Last Day:   We need $1,862 to meet a critical August shortfall.   Please help with your maximum gift now!
Click here to advertise on

The Fortnight for Freedom Prayers

By Dr. Jeff Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Jun 22, 2012

This morning I had my first taste of the devotions published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop for its Fortnight for Freedom. The Fortnight is an effort to raise awareness and seek Divine assistance for the cause of religious liberty in the United States, particularly with reference to the notorious HHS mandate.

At the Willsboro, NY church we’re attending during a working vacation at my wife’s mother’s “camp” on Lake Champlain, we prayed a special litany for freedom during Mass, and we also used other prayers provided by the USCCB during the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament which followed. There is something very important about how these prayers are written. Their primary focus is spiritual.

What I mean is that the prayers begin with a very strong emphasis on interior freedom and grace and then proceed to the freedom necessary to live positive lives of Christian witness and service. Only at the end do they take up freedom from various kinds of coercion. This sequence is exactly right. It is impossible to go through the litany, for example, without realizing that we need God’s grace first and foremost for interior freedom—the freedom of the children of God to live according to the Gospel no matter what pressures we encounter.

Most notably, there is a specific petition for the interior freedom to live chastely. Ultimately the grace of chastity is the antidote to the poison of contraception, which lies at the core of the HHS mandate. A prayer merely to be spared the coercion of paying for the sins of others would be acceptable but relatively shallow. This whole matter should be causing Catholics to strive for greater purity of heart.

This morning, I found I was able to embrace these USCCB prayers without constantly making caveats in my own mind—unlike (for example) many environmental prayers that have come our way from various offices over the years. This is yet another sign, I think, that the bishops of the United States are slowly clawing their way back toward spiritual health, and with them the churches over which they preside. In any case, I received these prayers not as a burden but as a gift.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Spring Challenge Grant
Progress toward our Spring Challenge Grant goal ($11,956 to go):
$35,000.00 $23,044.43
34% 66%
Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on

Recent Catholic Commentary

Final Liturgical Year volume for 2014-2015 now available 5 hours ago
Church Fathers: The Third Century and the School of Alexandria August 29
Every Aspect of the Catholic Thing August 28
News Posturing: How the dramatis personae use each other August 28
The intractable practical problems with the Kasper proposal August 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: welcome with compassion those who have remarried outside the Church CWN - August 5