Whether or not you follow the life of the British Royal Family, you certainly are aware that Queen Elizabeth II, passed away on September 8. Over the past 12 days, news sources have been providing us with details of her life and of her funeral celebrations. Queen Elizabeth served her country for over 70 years – the longest British monarch to do so. She committed her life to service at a very young age, and she served admirably. Like all of us, her life was not without struggle, but she forged through her trials and tribulations with dignity and fortitude. Most importantly, Queen Elizabeth was a woman of faith, and her faith served as her compass throughout her long reign.
Our country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and religion played an important role in the formation of our society. Principals of kindness, honesty, hard work, and loyalty were the pillars of every family, of every community. Prayer was foundational, and children learned from their parents, from their school, and from their neighbors what was right and what was wrong. People gathered together to worship in church each week, and at church they gave honor and glory to God, and were renewed and strengthened to face another day. This Christian culture did not happen accidentally. People were intentional about their faith – they worked hard to uphold and preserve it.
It is probably not surprising, although it is quite disturbing, that a recent Pew Research Study in December, 2021, indicated a dramatic downward spiral in faith and spirituality in our country. Only 63% of Americans consider themselves to be Christian, down from 78% in 2007, and 90% in the late 1970s. Those that consider themselves to be atheist, agnostic, or nothing accounted for 29%, while 6% identified a religion other than Christianity. Prayer, too, has declined. Only 45% indicated they pray daily (down from 58% in 2007); 32% pray weekly or monthly, and 22% seldom or never pray.
With models like Queen Elizabeth no longer present to guide us, this trend is likely to continue. Our civilization cannot withstand the forces of evil without faith, without prayer; and we cannot rely on “somebody else” to set the example. Each one of us must pick up the torch and fight for Christian principles by praying as a family and by attending Mass or another Christian service each week. If not us, then who? If not now, then when? Our children deserve to live in a world where God reigns supreme and where we all turn to Him for guidance and grace.
Thank you, Queen Elizabeth II!
Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant