We are told to pray without ceasing; saying something like “Prayers are needed today,” we can’t be thought to be excluding all the other times at prayer or making the suggestion that there is ever a time we shouldn’t pray. This particular moment in time seems one that we should devote extra time to pray:
- For the deepening crisis in Ukraine. It seems that the international community is choosing sides: a Russia-China bloc generally supportive of Ukrainian occupation versus a “western” coalition (led by the U.S., U.K., France and — perhaps most important — Germany) favoring the sovereignty of the Ukraine and expanding EU ties. If Poland is nervous, it’s for justifiable reasons. Seems highly improbable that President Obama will choose a military option for dealing with this, which removes a great amount of the teeth in any threatened consequences. Pray for peace.
- For the ongoing craziness in North Korea. They would have gotten a little more attention firing two short-range missiles into the ocean in military exercises yesterday had they chosen a date other than the Academy Awards to do so. You’d think with all their propaganda about how addled and distracted Americans are, they’d have paid a little better attention to our secular culture high holiday schedule. In the name of ethnic purity, or xenophobia, or who knows what, recent reports are that the government is forcing women to abort babies in utero or suffocate babies after birth if the woman is suspected of carrying babies conceived by Chinese men. Pray for God’s justice.
- The Catholic blogosphere is picking at a new (purported) wound concerning the ongoing Novus Ordo / TLM conflict. There’s political theater — and apparently — an ecclesiastical variety. Rorate Caeli insists that it be credited with breaking the story that the newly-installed bishop of the Diocese of Forth Worth has — for reasons not yet made public — suspended daily mass in the extraordinary form at Fisher More College. The move also (apparently) brought about the cancellation of a Lenten retreat that was scheduled to begin yesterday. Rorate charges (with the help of the Canon Law Centre) that this is a violation of the provisions of Summorum Pontificum. Fr. Z urges caution in judgment as the story unfolds. I am inclined to agree, and to suggest prayer that the Holy Spirit acts to calm this and any other tempests (whether they be contained in vessels for the brewing of tea or not) that disturb the unity of the Body.
- For religious freedom. [As a side note, the Supreme Court denied the petition of the Romeikes today]. There’s a reason why constitutional protection for religious freedom was enshrined in our First Amendment: it’s that important, or at least it was when the Bill of Rights were ratified. A pluralistic society with a variety of religious traditions can observe and respect the right to religious freedom, but a secular society where atheism takes hold will increasingly view all religion (and especially Catholicism) with suspicion or skepticism — as superstition, or against reason, or against science, or as opposed to natural order. Such societies will not long respect religious freedom as a fundamental right at all, any more than the expectation of protection for the “rights” of raving lunatics to roam the streets unhindered.
- For the personal intentions of people everywhere. So many people in the world simply struggle to survive. Many carry things on their hearts known by Almighty God alone. Will you, as an act of charity, join with those who desperately seek solace in the arms of the Lord? May He deliver comfort, peace and joy to all who ask.
- For a few of my own personal intentions: that Mrs. Quartermaster may quickly recover from her cold; that all the children remain healthy, and be good, and calm; that I do not fail to properly extend our hospitality to the eleven priests dining here tonight.
Yikes — I just looked at the clock (See Item #6 above). Later!