Dear Mr. President and Madame Secretary:
So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Am'alek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and whenever he lowered his hand, Am'alek prevailed. But Moses' hands grew weary; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat upon it, and Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; so his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua mowed down Am'alek and his people with the edge of the sword.Immediately the relevance to our current situation with the violation of our conscience struck me.
We need troops on the ground. Each of us needs to be a soldier, not in the sense that we pick up a gun, but that we pick our pens, our minds, and our keesters off the proverbial couch and get involved in this really frightening situation. So we need to fight in that sense.
But as the above Scripture passage makes clear, the battle is not to us "troops" alone. Instead, it will be to those who do not lose heart, and it will especially be to those who keep their hearts and minds lifted up in prayer.
You know, it's interesting. A few years ago, I heard from a priest who was there that then-Bishop Jerome Listecki (now the archbishop of Milwaukee) predicted to his priests at a retreat that within 15 years, at least one of them would be arrested simply for preaching the Church's teachings on topics such as homosexuality. This could be the opening salvo in that effort.
I thought the letter by Bishop William Patrick Callahan of La Crosse read at all Masses in the diocese was excellent. It's not available online yet, but when it becomes available, I'll post it.
Until then, I'll leave you with this thought from his blog:
On 23 March 1775, Patrick Henry delivered a passionate speech before the members of the Virginia legislature at St. John's Church in Richmond, convincing them to send troops into the revolutionary war. His highly successful and memorable line stirred the listeners to join him in calling out: "Give me liberty, or give me death."
Unfortunately, St. John's Church was destroyed by the Confederates during the Civil War. It seems that now, however, in the twenty-first century, we are about to destroy the very concept of liberty itself - or least for some citizens of our country. Catholics are most definitely included in this effort, and, in fact, almost appear to be the targeted group.