I had perhaps the most unsettling experience at Mass today (there's a sentence I never thought I'd say). During Communion there was a hymn sung and two songs just with music after that were America-themed. Then the song at the close of Mass was America-themed again. I can understand the reason for those songs since it will be the 4th of July this week, but with the recent HHS mandate text release and SSM rulings of the SCOTUS, it doesn't seem appropriate to celebrate our country and its liberty if it is moving against the Church so quickly and boldly.
I get it. This country didn't start out as a Catholic-friendly place, so how should I expect it even now to be Catholic-friendly? Still, I cannot stand and sing along with others at Mass about a country which is making every step away from and against the Church that they can. I cannot celebrate this country's independence this week if I do not believe it will defend my freedoms.
“People, myself included, lament the moral decline of America,” reflected Fr. Fessio, “Without this stunning intellectual decline—where one can claim that an unborn baby is not a human person and that man-to-man copulation is equivalent to marital union—we could not have sunk so low. With this decision we are about to sink even lower. God help us.” He said that he thinks it is clear that the rulings are “going to make it far more difficult for those who defend marriage.”Asked how the rulings will affect the Catholic Church in the United States, Fr. Fessio remarked that they “will call forth saints and scholars who will ‘shine like the stars in the midst of a wicked and perverse generation’. They will also be humiliated and very likely, in time, persecuted. Welcome to the Brave New World.”Persecution and humiliation doesn't sound as bad as it once did to me. If it means I can "shine like the stars in the midst of a wicked and perverse generation," and that it will bring glory to God and His Church, I'll do it. Now is the time for prayer and fasting and returning to the Lord. "Be converted to me with all your heart, in fasting, and in weeping, and in mourning. And rend your hearts, and not your garments, and turn to the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, patient and rich in mercy, and ready to repent of the evil.... Between the porch and the altar the priests the Lord's ministers shall weep, and shall say: Spare, O Lord, spare thy people..."