Thursday, March 06, 2008

Catholic Prayer Breakfast

We got off to a very early start this morning, pulling out in our battered green van at 5:15. We only had to go down Michigan Avenue (less than a half-mile) to set up a small (!) book display for the First Annual Illinois Catholic Prayer Breakfast. It turned out to be a wonderful event, with over 500 participants. The keynote speaker was George Weigel, followed by Fr. Robert Barron. That's quite a duo for one morning! Weigel quoted John Courtney Murray's very insightful comment about the need for a public who are really capable of moral reasoning--without it, Murray said, the other facets of political life (government and economy) will collapse under the weight of mere majority rule. Weigel reminded the audience that this is where the real role of the Catholic laity lies. And Fr. Barron underscored that as well, noting that the Mass is the "source" of this deep moral thought, this certitude about truth that is not "imposing beliefs" on others, but is simply clear sightedness--and if 70% of Catholics do not choose to participate in Mass on a weekly basis, our country is that much poorer and weaker for it.

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