Life and Religious Freedom (Mt 22:21) by Bishop Robert Gruss

04 Jul Life and Religious Freedom (Mt 22:21) by Bishop Robert Gruss

ILLUSTRATION SHOWING U.S. FLAG, CRUCIFIXWelcome God now with this LIFE Group Devotion (FB), provided by LIFE Runners (FB).  Leaders.  Guest Authors.
“At that Jesus said to them, ‘Then repay what belongs to Caesar to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.'” ~ (Mt 22:21) (full readings)
Bishop Gruss’ Reflections:  When we celebrate Independence Day, on the hearts and minds of many people are the freedoms we enjoy in the U.S.  This day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776 which announced that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as independent states and no longer a part of the British Empire.  Instead, a new Nation was formed – the United States of America.  This line from the Declaration is especially important for us today:  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  What belongs to God are these “certain inalienable rights” endowed by our Creator to each of us – the right to life and religious freedom.  Religious liberty, the “most cherished of American freedoms” and rooted deeply in the dignity of the human person, is being eroded.  When people are denied and hindered from professing and living their religion or faith, human dignity is offended, resulting in a threat to justice and peace.  As Catholics and Americans whose faith is the driving force of our lives and who believe that faith plays an important role in working for the common good of all, we must intensify our prayers and fasting for a new birth of freedom in our beloved country so that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, as outlined by the Declaration of Independence, will be preserved for all of us.
* Bishop Gruss is the bishop of the Diocese of Rapid City, South Dakota.  He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Davenport, Iowa 19 years ago and will be celebrating his second anniversary as a bishop on July 28th.
Faith Challenge:  All we ask is that our God-given right to religious liberty be respected.  We ask nothing less than the Constitution and the laws of the United States, which recognize that right, be respected.  Each voice spoken to our political representatives can make a difference.  But one has to use their Catholic voice to defend what God has given us.  This is how we bring the light of the Gospel to public life.  Let your voice be heard!
Counter-Culture News: LifeSiteNewsLifeNewsAmerican FamilyVaticanProject Rachel.
Our Prayers: Prayer to end abortionLIFE Runners Creed & Patron Saint. Add Prayers. Pray with meals, bedtime, wake up, etc. Consider mid-week Family Rosary (17 min). Let’s pray now.
* An urgent prayer for religious liberty:  Almighty God, Father of all nations:  For freedom you have set us free in Christ Jesus (Gal 5:1).  We praise and bless you for the gift of religious liberty, the foundation of human rights, justice and the common good.  Grant to our leaders the wisdom to protect and promote our liberties; by your grace may we have the courage to defend them, for ourselves and for all those who live in this blessed land.  We ask this through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, our patroness, and in the name of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, with whom you live and reign, one God, forever and ever.  Amen.
Feast Day: 
 Saint Elizabeth of Portugal.
Faith Quote: “Christ has no body but yours; no hands, no feet on earth but yours.  Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world; yours are the feet with which he walks to do good; yours are the hands with which he blesses the whole world.” ~ St. Teresa of Avila.
Through Christ Our Lord,
Bishop Gruss

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