Pope Francis invited all Catholics to join in a global Holy Hour of Adoration on Sunday, June 2, 2013, Corpus Christi Sunday, or Body of Christ Sunday. (More info on what adoration is below and at Explaining Adoration.)
The Pope’s Invitation
The Pope’s invitation received global response, and 77 Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Madison, WI alone, participated. Worldwide, there were probably hundreds of thousands of parishes participating.
It was a big deal, and a global deal.
Even secular (non-religious) MSNBC reported, publishing a photo of participation in Hanoi (below).
Media Reports (or Doesn’t)
Despite the fact that Catholicism is the largest religion in Madison, in Wisconsin and in the United States, Madison’s Wisconsin Sate Journal (WSJ) did not report on the historical global holy hour. Clearly hostile to Catholicism, WSJ prefers to report on Catholic dissidents, often on as few as two of them, rather than to report on thousands of Madisonians participating in a historical global prayer effort.
Historic Event of Biblical Proportions
The image of the entire world kneeling in adoration of Our Lord, led by the Pope, imploring God’s assistance, presents a picture of historical and Biblical significance. It calls to mind events such as God’s call of Nineveh to repentance, or the miraculous Christian victory at the Battle of Lepanto, attributed to God’s intervention after massive prayer of the Rosary.
The assembly of all Catholics in simultaneous global prayer represents no small effort. There are about 1.2 billion Catholics in the world, and about 2,800 Catholic dioceses, so the number of people participating in this global holy hour was likely in the millions. Pope Francis requested feedback on participation, so details on participation may soon be available.
Putting Religion into Context in 2013
The secular (non-religious) “progressive” world, i.e. Madison’s Wisconsin State Journal’s (WSJ) world, despite their minority status in the United States, views religion as archaic and primitive. Their “enlightened” modernists ridicule religious beliefs and rituals, and try to reinterpret traditional belief in the light of new and modern philosophies. WSJ articles either ignore the existence of religion altogether, or attempt to spin (not very subtly) their reports to discredit proven and established religion.
A short visit to the WSJ discussion forums demonstrates the lack of tolerance and the air of conceit exhibited by many Madison progressives who use the forums for anonymous hate-mongering, particularly hate-mongering directed at the Catholic Church. A little participation in those forums (plus a bit of detective work) often reveals some major participants of those forums to be members, or even staff of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF). To read those WSJ forums, one would think religion to be an embarrassing and primitive Medieval error, which has now been corrected by enlightened modernists, who are themselves the infallible source of all wisdom and knowledge.
Secular (Non-Religious) Culture: the Rule or the Exception?
999 out of 1,000 atheists are tolerant, nice atheists, many of whom, according to Pope Francis, are candidates for salvation. Too bad the squeaky wheel, FFRF, often gives them all a bad name.
What Americans Actually Believe
In the United States, the most educated and technologically advanced nation in the world, 90% of Americans believe in God, 82% of Americans pray regularly, and 47% pray daily.
Why would they do that?
Because it works.
The “enlightened” modernists would claim, of course, that the 82% of Americans who believe in God and who pray must be the primitive uneducated fools of America, while the 18% who do not believe in God and do not pray are the intelligent educated Americans.
There is no correlation between belief/unbelief in God and smarts or education.
Gallup polls tell us that 71% of Americans with postgraduate education believe that God is responsible for creating human beings (Gallup, 2010).
78% of all Americans (of any educational level) believe the same thing.
Only 16% of Americans believe in evolution without any involvement of God.
The knowledge of God comes from observation, experience, and common sense, and is available to the simplest of us. That knowledge is not lost by those who are get some formal education. We can all see that the sky is blue, whether we get graduate degrees or not. The brainwashing that often does occur on modern US campuses and is carried out by progressive minorities, evaportes quickly as soon as college kids leave the campus environment and start experiencing real life.
You couldn’t get numbers like 82% and 78% if the progressive brainwashing in college lasted.
