It is obvious, though, that almost daily the persecution of the Catholic Church and of freedom of religion is becoming more intensified going from subtle to downright blatant.
Yesterday, it came to our attention that in Connecticut a law is being proposed that would essentially give the state authority over the administration and governance over the Catholic Church in the state of Connecticut. One quick read of the proposed bill and the person on the street can easily see that it is a direct attack on the Catholic Church and our Faith and against the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.
And then today's headlines announced that the President overturned the ban on stem cell research stating that "we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology" denying the proven evidence that adult stem cells have already been successfully used in human therapies for many years. It is also true that at this point therapies in humans have ever been successfully carried out using embryonic stem cells.
As an aside, we Dominicans are proud of our brother, Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, OP for his expert work in fighting the myths of embryonic stem cell research. It's worth taking a quick look at his Curriculum Vitae which we have linked here.
So, what are we to do?
Many, many, Catholics need to wake up and realize that the freedom to practice our Faith is under attack and make their voices heard. But while this is necessary we also need to remember that at root this is a fight "against principalities and powers" (Ephesians 6, 12) and prayer and penance are ultimately the only answer. This is why the contemplative vocation is needed more than ever!
The charism of contemplative communities is to stand before God arms raised in prayer, like Moses, before the battle. This is also why Esther is such a wonderful model for contemplative nuns. Like her we are just everyday ordinary people, who, for some reason, God has placed in powerhouses of prayer to intercede for the world. But her prayer, her offering of her life, saved the life of her people. Today, in a time when it not only feels like, but is a fact that we are living in a "brave new world", generous and fervent souls are needed to become other Esther's interceding for the world and doing penance for our sins.
If you are a young woman reading this think about it: is God inviting you to stand before His Face, not only to intercede but to become a woman of Love, a mother of souls? The world needs the holocaust of your life, your love, your very self!