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The U.S. bishops invite the faithful to join a movement of prayer and sacrifice for the protection of life, marriage, and religious liberty in our country. Serious threats to each of these have raised unprecedented challenges to the Church and the nation. When confronted with challenges, our Lord calls us to sacrifice and pray. Click below to learn more about how you can answer the Call.

 

 

A CALL to PRAYER

The bishops are inviting Catholics to pray for the protection of life, marriage and religious liberty in our country. A simple way to do this is by praying for the prayer intention which you can receive each week via email, text message or Facebook. 

Prayer does not need to be complicated. It is “a simple look turned towards heaven…a cry of recognition and love; embracing both trial and joy” (Saint Therese of Lisieux).

Here are some suggestions to consider as you pray for the weekly intention. Choose the form/s of prayer that work for you.

Other Prayer recommendations

  • Daily Rosary: The Rosary is a way of being united with Mary in approaching Christ. Is a daily Rosary too much? Start small with a daily Hail Mary or one decade and consider gradually increasing it over time. Learn to pray the Rosary with these simple steps
     
  • Monthly Eucharistic Holy Hour: Spending time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is always time well spent. This can be done on your own at a time that is best for you or with your parish if one is scheduled. Consider spending an hour monthly with Jesus, praying for the protection of life, marriage and religious liberty. If an hour is too much, start with ten minutes and gradually increase the time.
     
  • The Divine Mercy Chaplet 
     
  • Prayers for Life
     
  • Prayer for the Defense of Marriage
     
  • Prayer for Religious Liberty

FAST

Often, we show our love by sacrificing, by giving something up. Sacrifice, in its various forms, out of love for the Lord Jesus is a powerful action that can yield great graces. For these reasons, the bishops of the United States have encouraged Catholics to make every Friday a day of self-denial and penitential witness in memory of the Lord’s ultimate sacrifice for us. 

Among the works of self-denial that the bishops have especially commended is abstinence from meat by free choice. Self-denial can also take the form of giving something up that we most enjoy, or committing ourselves to works of charity. More recently, the bishops have invited Catholics to consider fasting and abstaining from meat on Fridays out of a special concern for issues pertaining to life, marriage, and religious liberty. This is something we can all do together. Make a personal pledge to join in this very important effort.

Here are some suggestions to consider each Friday as you pray for the weekly intention:

  • Abstain from meat* 
  • Abstain from any particular food or beverage 
  • Fast (one full meal and two smaller meals which do not equal one full meal)* 
  • Offer up the day’s inconveniences 
  • Give up some form of entertainment for the day 
  • Give up anything else of your choice 
  •  Offer a work of charity

*Abstain from meat and/or fast on Fridays

  • Fasting and abstinence unites us to the redemptive suffering and death of our Lord. "The seasons and days of penance in the course of the liturgical year (Lent, and each Friday in memory of the death of the Lord) are intense moments of the Church's penitential practice." - Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1438
     
  • The practice of fasting: In the Latin Catholic Church, the penitential practice of fasting allows a person to eat one full meal each day. Two smaller meals may be taken, not to equal one full meal. Take a look at the USCCB Fast & Abstinence resources. In particular see the USCCB's Pastoral Statement on Penance and Abstinence and the complementary norm to canon 1253. 

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