What Do Believers Do When the Going Gets Rough, and Does it Work?
So, despite what mass media tells us, despite what Hollywood and television shows us, despite what agenda progressive governments try to push in our schools and in our legislation, Americans continue to believe in God and to pray.
When faced with powerful opposing forces, the now Progressive (previously Democrat) party, which tried to eliminate mention of God from their platform in the last election, desperately reaches for underhanded and unethical methods to win, believing that the ends justify the means. But those who believe in God and know that God’s power dwarfs our own, double down and pray. Pray hard, and wait.
We pray, and prayer works. The Alinsky tactics of the radical left backfire, progressives fall into their own traps, the silent 82% majority starts organizing, and hope returns. We are now in the midst of witnessing the progressive Obama administration tripping on their own crooked Alinsky tactics, while conservative people of faith respect the rules of democracy, wait for the next election, and continue to pray.
A concerted global prayer effort in these difficult times is an even better idea than individual prayer. The Catholic Church is one of the most populous and organized groups capable of of arranging concerted global prayer, and that is what our very wise Pope Francis has just arranged.
If you think that the prayer and peaceful activism of the last few years are bearing fruit in unexpected ways today, with new Obama administration scandals surfacing almost daily and shocking even the mainstream (liberal) media, just wait until the fruits of this week’s Global Adoration begin to arrive. The radicals who have tried to strong-arm America into expansion of national and global federally-funded abortion, redefinition of marriage, and violation of religious freedom, will stand no chance against a praying American electorate.
A reminder for skeptics of the mysterious mechanisms behind global change–
The demise of Communism and the end of the Cold War were not the result of politics, plans, troop movements, or elections. The Soviet Union was brought to it’s knees in 1991 without bloodshed because it fell into it’s own traps, while two courageous religious men, Pope John Paul the Great and “born-again Christian” President Ronald Reagan, stood up for what was right, while Catholic Poland resisted peacefully, and while the world prayed. See The Holy Alliance.
Concerted prayer efforts work just as well in the 20th and 21st centuries as they did in Biblical and Medieval times; God is outside of time. Those who don’t know history do not know this.
Why Some Don’t Believe
We don’t want to dismiss those good people who lack faith, or the reasons for their lack of faith. Those reasons can include a failure to understand why God does not always answer our prayers exactly the way we wanted Him to, and a failure to understand why God would permit evil to exist in the world. These are important questions addressed elsewhere, but can be summarized by making an analogy between God and a good parent.
The fact that God has not always given you what you want does not mean that He is not there, or that you cannot tap into His power if you approach Him the right way. Presumably your parents did not always give you what you wanted, particularly if you did not approach them in the right way, and you have not concluded that your parents do not exist.
God might also, like a good parent, allow you to experience a limited brush with evil, if that inspires you to make a course correction which will transform the rest of your life.
One more factor contributing to lack of faith in the world can be “religious” people who fail to live up to their professed beliefs. Religious people do make mistakes, much as math professors and doctors can make mistakes. Their mistakes (sins) do not invalidate the truth and beauty of Christ’s message or of His Church, but they do give non-believers a bad image of that message.
One good resource on understanding evil and suffering: How to Make Sense of Suffering – Marguerite Duportal
What Was The Pope Calling Catholics to Pray For?
The intentions for which the Pope requested this global prayer were:
- For the obedience of the Church so that she appear before the world as “beautiful,without spot or wrinkle,holy and without blemish.”
- For victims of violence, drugs, human trafficking, economic insecurity and social marginalization.
Paraphrased, first for the holiness of the Church, so that the beauty of her message might be more apparent to the world, and also for the masses of humanity who are suffering from the sins of the world.
Violence, drugs, human trafficking, economic insecurity and social marginalization are all products of humanity’s violation of the Ten Commandments and of Christian morality. They are products of sin. If humanity did a better job of recognizing and following the wisdom and beauty of Judeo-Christian morality, human suffering would be reduced drastically.
