I was away for the Fourth. As an American struggling with the changing cultural landscape, I probably would have reflected on religious freedom. Benedict has said much on this. I see religious freedom eroding in Democratic countries especially mine. There seems to be a willful persecution brewing in a country founded as an oasis for religious freedom. There is a serious forgetfulness. We need to pray.
I was going to write about this. I have been thinking about it. But, while I was gone other things happened. Francis’ “four hands” encyclical was released. It is worth writing about. I thought of that of reflecting on it which I will do in the future.
However, when I sat down to write nothing I think on these subjects came out of me. Instead another event filled my mind – Francis and Benedict together as Francis dedicated a statue of St. Michael in the Vatican gardens and put the Vatican under St. Michael’s protection. This event is significant but also has some interesting connections for me. First, Benedict went to St. Michael’s seminary in Traunstein. Second, on Saturday, I attended Eucharistic adoration at a St. Michael’s Church in the city I was visiting. I didn’t have any electronics with me so it was only afterwards that I noticed the newspaper report. So, in keeping with my question: what would Benedict being praying and how can I align myself with what I imagine he is praying, I was inspired to focus on this seemingly small event in the Vatican Gardens.
The Church needs our prayers for many reasons. Although the press seems to love Francis, cracks are beginning. The voices of the wolves are beginning like the UN’s request for the Vatican to explain its child abuse scandal. The wolves are using the sins of the enemy within as their weapons. Although that scandal is lessened, there is obviously more “enemies” within, sin within. So, I will be simple tonight and post/pray the prayer to St. Michael. I hope every reader prays it. The Church needs our prayers and I’m thinking Benedict has and is saying this one on a regular basis.
Prayer to St. Michael as found here at EWTN:
St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen..