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By John Horvat II

 


On a Saturday afternoon all across America, something absolutely extraordinary happened. What happened was the June 13th holding of 3,258 rallies in highly public places in which participants prayed for the future of God’s marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

It might seem strange to label as “extraordinary” the defense of something that is so common. But that is the tragedy of the times. Marriage is under attack on all sides. The effort to redefine marriage, especially by those who advocate same-sex “marriage,” is brutal and aggressive. It now takes courage to be out in the public square to defend a bond that is holy and normative.

The mass rallies were a project of the America Needs Fatima campaign which takes to heart the message of Our Lady at Fatima to pray the rosary for the conversion of America and the world. Campaign organizers named these particular rallies “Saint Joseph Traditional Marriage Rallies” and asked participants to pray for the nation in light of the coming Supreme Court decision on same-sex “marriage.”

The format of a rally is rather simple. Rally captains are asked to gather together as many as they can around a highly visible banner declaring God’s marriage as between one man and one woman. There might be five, ten, fifty or even hundreds in attendance. The captains pick a prominent place with plenty of traffic and visibility. All then pray the rosary and any other prayers for nearly an hour.

Once the rally is set up, extraordinary things start to happen.

The first extraordinary observation is the incredible people who attend. There is nothing rabid or hateful about these crowds. Those defending marriage are ordinary, apple-pie Americans who are concerned for the nation. They come from all walks of life. Some passersby will even stop their cars and join the rally. Even more significant is the fact that there are young people and children present. They participate with all their exuberance and dispel the myth that the future lies with the other side.

The polarized debate that has surrounded the issue plays out in the cars and passersby. However, one extraordinary fact is that there are many more manifestations of support for the rallies than disagreement. Everyone is led to believe that all public opinion is on the side of those railroading same-sex “marriage” into law. The experience on the street proves the contrary. In fact, the support is usually overwhelming.

While praying for marriage, rally attendees see people honking horns, giving thumbs up or shouting encouragement. It is not uncommon to see people jumping with joy when they see other people give public witness to true marriage. It is as if they feel free of the tyranny of the media and liberal establishment that tries to force people to accept the unacceptable.

Also extraordinary is the opposition to the rallies, which is usually sporadic and limited to four or five cases per rally. One is saddened by the rabid reactions of intolerance on the part of those who disagree. Rarely is there rational debate. At times, protesters will throw objects at the peaceful rally attendees; other times they will shout horrible expletives without regard for any children present. Occasionally there will be makeshift counter-protests. Usually, opposition is marked by a desire to remain anonymous. The person will scream at the rally or use an obscene gesture while barreling away in a car—thinking that attendees will be discouraged by the act of cowardice. The offense has the opposite effect, often inciting rally participants to redouble their efforts since they see that their message causes such a reaction.

There are also the curious people who pretend not to see the rally or the banner. They drive by, careful not to manifest any emotion. But like it or not, they take notice of the event. Inside their heads, the pro-marriage side gains a few point of influence. The rally breaks the unanimity that these observers were told exists around the issue. The neutral passersby register the fact that there is another side that dares to contest the homosexual agenda that they are told to think is invincible and monolithic.

The most extraordinary fact about the rallies is the realization that pro-family defenders are not alone in this fight. Each rally is held realizing that it is part of a massive movement that is growing. The participants are encouraged by the fact that the other side cannot muster such grassroots support in so many places throughout the country. They realize that millions of people see these rallies. Many of these millions thought they were alone in their opinions, and now know that there are courageous Americans willing to stand up for marriage in the public square.

On June 13th, Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, something extraordinary happened in America. Tens of thousands of Americans stood up for marriage in the public square. Regardless of how the Supreme Court rules on the issue (and everything indicates it will not be good), those who participate in this extraordinary event can expect extraordinary aid from God and the Blessed Mother.

 


 

 

 

 

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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