The misery and immorality of the present world resembles that of Nineveh in the Bible. The solution is a return to God’s law. Pope Francis is a modern Jonah, calling us to get down on our knees and to make the necessary corrections.
What is this Seemingly Archaic Rite of “Adoration?”
The word archaic , often used by progressives to describe the Catholic Church, her teachings and her ceremonies, can be interpreted in a negative or positive way, depending on one’s reference point. A narcissistic modern attitude might define archaic as old, out of date, or irrelevant. But a more broadminded modern approach would suggest that something that has survived 2,000 years successfully must be pretty advantageous and pretty awesome. Evolutionism is, after all, a popular modern mechanism for appraisal of ideas.
If the Church has persisted for two thousand years, and 1.2 billion people subscribe to it today, this Church would only be archaic in the very positive sense of being ancient, being respected, and being awesome. And despite what the media would like to tell you, the Catholic Church is treated with great reverence and respect worldwide. Why else would the funeral of Pope John Paul the Great draw over four million mourners, many of them not Catholic, and draw the world’s largest gathering of statesmen from over 200 countries to Rome?
What about this archaic word “adoration?”
–to regard with utmost esteem, love and respect; honor.
-to pay divine honor to; worship;
-to adore God.
-to like or admire very much: I simply adore the way your hair is done!
Origin: Latin ad + orare to speak; to speak to
So to adore God is to esteem, love and respect God.
To adore God is also to speak to God, i.e. pray.
Those who believe in God, in the Creator of the Universe and source of all that is good, adore God and pray to God.
That would be 90% of Americans (who believe) and 82% of Americans (who pray).
Catholics have a special opportunity to adore/pray to God in person, or face-to-face, since they have the Real Presence of God available to them in the Eucharist, or in Holy Communion. They have access to God personally and physically just as much as the apostles did 2,000 years ago. They have the Mass, they have Holy Communion, and they have Adoration, sometimes called Exposition, of the Blessed Sacrament.
Why settle for virtual conversation with God (without the physical Presence), when you can have a face-to-face conversation?
Finally, regarding the pomp and ceremony with which Catholics treat the Blessed Sacrament-
If you were to meet face-to-face with God (not the Queen, not the President, not your future spouse at the wedding altar, but GOD), how much dressing up, bowing, kneeling, and reverence do you think would be warranted?
So How Did This Call to Global Adoration Look in Madison?
In Madison, Bishop Robert Morlino responded to Pope Francis’ call for global Adoration by leading his Sunday congregation in Adoration for one hour before Sunday Mass, before the exposed Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance (the big gold thing holding the small white Communion host). The hour included scripture readings, a homily, and silent prayer. The Bishop’s (June 2) remarks will soon be available at Madison’s Cathedral Parish’s media archive.
Following the Holy Hour of Adoration, Mass was celebrated, and then the Blessed Sacrament was carried in procession through the streets of Madison, to the Capitol Building, where Catholics have been gathering to pray frequently throughout the last year (Last Year’s Corpus Christi Sunday procession, Freedom of Religion Rallies, Rosary at the Capitol). Benediction (a blessing with the Holy Host in the monstrance) at the State Street steps of the Wisconsin State Capitol in downtown Madison concluded the ceremonies.
See also an article about this event by Sofia Guerra at AlwaysCatholic.com.
Prayer Can Work Miracles
Now, almost a week after the Global Adoration event, followed by worldwide Corpus Christi processions, a minor miracle occurred in the New York Times: the New York Times took President Obama to task for his abuse of power, stating that the Obama administration has “lost all credibility.” (NYT Article here.)
Of course, skeptics will correctly point out that cause and effect are hard to prove when it comes to prayer, but in one humble Catholic’s opinion, we ain’t seen nothin’ yet, when it comes to the fruits of Global Adoration.
What worked for Reagan and for Pope John Paul II in 1991 (turning to God) will work for Pope Francis in 2013.
I’m bracing for the ride.
It should be a good one!