CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CNS) — In his homily during a “Vigil for Liberty” Mass at St. Patrick Cathedral Sept. 4, Charlotte Bishop Peter J. Jugis emphasized the importance of prayer to remaining strong as Catholics spread the message of the Gospel to the world.

At the Mass during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, Bishop Jugis also recognized that the people of the diocese were making a great sacrifice during the “Vigil for Liberty” and the 80 hours of perpetual adoration.

“This week the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte is pleased to offer a gift to our nation — over 80 hours of eucharistic adoration and prayer for our country,” he said. “During these 80 hours we are keeping our prayers and hearts fixed on Jesus. …

“Because we love our country, we offer to the Lord our sacrifices of our time and our prayer during these 80 hours. It’s not just a gift, but it is also a duty, a responsibility to pray,” the bishop added. “Prayer is important because it keeps us in communication with God and it keeps us attuned with his will and not doing our own.”

Bishop Jugis illustrated how all work — for the unborn, for religious liberty, for traditional marriage, the poor, and immigrants — springs from the love of Christ. The mission of God’s followers is deeply rooted in Jesus.

Bishop Jugis also said the work of proclaiming the Gospel comes with the cross, but that there is great power in the cross, as it was there that Jesus took on all the sorrows and sins of humanity.

“There is great power in the cross because on the cross Jesus showed us the power of his love,” he said. “Divine love absorbed all of that unto himself. Divine love always prevails. This is the power of Christ’s love and this is the power of the holy Eucharist — the love of Christ, which prevails over all sin and all sorrow.”

He asked, “Is there anything now that the world can throw against Jesus that it hasn’t already tried?”

“No. Christ’s grace and Christ’s love cannot be eclipsed, cannot be defeated,” he added. “His love is everlasting, His love is eternal. No force in the universe is more powerful than Christ’s love.”

“It is this love that impels us in our witness to the Gospel,” he said, echoing his episcopal motto: “The love of Christ impels us.”

The “vigil for liberty” period of eucharistic adoration was to continue until 9 p.m. Sept. 6, shortly before the close of the convention.