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By John Horvat II

 

As I stood on the country highway praying a rosary for marriage, I could not help but think I was on the front lines. Talking about traditional marriage is important, but it can be done from the safety of the home. Writing about the subject is an exercise done in the isolation of an office. When you are out in front of hundreds of passing cars or pedestrian traffic, that is the front lines.

Anything can happen since this is an explosive topic. You are out there directly exposed to those who hate you. You will also experience the consolation of support. You will face the contempt of indifference. You are in God’s hands.

On March 17, 2018, I participated in one of over 2,247 public square rosaries in defense of traditional marriage nationwide. It involved gathering together a group of people in a public place on the Saturday closest to the feast of Saint Joseph. Each rally had a banner that proudly proclaimed: “1 Man plus 1 Woman equals God’s Marriage.” The event was sponsored by the America Needs Fatima campaign of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.

 

 

An Ordinary Site Made Extraordinary

The location of our rally could not have been more American. We were out in the countryside amid cornfields, pastures and grain silos. However, it was a busy highway with all sorts of Americans going about their Saturday tasks and shopping. There were semis, pickups, minivans, cars and even tractors passing by our rosary rally for marriage.

It was not a particularly beautiful spot. There are certainly more symbolic locations. The flat area at the side of the road normally serves as a parking spot for commuters. It provided an ample space for our rally. Perhaps it was the ordinariness of the site that made it so extraordinary. It showed that America’s rejection of same-sex “marriage” is deeply rooted.

Surrounded by our banners, we prayed the rosary. It was organized by a family with three generations present. The most enthusiastic were the children who appeared to marvel at the excitement of praying in front of everyone. The grandmother watched over the children as the father bravely and loudly led the mysteries.

 

 

The Utter Audacity of it All

It takes courage to pray the rosary in the public square. There will be people passing by who will know you. Some of them will disagree with you and talk about you behind your back. There will also be others who will secretly admire you and in the silence of their car wish you well.

As we started to pray, I sensed the utter audacity of it all. Our protests do not enjoy the patronage of the fawning media that gives its support to liberal causes. I am convinced that it takes the help supernatural grace to venture out on the public square.

Thus, praying a rosary in the pubic square is counter-cultural. In the secular society envisioned by most liberals, these public displays of prayer are not supposed to happen. They are not politically correct. No one is allowed to publicly disagree with same-sex “marriage.” However, those in the hundreds of cars that passed by made a mental note that it is possible to disagree in public.

I could not help but think of the multiplier effect of these rallies. It was not just our rally in the middle of the countryside, but hundreds of them everywhere, each broadcasting its counter-cultural message far and wide.

 

 

Defying the Liberal Narrative

I was impressed by the different narrative I found on the front lines of the Culture War. We would expect overwhelming rejection of our message based on the news reports and polls spread by the media. But that is not what we found.

As we prayed, the overwhelming majority of those who reacted were favorable. They gave us the thumbs up. They honked their horns and shouted their support. One older farmer came to the lot to pick up a car. In his own picturesque way, he told us he agreed with us to the point that he would like to buy us each a case of beer.

Of course, there were those who disagreed with the rally, but they were surprisingly few. As the traffic zoomed past, they would let loose a foul expletive that was thankfully difficult to discern. Such rare and cowardly displays of opposition usually had the effect of only making us more resolute in our purpose.

Thus, we finished our public square rosary for marriage. Just as there was no media narrative on the front lines, there was no media reporting on the event. Such displays of public piety, no matter how extraordinary, escape their radar. Unlike liberal street theater, our rallies were not done for media consumption. They were done to instill hope in those who share our Faith. Above all, our rosary rallies were all directed to God and the Blessed Mother, in Whom we confide for the final victory.

 

 

 


 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for April 17, 2021

The heart of man is, so to speak, the paradise of God. Since...

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April 17

 

The heart of man is, so to speak,
the paradise of God.
Since His delights are to be with you,
let yours be found in Him.

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori

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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Stephen Harding

God answered him dramatically when thirty noblemen knocked a...

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St. Stephen Harding

Stephen Harding was an Englishman of an honorable family, and heir to a large estate. Born in Dorset, he was educated at the monastery of Sherborne and spoke English, Norman, French and Latin.

