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Spiritual notes from Washington: While we hear of so much negativity in line with our nation's capital, we usually don't hear about the good. Yes, it's true that this is the place where they allowed -- and continue to allow -- abortion. A tragedy. Yes, this is the place that has failed to regulate our culture. Yes, this is a place of Masonic influence. Many mention that George Washington laid the cornerstone to the very Capitol in a Freemason apron, and how many of those involved in building this place belonged to that cult. Indeed, there is a huge Masonic temple on 16th Street just down the street from the White House!

But on that same street is an incredible density of other churches -- the vast majority Christian, to the point where a branch road is called "Church Street"  (few cities have the array of churches one can find in Washington) and more to the point: while our society tries to remove God from the public place, He still has a spot -- even a big spot -- in the Capitol building.

Last week when, during a visit (arranged by a kind pro-life congressman), we entered the House of Representatives chamber, there above the backdrop for the speaker were the words, "In God We Trust."

That should give us hope. The words are still there. Around the room on the walls are examples of Christian art, including the portraits of popes (Innocent III, Gregory IX), not to mention Moses -- above the last rows where congressmen cast their votes, and where each year there is the State of the Union address..

In the Capitol's National Statuary Hall, astonishingly, is the great California missionary Father Junipero Serra [left], and in the Hall of Columns, Saint Damien of Molokai (whose feast day was Monday)! In the Rotunda is a huge painting called the Baptism of Pocahontas.

Granted, there is also a Roman goddess. And granted, worldliness reigns supreme in the Capitol and other buildings. This is not to diminish the crisis. But the holy portraits give us a spiritual foothold and in union with those represented -- St. Junpero, St. Damien -- can we pray. Let us raise the Cross as does Junipero!

For it is time to attack what is evil in these walls. Make no mistake: we felt the oppression in visiting the Senate chamber. We felt it as we looked down upon two senators conversing. We felt it in the sterility. We felt it in the hubris. But remember this: a single person saying prayers or armed with holy water or blessed salt (which these days, however, may not make it through security) can have dramatic effects.

We prayed in the House chamber. We invoked St. Michael and St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother. We asked for the Presence of Jesus Himself. We prayed in the Senate. We prayed at the Supreme Court.

And we were lead to this thought:

While often we think of matters on the level of Washington and the White House and the Supreme Court as far beyond our individual spiritual reach (involving titanic forces, or at least unapproachable legions), remember that every single person is equal in God's Eyes and remember too that any demon -- "large" or "small" -- can affect a senator or a president or a justice or a congressman. The devils there may be no more potent than ones you deal with all the time.

More importantly, remember that we have the ability to cast such spirits -- no matter whom or what they may influence -- away, in the Name of Jesus.

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