
But, even if I am poured out as a libation
upon the sacrificial service of your faith,
I rejoice and share my joy with all of you.
In the same way you also should rejoice and share your joy with me.
Hour of Darkness (Read by author)
To the Cross we go,
A Nation hanging,
Lifted on the wood,
Drying up, exposed,
In a hemorrhage
Of its young.
Did you watch?
We’re you one
To wring your hands?
Were your hearts wrenched,
Or did you party
With the crowd
As the veil
Of the Temple
Was torn in two?
Suffer the Moment
Hoping with Love,
That the curtain,
From top to bottom,
That even now,
In the darkest hour
Of choice’s choosing,
When Herod has opened
Yet another womb,
Salvation is found in Crucifixion.
God will shine through
The gaping wound in His Side,
As God is want to do.
©2012 Joann Nelander All rights reserved
Hour of Darkness (Read by author)
“I think there are a lot of people who don’t appreciate the significance of the election for the Church’s activity in this country, and also the significance of this election for Catholics in this country,” said J.D. Flynn, chancellor of the Denver archdiocese.
In his letter, Archbishop Aquila emphasized religious freedom as a foundational American value.
“Our founding fathers understood that without these freedoms, especially religious liberty, our democratic experiment would fail,” he wrote.
However, religious liberty faces “an unprecedented threat” from the Health and Human Services mandate, which “undermines the promise of the First Amendment,” Archbishop Aquila said.
The Obama administration’s contraception mandate requires employers to provide health insurance plans that cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, even if doing so violates their beliefs.
It has drawn nearly 40 lawsuits by more than 110 plaintiffs since its announcement earlier this year.
“No one should ever be forced to choose between integrity and charity, or to violate their conscience in business,” the archbishop said.
Reasons Why Obama Must Be Defeated
John D. Keisling, Ph.D.
1. He has vastly expanded Federal government power:
- Significantly increased dependency on government:
- Doubled food stamp spending: 47 million now on food stamps.
- Government takeover of healthcare: see below.
- Government takeover of General Motors.
- Unconstitutional attempt to remove welfare work requirement passed in 1996.
- Unconstitutional recess appointments with Senate still in session.
- Unconstitutional ignoring of laws: Defense of Marriage Act.
- Unconstitutional executive orders: Amnesty for younger illegal immigrants (DREAM Act—could not pass Congress).
- War in Libya without Congressional authorization.
- National debt up from $10 trillion to $16 trillion in 4 years. Increasing debt twice as fast as Bush. Now $50,000 for every American man, woman, and child.
- Supports “spreading wealth around.”
- Insulted small-business owners: “You didn’t build that!”
2. He wants to radically redefine marriage and family:
- Supports defining homosexual relationships as “marriage.” See Romans 1:18-32.
- By extension, supports homosexual indoctrination in public schools (Massachussetts, second grade—court ruled parents have no right to opt out or be notified)
- By extension, supports forcing Christian businesses to promote homosexuality:
- New Mexico, Elaine Photography—fined $6,500 for refusing to photograph lesbian “wedding.”
- Vermont innkeepers who refused a lesbian “wedding” forced to pay $10,000 fine and $20,000 to the lesbians’ favorite charity.
- Churches will not remain exempt for long.
3. He fully supports abortion:
- Supports Roe v. Wade: unlimited abortion, all 9 months.
- As an Illinois state senator, voted 4 times to deny basic Constitutional protection to babies who survive abortions.
- Co-sponsored the federal Freedom of Choice Act, which would overturn all state restrictions on abortion and therefore allow it in all cases.
- Appointed pro-abortion radical Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services.
- HHS now forcing religious organizations to pay for birth control and abortion.
4. He has made unprecedented attacks on religious freedom:
- Supports HHS mandate forcing religious organizations to pay for birth control and abortion. Never before in our history—government now says it can define what religion is.
- His Sec. of State says “freedom of worship” instead of “freedom of religion.” “Worship” is what you do in church Sunday morning; “religion” encompasses your entire life. Major difference.
- Refuses to allow conscience protection—pro-life doctors and nurses forced to perform abortions.
- Redefining marriage: see above.
5. He supports Obamacare:
- Massive expansion of government power. 2700 pages—no one knew what was in it.
- Barney Frank called it the best path to single-payer healthcare—illegal for anyone but government to pay for health care.
- Forces Americans to buy a product. Never before in our history.
- Sets up unelected board (IPAB) with authority to ration health care.
- Rammed through Congress against people’s opposition, without a single Republican vote.
- Recess appointment of Donald Berwick as Medicare administrator, who said, “The decision is not whether or not we will ration care. The decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”
- Many doctors say they will not accept Medicare patients anymore.
- Takes $719 billion from Medicare to pay for Obamacare
6. He has broken major promises:
- Promised to cut deficit in half in 4 years. Deficit was $1.2 trillion in 2008; now $1.17 trillion. Democrats controlled House and Senate for two years.
- Promised not to raise taxes on middle class: Bush tax cuts about to expire—largest tax hike in American history. The Supreme Court ruled that Obamacare’s individual mandate is a tax.
- Promised unemployment would stay below 8%. Still around 10%.
- “If you like your current health plan, you can keep it:” 5-20 million Americans likely to lose employer plans under Obamacare.
- No budget passed in 3 years: Obama’s budget failed in Senate 97-0!
- Was against homosexual “marriage”; now for it.
- In 2006, stated on Senate floor, “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America ’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills… Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren.” In 2011, he strongly advocated raising the debt ceiling again.
7. He has weakened America in the world:
- Disrespectful to America : worldwide apology tour for America , bowing to the Saudi king and Japanese emperor.
- Michelle Obama: “For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country.”
- Has done nothing to stop Iran from building nuclear weapons. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly vowed to destroy Israel .
- Recently refused to meet with Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel.
- Supported “Arab Spring.” Now embassies are attacked in North Africa and Middle East . 4 Americans murdered in attack on Libyan Embassy.
- Attacks free speech of Americans: blamed above attacks on an obscure film criticizing Islam.
- Told an envoy to Vladimir Putin, “After my election, I’ll have more flexibility.”