The invasion of our Capitol this week revealed not only the division in our nation in general but that this transition of power will be like none other in our history. All Americans must do what we can to enable a smooth and orderly process up to, during, and after the Inauguration of President-Elect Biden. We participate in many institutions from political parties to professional organizations and we must ask how we can help them provide stability and direction.
In his slim but frightening book of several years ago On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, Yale historian Timothy Snyder told us that institutions do not defend themselves and urged every American to pick one and defend it. I recommend the book enthusiastically. It is surprisingly comprehensive and decidedly thoughtful, and I hope that everyone be enlightened by his examples and will follow, at least, a few of his suggestions.
He does not discuss prayer and we must ask ourselves what Catholic Christianity can offer us at this moment. I invite you to participate in a “Novena for our Country.” This situation is so unique that there are no available novenas that we can use as now written and so we will be building the airplane as we fly. To keep this distinctly Catholic we will emphasize the prayers and blessings of the Church and the teachings of the Popes. The novena prayers themselves will be no longer than 10 minutes long.
They will be at our customary COVID-19 prayer time of 5:00PM and you can connect via Zoom in the usual manner. They will be said before Rosary on Monday and Wednesday, Vespers on Friday, and Bible study on Sunday for those who must leave immediately afterwards. They will be stand-alone on the other days.
We will begin this Monday, January 11, and end on Tuesday night,
I hope that we will find many ways of being effective at this time, but we must always remember that one of them must be prayer.