Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Seek the Praise

March 26, 2009

Thursday of the Fourth Week in Lent

But Moses implored the LORD, his God, saying, "Why, O LORD, should your wrath blaze up against your own people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with such great power and with so strong a hand? Why should the Egyptians say, 'With evil intent he brought them out, that he might kill them in the mountains and exterminate them from the face of the earth'? Let your blazing wrath die down; relent in punishing your people. Exodus 32:11-12

“I do not accept human praise; moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I came in the name of my Father, but you do not accept me; yet if another comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?” John 5:41-44


Come God! Do not smile and say you are already with us.
Millions do not know you and to us who do, what is the difference?
What is the point of your presence if our lives to not alter?
Change our lives, shatter our complacency.
Make your word flesh of our flesh, blood of our blood and our life’s purpose.
Take away the quietness of a clear conscience.
Press us uncomfortably.
For only thus that other peace is made, your peace.
Dom Helder Camara


Advocacy. Sometimes the powerless can not speak for themselves. They need someone to step up and speak for them. Someone like Moses. Someone like Jesus.

Now, that doesn’t always mean that we listen to what the Advocate says. But we know that we need help and the Advocate is there to lend a hand and a voice to our message.

Advocacy works on a spiritual level as well. Then we call it intercession. That is when we don’t think the power of our prayer alone is enough. We then turn to the Cloud of Witnesses to help carry our message forth to – pardon me Hebrew National – a higher authority.

Maybe you asked St. Anthony to help you find that lost ring. Maybe you asked St. Theresa to help motivate you to volunteer. Maybe you asked St. Francis to help the poor. So whether you ask your late Uncle Bill or St. William of York for assistance, they will act as the holy megaphone to make sure your prayer gets its day in the court of heavenly opinion.

The neat thing about this “wherever-two-or-more-are-gathered” church is that we are never alone. Even when we think we are on the eve of destruction (see Psalm 40 yesterday), someone is patiently listening for our call.


If we can rely upon others for help, we also have a responsibility to help advocate for the poor and the powerless. The United States Catholic Conference and Catholic Relief Services are urging us to contact members of the Senate Budget Committee to urge support for President Obama’s 2010 budget request for international affairs so that a $3 billion increase can be allocated to poverty-focused international assistance programs.

According to an Action Alert sent out March 24, the USCCB and CRS explain the following:

WHY IS THE INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS BUDGET LEVEL IMPORTANT NOW? The FY 2010 budget that the Senate Budget Committee will approve next week determines overall funding levels for various U.S. government programs and initiatives, including international affairs. President Obama requested $51.7 billion for international affairs in his FY 2010 budget outline. While this represents only 1.4% of the President’s entire budget proposal, this funding level would permit increased funding for programs essential to confronting global poverty.

HOW DO KEY PARTS OF THE INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS BUDGET CONFRONT GLOBAL POVERTY? The international affairs budget encompasses lifesaving programs that confront global poverty, including: provision of food and clean water; treatment of people affected by HIV and other deadly diseases; promotion of agriculture and microfinance to help people support themselves and their families, and delivery of education and health services to poor people. At this point in the Congressional budget process, a strong international affairs budget level is critical to ensuring that adequate resources for those programs assisting poor and vulnerable people around the globe are available as the budget and appropriations process continues.

WHAT DOES THE INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS BUDGET HAVE TO DO WITH MY FAITH? Our Catholic faith teaches us to follow the Gospel’s call and uphold the life and dignity of the human person. As part of this effort to practice our faith, we are called to alleviate human suffering and promote justice worldwide. By insisting that our government assist our brothers and sisters who need a hand up to lift themselves out of poverty, we are acting on our faith.

For more information contact: Stephen Colecchi, Director, USCCB Office of International Justice and Peace,, 202-541-3196 or Tina Rodousakis, Manager, CRS Grassroots Advocacy,, (410) 951-7462

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