Desirous of seeking a more perfect way of Christian perfection, he, with a devout companion, traveled into Scotland and afterwards to Paris and to Rome. On their return journey, the two travelers chanced upon a collection of huts in the forest of Molesme in Burgundy, where monks lived in great austerity. Struck by their way of life and finding kindred spirits in Robert the Abbot, and Alberic the Prior, he bid his friend goodbye and threw in his lot with the monks.

After some years, finding that religious fervor had waned considerably, Stephen, Robert, Alberic and others went to Lyons and with the support of Bishop Hugh struck a new foundation in the forest of Citeaux sponsored by Rainald, Lord of Beaune, and Odo, Duke of Burgundy.

Later Robert returned to his monks of Molesme who reclaimed him as their abbot, and upon the death of Alberic, in 1109, Stephen succeeded him as Abbot of Citeaux.

He immediately instituted such austere measures to keep the spirit of the world out that he alienated the support of many who had helped to establish the abbey. Novices ceased applying, and to make matters worse, a mysterious disease decimated his monks to the point that even Stephen’s stout heart began to quiver wondering if he were really doing God’s will.

God answered him dramatically when thirty noblemen knocked at the abbey’s door seeking admittance. They were headed by young St. Bernard who in his zeal had convinced his brothers, uncles and a number of his acquaintances to give up the world with him.

Increasing numbers called for additional foundations and the first two were made at Morimond and Clairvaux. To the general surprise, Stephen appointed twenty-four-year-old Bernard as Abbot of Clairvaux. When nine abbeys had sprung from Citeaux, Stephen drew up the statutes of his Charter of Charity which officially organized the Cistercians into an order.

Stephen Harding died in 1134, advanced in age and nearly blind, and having served as Abbot of Cîteaux for twenty-five years.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

I turned to God, but God seems to remain deaf to me. Why is...

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Why Doesn't God Answer My Prayer?

Question:  I pray and pray, but I feel as if God is not listening. We always had a good, peaceful family life, but these last years have been tough. We don’t seem to be getting along and our finances have taken a turn for the worse.

I am so anxious about this situation that, not having anyone to turn to, I turned to God.

But God seems to remain deaf to me. Why is that? In addition, what do I say to certain people, agnostics and atheists, who laugh at prayer, saying it is nonsensical and only a figment of the imagination with no real value?

Answer:  God is faithful to His promises, and God promised to answer our prayers. “And I tell you, ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Luke 11:9–10).

If God promises to answer our prayers, He will do so infallibly. But in prayer there are two sides: he who asks and He Who gives.

Our part is to ask. How must we ask?

Saint Alphonsus Liguori, a Doctor of the Church, teaches in his book Prayer, the Great Means of Salvation that prayer must be persevering and humble.

So many times we hear people saying: “Oh, I used to ask God for this and that and the other, but He never gave it to me. Now, ten years later, how glad I am that He didn’t!”

One thing is certain: God will not fail to answer a humble and perseverance prayer. Whether He chooses to grant what we ask immediately or make us wait, we must trust that He, regardless of appearances, is doing us good. What we think is good and what He thinks is good may be two different things: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways” (Isa. 55:8), but here is where we must abandon ourselves to His beneficent will. Our part is to be patient, calm and, above all, faithful, because this is the time for testing and later will come the time for full enjoyment.


Answering Atheists and Agnostics
As for atheists and agnostics, their skepticism proceeds from the fact that they, respectively, deny God’s existence or deny men’s capacity to know God.

In this case, we can only express our regret over their ignorance of this Supreme Being, our omnipotent Creator and loving Savior.

We may direct them to a few sources that may help in their search for the truth of His existence. Atheism and agnosticism can only be sustained in ignorance or ill will because the evidence of God’s existence is overwhelming.

Moreover, God will not hide Himself from those who seek Him sincerely and unconditionally.

Another consideration pertaining to non-believers is this: If God were to grant us absolutely everything we ask at a moment’s notice, such people might start believing purely out of self-interest.

They would look at God as a wand-wielding wizard. And God Our Lord is infinitely more than that. He wants us to know, love, and serve Him for Himself so that He can treat us as children and heirs and grant us unending happiness in Heaven.

"My impression is that the Rosary is of the greatest value not only according to the words of Our Lady of Fatima, but according to the effects of the Rosary one sees throughout history. My impression is that Our Lady wanted to give ordinary people, who might not know how to pray, this simple method of getting closer to God."  Sister Lucia, one of the seers of Fatima.

 

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I turned to God, but God seems to remain deaf to me. Why is that? In addition, what do I say to certain people, agnostics and atheists,

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