I saw something worthy of Germany in the 1930’s in today’s Hell’s Bible (aka The New York Times):
White House Works to Shape Debate Over Health Law By ROBERT PEAR Published: March 9, 2012 […] On Wednesday, White House officials summoned dozens of leaders of nonprofit organizations that strongly back the health law to help them coordinate plans for a prayer vigil, press conferences and other events outside the court when justices hear arguments for three days beginning March 26. […]
A prayer vigil?
In the face of the Obama Administration obdurate will to force violations of conscience through their HHS mandate I call on the USCCB to organize prayer vigils for the awakening of the reason and conscience of the American people, and rousing of their awareness about the cliff to which we are being driven.
One of these days we will see a shift from blatant Kulturkampf to Kirchenkampf, the battle of the American Patriotic Catholic Association under its leader against the Holy Catholic Church. Parish priests: If you hear about some prayer rally organized by enemies of the Church and the 1st Amendment, please think about organizing your own “rally”, perhaps in the form of Exposition with a sermon and confessions.
I would like to recommend for your opportune knowledge and reflection Eric Metaxas’s book Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy (UK HERE). Aside from the biography of this interesting man, the book is a great introduction to what happened in Germany in the 20’s – 40’s. Also, as a bonus, the author delves into the washpish theological social trends in the USA at the same time.
I found it very informative and learned a lot from it. Furthermore, time and again what I read in Bonhoeffer gave me some uncomfortable crawlies of premonition.
Ultra-liberal MSNBC is in the tank for Pres. Obama. One of their newsies interview the author of the book I mentioned after he spoke (in front of Obama) during the National Prayer Breakfast. Notice how quickly the newsie tries to change the subject.
And to hear Metaxas at the Prayer Breakfast, here he is. Charming, fellow, even as he dresses down the President.
Note his ironic comments on “the family”.
I don’t think his comments about elevated language is quite right, because he is working from the current dictates of decorum (or rather lack of decorum), but he is right that elevated prayer can be just as full of gas as false familiarity often is.
He says some devastating things about secularism and liberalism, but with a dose of humor.
About the unborn tune and abortion listen especially to 24:20 and following.
His talk about seeing Jesus in your enemy harks to St. Augustine in his commentary on 1 John, in which he describes love of enemy as being the perfection of human charity during this life.
To which deity will they be praying? If he thinks they’ll be praying to the same God we pray to, I trust God will NOT answer a prayer to put the boot to His own Church, unless we’ve seriously ticked Him off and He decides we need to learn a lesson.
Aren’t prayer vigils of this sort generally organized because there’s a problem? I don’t think most people would organize a prayer vigil because things are going particularly well, or because they are celebrating something wonderful, do they? While the todah sacrifice of thanksgiving was prominent in OT Judaism, I don’t think that really fits with Obama.
This leads me to my real question: Since these are the only two conclusions I can legitimately draw from this action, does this mean that the administration a) thinks that a lack of support for an already passed bill–a law– is a problem worthy of a prayer vigil, or b) doesn’t understand the first thing about prayers or vigils?
I know my guess.
Do you think Sr. Carole Keehan was one of those “leaders of nonprofit organizations that strongly back the health law” who was summoned? Do you think she’ll be participating in the prayer vigil?
For demonstrations against the HHS mandate, all to be held at noon local time on March 23, go to http://standupforreligiousfreedom.com. More than 40 cities are participating andyou can find out where they are and the exact location in each city. Post info on Facebook and tweet about it, if you do that.
There will be Christian prayer vigils at the Supreme Court March 25-28. The first will be on Sunday, March 25, 2:00-4:00pm. On the weekdays, the vigils will run from 8:00 am – Noon. Go to http://www.justiceatthecourt.com.
Why has the USCCB not called for a Rosary Crusade? Why did it take one of WDTPRS’ commentors on a previous thread to call for a Rosary Crusade? I googled “Rosary Crusade” and USCCB yesterday and WDTPRS was a top listing. The SSPX has had a Rosary Crusade going on since last year for their talks with the Holy See. It gives the impression that the Society takes their talks with the Holy See more seriously than than the USCCB takes this HHS mandate, despite their protests.
In his own perverse way, the president is the direct cause of something that hasn’t happened in fifty years: the American bishops are of one mind and presenting a common message through a united front. If he really means to organize these so called prayer vigils of his, then he is doomed to fail; we’ve been doing those for 2000 years. I’m confident whose vigil our Blessed Lord is more inclined to favor.
I finished the Bonhoeffer book a few days ago. Throughout the book I was stopping and saying to my husband “listen to this….does it sound familiar”. He told me to stop because he didn’t even want to think about the similarites between pre WWII Germany and the present day in the US. Aren’t those who don’t know history “doomed to repeat it”. Well we are in some trouble then because not only have Catholics failed in their catechesis but our public schools have failed in teaching real history. I don’t tend toward melodrama but the summer of love, the disco era and the rockin’ 80’s are now behind us. The party is over and we better wake up.
