Obama’s Memorial Day Proclamation & Reflection by Royce HoodMay 28, 2012 1 Comment
May 28, 2012 / MariaNews.com
Obama’s Memorial Day Proclamation – Prayer for Peace
(Reflection by Royce Hood) -On Friday, President Obama issued the Proclamation for a Prayer for Peace (below). Is this purely a symbolic gesture?
Or could prayer actually be the answer to all of the divisions facing our culture? Certainly anything is possible with God. God has the power to unite the divided. He has the power to heal.
Memorial Day (originally Decoration Day) is an opportunity to pray for those who fell defending the United States. Today we honor the brave and we honor their families.
We enjoy freedom in the United States today because of the sacrifices made by others.
In remembering the souls of the fallen – we should pray that Christ leads them to Heaven. We should also remember the souls in Purgatory. Last, we must pray for healing of the families who have lost loved ones on the field of battle.
Perhaps we should also take the President’s Proclamation for the Prayer of Peace as an opportunity to pray for the conversion of sinners.
Through the Diary of Sister Faustina, Jesus Christ tells us that by his infinite mercy – he wishes to embrace even the most sinful among us:
The flames of mercy are burning me. I desire to pour them out upon human souls. Oh, what pain they cause Me when they do not want to accept them! …
Souls who spread the honor of My mercy I shield through their entire lives as a tender mother her infant, and at the hour of death I will not be a Judge for them, but the Merciful Savior. (1)
Pray for souls that they be not afraid to approach the tribunal of My mercy. Do not grow weary of praying for sinners. You know what a burden their souls are to My Heart. Relieve My deathly sorrow; dispense My mercy.(2)
Christ wants to forgive!
When I read Obama’s Proclamation, I could not help being mindful of all the issues currently facing our Nation. It seems to me that Christianity is under assault like never before. I firmly believe we must not cower in the face of adversity, but that we of faith must stand united to defend our Religious Freedoms. At the same time, as I was reading Obama’s decree that the Nation should observe an hour of prayer, I could not help but to feel inspired!
In his book, No Turning Back, Father Donald Calloway shares his story of conversion. He describes the bad things that he did and he explains how the prayers of others worked miracles in his life:
I tell them as members of the Body of Christ, the prayers they pray for the conversion of sinners – well, those prayers really work. I am “Exhibit A” – evidence that when people pray, even for people they don’t know – miracles can happen. Divine Mercy is for real! (3)
So, while the focus of the prayers we offer on Memorial Day should be directed for those who have fallen and for their families. There is also an opportunity to pray for the conversion of sinners.
I am going to pray that Obama has a conversion of heart. That he comes to understand the value of all human life, from conception to natural death. Imagine if every Catholic in the United States stood together during the hour of Divine Mercy to pray for the conversion of Obama! Wow! What a message this would send!
As Catholics it is important that we stand up for our rights! We must be willing to sacrifice in order to abide by the natural laws of our faith. We must not be afraid to speak the truth in the face of adversity. We must defend the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death. And, we must love our neighbors – even when our neighbors do not show us the same respect.
What do you think about the President’s Proclamation? Here it is:
PRAYER FOR PEACE, MEMORIAL DAY, 2012
- – - – - – -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Our Nation endures and thrives because of the devotion of our men and women in uniform, who, from generation to generation, carry a burden heavier than any we may ever know. On Memorial Day, we honor those who have borne conflict’s greatest cost, mourn where the wounds of war are fresh, and pray for a just, lasting peace.
The American fabric is stitched with the stories of sons and daughters who gave their lives in service to the country they loved. They were patriots who overthrew an empire and sparked revolution. They were courageous men and women who strained to hold a young Union together. They were ordinary citizens who rolled back the creeping tide of tyranny, who stood post through a long twilight struggle, who saw terror and extremism threaten our world’s security and said, “I’ll go.” And though their stories are unique to the challenges they faced, our fallen service members are forever bound by a legacy of valor older than the Republic itself. Now they lay at rest in quiet corners of our country and the world, but they live on in the families who loved them and in the soul of a Nation that is safer for their service.
Today, we join together in prayer for the fallen. We remember all who have borne the battle, whose devotion to duty has sustained our country and kept safe our heritage as a free people in a free society. Though our hearts ache in their absence, we find comfort in knowing that their legacy lives on in all of us — in the security that lets us live in peace, the prosperity that allows us to pursue our dreams, and the love that still beats in those who knew them. May God bless the souls of the venerable warriors we have lost, and may He watch over the men and women who serve us now. Today, tomorrow, and in perpetuity, let us give thanks to them by remaining true to the values and virtues for which they fight.
In honor of all of our fallen service members, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950, as amended (36 U.S.C. 116), has requested the President issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer. The Congress, by Public Law 106-579, has also designated 3:00 p.m. local time on that day as a time for all Americans to observe, in their own way, the National Moment of Remembrance.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, May 28, 2012, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time to unite in prayer. I also ask all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.
I request the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff until noon on this Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control. I also request the people of the United States to display the flag at half-staff from their homes for the customary forenoon period.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fifth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.
What do you think? We want to know! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below.
(1) Sister Maria Faustina Kowalska, Diary – Divine Mercy My Soul, Notebook III, page 404 at para. 1074 & 1075, Marian Press (2011)
(2) Id. (Notebook II, page 377 at para. 975)
(3) Donald H. Calloway, No Turning Back, 11, Marian Press (2010)
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