Archbishop Hartmeyer encourages all Catholics in the Archdiocese of Atlanta to particpate in a day of prayer and fasting on Thursday, September 24. The goals of this day are mercy and healing for our country as well as the conversion of our own hearts. Please see below for details.
Inspired by the example of Abraham Lincoln…
who, at the urging of both houses of Congress, three times called the entire nation to fast and pray, all men and women of good will are invited on September 24, 2020, to fast and pray for God’s mercy on our land in these tumultuous days and the healing and conversion of our hearts.
We find no better words to express the intention of this day than those from President Lincoln’s three proclamations:
“Whereas it is fit and becoming in all people, at all times, to acknowledge and revere the Supreme Government of God; to bow in humble submission to his chastisements; to confess and deplore their sins and transgressions in the full conviction that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and to pray with all fervency and contrition, for the pardon of their past offenses, and for a blessing upon their present and prosperous action... “...insomuch as we know that, by his divine law, nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that [this time of unrest]..., which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment, inflicted upon us, for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole People? “We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown.
“BUT WE HAVE FORGOTTEN GOD!”
“We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.
“Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!
“It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness...
“And I do earnestly recommend to all the People, and especially to all ministers and teachers of religion of all denominations, and to all heads of families, to observe and keep that day according to their several creeds and modes of worship, in all humility and with all religious solemnity, to the end that the united prayer of the nation may ascend to the Throne of Grace and bring down plentiful blessings upon our Country...
“I...further invite and request the heads of the Executive Departments of this Government, together with all legislators, all judges and magistrates, and all other persons exercising authority in the land, whether civil, military or naval, and all soldiers, seamen and marines in the National Service...to assemble in their preferred places of public worship on that day, and there to render to the Almighty and Merciful Ruler of the Universe such homages and such confessions, and to offer to him such supplications as the Congress of the United State have, in their aforesaid resolution, so solemnly, so earnestly and so reverently recommended.”