I feel quite confident that the prayers will be structured so that no one can identify the recipient of these prayers.
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As for prayer vigils, I have mixed feelings about them. Prayer which is genuinely directed to the Father is of course a very good thing, and there is a legitimate role for public prayer. The question arises when the point of the “prayer” is to be seen. This is as much a problem for a pro-life rosary vigil that stands on the corner of the street, that they may be seen by men, as for Obama’s “prayer vigil”.
God is not a rhetorical device or a stage prop for our protests.
Hmm. I guess if the administration has people there “praying”, if anyone opposed to the administration’s law is there praying, they are protected from being arrested since we all have the same rights and everything.
Let’s see. How about…
“O Something, Nothing, Anyone, or Someone or Other,
“Grant us, in thy great relativity and indistinctness, what is convenient for us and our agenda to the exclusion of any other beliefs’ objections. Grant us the appearance of tolerance through semantic manipulation, and multiply our turncoats and quislings who see a chance for political gain. May they not change their minds or have regrets until we have run out of uses for them.
“Smite the expectation of meaningful religious freedom, and cast us down yon slippery slope until we may appoint ourselves the unquestionable arbiters of morality in thy place. Be thou a sport as we chase religion out of the public sphere, and vouchsafe to do for us whatever we please, as we shall also do what we please, and with taxpayer dollars.
“We ask this through No One In Particular, who may or may not liveth or reigneth anywhere in particular.
“Our will be done. Amen.”
As well it might give one chills of premonition, and it’s not the only book to do so. I have just finished reading Geoffrey Moorehouse’s “The Last Divine Office: Henry VIII and the Dissolution of the Monasteries.” In it the same tactics employed by Cranmer and Rich are completely resonant with what is being initiated with the Nazi-istic Obama regime. They did it with Laws, killed relatively few people, but did it gruesomely enough that they only had to threaten the rest, and they abandoned their monasteries to the Government. Gave them to them, signing a document that certified the fact that they could not ever say that they had been suppressed, because they were giving their property freely to the regime. That is exactly what the Government wants us to do with our Catholic colleges and hospitals, and all our charitable institutions. Eventually, they will demand our property holdings in the form of parishes and schools, and the watery and weak clergy will hand them over without a fight…after a few have been waterboarded into submission. You heard it here folks…that makes mea propher. Well…actually you can credit Fr. Hugh Whitehouse, prior of Durham Cathedral in the 1540’s for showing me how they did it, and how they’ll do it again, or try to.
More than a decade ago, before I converted to the Catholic Church, I was invited to a Passover Seder by the professor with whom I was working as a postdoc. I wasn’t sure if I should attend, but my girlfriend (who was Catholic — it’s a long story, but she had nothing to do with my interest in and eventual conversion to the Catholic Church, and it didn’t work out between us) said I should. (Later it became clear that she thought my friend was a Messianic Jew.)
It was a strange experience. My friend was a member of an odd group called Reconstructionist Jews, and they added all kinds of modernist weird touches, such as adding 4 matriarchs (Sarah, Rebecca, Leah, and Rachel — Bilhah and Zilpah get the short end of the stick) and making up out of whole cloth a story about “Miriam’s Well”. Also, because his wife, who is not Jewish, could not stand the idea of a lamb being food, they had Passover chicken. (No firstborn sons of Reconstructionist Jews made it out of Egypt!)
Some of my friends other guests were atheists, and to accommodate them, there were prayers not only to “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” but also to “the Spirit of the Universe” — a phrase which I found uncomfortably close to “the Spirit of This World” (1 Corinthians 2:12).
What about the separation of church and state?
One of the reasons I have always used the word “Roman” when describing my religion and the Church. It has nothing to do with which rite I belong to, but that the visible head of the Church is in Rome. As the First Vatican Council termed it: “Sancta Catholica Apostolica Romana Ecclesia”.
Wow! That must have been a strange experience.
Reconstructionists = Secular Episcopalians with Jewish trappings. Not only female rabbis but homosexual “marriage” and so forth. Conservative or Orthodox look askance even at the Reform . . . if you even mention Reconstructionists, some of them will curse volubly (you haven’t lived til you’ve heard a really good Yiddish curse!), the rest just roll their eyes and say, “Nope, not sure what they think they are, but they’re not Jewish!”
Contramundum, I would say that most Jewish Passover Seders today do not have lamb at the seder meal. Chicken is a mainstay. A lamb bone is used to denote the sacrificial lamb. This is mainly because there are no more temple sacrifices of lambs. The Sephardic Jews (a minority in the USA I believe) do have lamb at Passover, however. I had a Jewish friend (who was about to preside at his first Passover) tell me he had never eaten lamb in his life. This is not unusual today.
Also, there is a plethora of different seder presentations today, from soup to nuts.
