Brothers and Sisters,
I lived in Washington in 1979 – 80 and I had the summer to myself.
I was working in a parish in Silver Spring.
I would go down to the the Jefferson Memorial
and grok on the words of the Declaration of Independence,
the words that created our beloved country.
I prayed earnestly that summer — and even moreso —
that these words might become true not only for the future of our country but for the whole world.
In the next few days, I will offer some reflections on the powerful message of
that great man’s words emblazoned upon the walls of one of our most sacred secular shrines.
There is no doubt that Jefferson’s words were inspired and infused by the Almighty.
Our courts have forgotten that our founding documents acknowledge God.
TJ was a deist, not a Christian, but he declares that the founding fathers and mothers “relied on the protection of divine providence” in the courageous act they were undertaking.
I call us to realize that our nation once existed only in the minds and hearts of our founding fathers and mothers. It is my sense that we have to allow those sacred ideals to be reborn in the hearts of each and every one of us today. We all have to take responsibility for transforming ourselves because we are the country!
Do we still rely on the protection of divine providence?
Do we really trust in God or has our capitalism made us so self reliant that we no longer need
to acknowledge there is only one Source of good?
If those ideals are not also in our minds and hearts then our country will destroy itself.
I have been in prayer now for 18 months that God would do what we seem to be unable to do.
There is corruption on every level of society in our country —
government, military, business, church, medical profession, health insurance,
legal profession, sports, education, entertainment, media, advertising, families,
and yes, among my brother priests and bishops.
It is my sense that we have some transforming to do — each one of us — to return to the ideals of our founding fathers and mothers.
So, I suggest we take this time before Mr. Obama’s inauguration for reflection and prayer.
May we ask God to do what we are powerless to do of ourselves.
O Good and Gracious God, we come to You with praise and thanksgiving.
We are hopeful and yet mindful of our many wrongs.
Forgive us, O God, our sins of hatred and violence and consumerism, complacency and self indulgence
that distorts our greatness of as American people.
Give us the grace to return to the ideals of our founding fathers and mothers
and work to make them true not only for us but for all the world.
Give us the gift of peace in our time.
We acknowledge that You, O God, are the Source of all that is good in our land.
We praise You and give You thanks for every good gift You have given us
and for sustaining us in Your love. AMEN!
priest / writer
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See you tomorrow.