Today might have been the most emotional I've been at Mass since my father's funeral. And on that occasion, with God's help I kept my composure until the completion of the rites at the cemetery.
At Mass last night, and this morning, I nearly broke down while delivering my homily, as I described the unprecedented attack our own government is making on us, on our Faith, and the freedom to practice our faith which is our birthright and our national heritage. It's extremely upsetting. I've never felt this.
Today, at Saint Mary, as I stood at the altar, praying the Roman Canon, it's as if I was praying it for the first time--that is to say, hearing it's words and what they mean.
Early in the prayer (I don't have the improved translation memorized yet), we ask for God to enable the Church to live in peace. And it hit me: this was prayed, from the beginning, by Christians who feared the door being knocked down and they would be dragged away.
Until this day, I never prayed this prayer out of a personal sense of being the persecuted Church, because as an American, persecution was something that happened to Christians in other places and times.
I almost cried again at that moment of the prayer. The prayer felt so different today. I wonder if anyone else felt it. We're pleading for God to protect us from persecution; but in any case, to get us through it, with the peace the world cannot give.
The Church will survive; indeed, I believe she will thrive. This will, I believe, prove very good for us in many ways. As someone with a keen interest in politics, I think this will redound to the benefit, politically, of those who oppose Obama.
But I am...I don't know how to describe my feelings. I'm fired up; and you should be too! Every Catholic, every person who values freedom of conscience, should be fired up. Now!
But I'm sad. I love my country; I am broken hearted at the direction we are going. I have been for some time. It just hurts more deeply at the moment.
And in case you're wondering...I'm using a computer at the hotel in D.C. where I'm staying. I chose not to bring my laptop--just one more complication to passing through "security" at the airport. But let me not speak of that. Too sad.