I just downloaded the suggested book on my Kindle. Will probably be up reading it half the night. One can just feel the darkness closing in.
Those of us who can go should also carry Saint Benedict medals, blessed with a special exorcism prayer used specifically for that medal.
Boy, that’s something I never would have guessed. I would have thougth that even if they could not slaughter the lamb these days, they would at least get lamb chops.
That type of free substitution reminds me of a conversation I had with the associate pastor of a Baptist Church in Maryland, actually at about the same time as this seder. The associate pastor and the music minister came over to visit me and try to get me to join their church, which I had been attending. I took the opportunity to share with them some of the reservations I had with Baptist teachings and practices; one of them had to do with the use of Welch’s grape juice instead of wine for “the Lord’s Supper”. It’s both like and unlike the materials used at the Last Supper. I asked if, in the same spirit, they could substitute beer and pretzels for the wine and bread. He said sure, they could do that if they wanted to. You should have seen the look the music teacher gave him! I also talked about a situation I had seen where people would be disfellowshipped from one Baptist church just going to another one a few blocks away, and how a bishop would solve that problem. He said yes, that is a problem, and that he thought that bishops were a good idea, at least in mission territories. This got another look from the music minister. I would like to have heard their conversation on the way back from that meeting! :-)
No Tamborines- I am rotfl! Great stuff. On another subject: We have the Lubavitch here in NYC. They serve Lamb and are the gold standard in Judeism. (I’m assuming there are no Satmar lurkers here).
Good idea: since the answer to prayers is often “no”.
Good idea: since the answer to prayers is often “no”. Let them try…
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I think many Jews think of the substitution this way: There is no substitution for the Temple sacrifice. Either you have Temple priests doing the proper sacrifice of the lambs, or there is no proper sacrifice–ergo, in the commemoration of the Passover a lamb bone is used.
But as in all things, there are different thoughts about it. Like the rabbis of old who studied the Torah, there is a beautiful tension and discussion about these things today in the different streams of Judaism.
Don’t get me started on the Baptists. Oh one thing. I remember my ‘staunch’ Episcopalian mom (and by staunch I mean staunchly non-practicing) and her best friend taking all the kids to a Baptist vacation Bible school one summer. The fire and brimstone preacher made all the moms and kids sit in the church and hear a sermon about (can you guess) that we were all headed for hell. Us kids were terrified. My mom and her Catholic friend giggled through the whole thing, which made us feel a little bit better. The preacher was not amused.
I grew up in independent Fundamentalist Bible churches, which I took (with some justification) to be basically the same as Southern Baptist churches. I don’t know what to make of your vacation Bible school story, other than that you must have gotten an idiot as the preacher. I attended VBS many times and never heard a sermon in which any preacher assumed that those hearing him were all going to Hell. I did, of course, hear many sermons about how Hell is real and where we are all going if we do not accept pardon from Christ. The sermons were wrong about many details — they said nothing about the importance of baptism when it is possible or the need to persevere in grace, but in the general message of dependance on God and of urgency they are not out of line with Catholic Teaching. I’d rather hear some fire and brimstone from my bishop, rather than pleasant dishonesties about how we can be sure that Sen. Byrd is now in Heaven.
I’m surprised at the “no Temple” excuse. The role of a priest in the slaughter of the lamb is not mentioned in the Torah, and in fact the first Passover came before the establishment of the Aaronic priesthood. The blood was not for an altar, but for the door, and the lamb was not to be eaten by a priest, but by the members of the household.
Looking up some information on modern seders does remind me of something I had forgotten, though. My friend, as he was “explaining” what was going on to the younger members of the family, mentioned how the broken unleavened bread (afikoman) represented the lamb. It was hard to keep quiet about what that really foreshadowed.
Not to date myself, but the VBS incident was more than 40 years ago. Incidentally, I took my own kids to a friend’s Baptist Church for VBS about a decade ago, and the preacher was very different. His emphasis was on “getting saved.” He was very sweet about it.
Regarding the priesthood’s role in the lambs’ actual slaughter, I think that is, as you mention, not clear. Something to research. I do know that the Temple sacrifice of the Passover lambs was a focus and that priests presided over it, whether they performed the actual sacrifice or not.
And yes, a Passover seder is a marvelous foreshadowing of the Bread of Life. There are a number of Messianic Jewish seders and even some Christ-focused seders that bring out that truth.
I wonder if the cameraman was afraid to pan back as Mr. Metaxas spoke of the humanity of the unborn, and the defense of marriage.
Do not mistake what the administration is up to here. They don’t think there is going to be a problem with a Liberal SCOTUS passing Obamacare. They are continuing to promote a schism in the churches by making it appear that religious leaders support this so strongly that they would assemble in prayer to help it pass.
We should be organizing a rosary rally through this site and contacting all other Catholic sites to join in.
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What I find most interesting about this is that the beginning of the hearing is on the Feast of the Annunciation this year….Maybe we should seek the Blessed Mother’s help!
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