A Prayer for the Fourth of July

IMG_0268_2

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This is an actual image of one of the four panels of the words of Thomas Jefferson emblazoned upon the walls of perhaps America’s most sacred shrine, the Jefferson Memorial.
The image was taken in October 2007 on my first pilgrimage to pray for our country’s transformation.

As I offer my thoughts, I invite you to observe this Fourth of July by a deeper, interior observance of the heart.
Take time to make these words, of the Declaration of Independence, your own; realize that this document is the reason you are alive in this country right now. And don’t take it for granted because we could easily let our democracy and our basic human rights that these words brought to us and the men who risked their lives and their fortunes to bring it about. What are you and I (besides our service men and women who’ve fought for it) willing to sacrifice for it and for your children’s generation/

Here is a copy of the entire text  . .  .  .

In Congress, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences. For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever. He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


Realize, especially those of you who are young people, that these words conceived, founded and established our country.
What existed only in the minds and hearts of our founding fathers and mothers became the United States of America.
But, very sadly, it is my sense that we have wandered far away from this vision.
We don’t realize that we must constantly re-birth America — for good or for ill.

We are at this critical point of American history that we — each and every American — ought to revisit that moment of our founding.  And imagine what it was like.
Imagine their vision of what did not yet exist in the external world.
Imagine the courage they had. In the third an last of this Fourth of July series, we’ll see what it did cost our founding fathers and mothers and their families.
Next to the Word of God, there are no words that are more sacred to me than these.
They are sacred because they reflected divine reality.
God blessed these words of Thomas Jefferson.   And our country was born on the Fourth of July 1776.

When I lived in Washington in the summer of 1979 when I was 36 years old,
I would go often and sit in the rotunda of this sacred shrine
and ponder the vision of these sacred words.
I’d like to share with you what was going on in my head and my heart 42 years ago and today in America in which we are so in much in need of unity and healing, and inspiring leadership.

They are faith-based thoughts.  
I just share them because they led me to a  positive view of our country and our world,
a view that resists the profound hatred and violence and self-indulgence of our comatose society.

As you ponder my thoughts ask yourself what vision of America, what vision of the world and our future do you yourself have?

What do you want for you, for your children, for our country, for our world, for our planet?

Dearest God,

I believe your Holy Spirit inspired these words:

WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF-EVIDENT
THAT ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL
AND ARE ENDOWED WITH CERTAIN INALIENABLE RIGHTS.
AMONG THESE ARE THE RIGHT TO LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.

As a Christian among other God-fearing women and men.
I address You and love You as my God.
You are my God.

Help me to embrace Your children on this planet in my heart.
Help me to want for every one what you have so generously provided for me –
a little place to call home,
simple food on my table,
a decent education
and decent health care.

Help me, Father, to recognize and support
the right of every human person to life, liberty and the pursuit of other people’s happiness as well as my own.
Help me not to be only concerned about my own needs, my own family’s needs,
but to realize that we are all one family.
Yet we are torn apart by hatred and violence; brother still kills brother.
Help us export love not hate, peace and development for all people, not war and destruction.

This is my daily prayer, heavenly Father, for the world in which I live.
I pray that you would allow me the grace in some small way to help bring that about.
To you, heavenly Father ~
Father of my Redeemer and elder brother Jesus ~
all honor and praise and thanksgiving,
now and forever.
Amen!

IMG_0256

This, dear friends, is my prayer for the world in which I live.
It has ever been such since my lazy summer  of ’79 in Washington and always will be.
I do not expect you to use my words as you pray.
I just invite you to make your own prayer.
Make this Fourth of July a re-dedication to our ideals.
We need God in our world today.
But we rely on ourselves and not on God.  Capitalism, by definition, tends to create that illusion.
I urge you to rebirth the vision of our founding fathers and mothers in your own heart this Fourth of July 2021.
We need to renew that vision, that commitment every year, indeed, very often
from the mightiest to the lowest of our land.
And I warn you (me too), if we don’t constantly attend to our renewal,
we will lose what we have and are. We are very close to that now. We could easily elect an autocrat as our next president who might be inclined to taking away our fundamental freedoms like freedom of speech and assembly and freedom of the press.
Great civilizations have collapsed because of their complacency before us.

Nevertheless, it is my sense that God will transform us if we pray and bind together!

Before the hotdogs and the baby back ribs and the fireworks, let’s be at prayer and reflection, this Fourth of July.
Ask God for guidance.  Ask forgiveness for taking all of this for granted.
We need God to  bring us through these critical times. 

And now, before you go, There’s a powerful song with historical images to inspire your reflection.  Click here.

Be sure to enter full screen and turn up your speakers.  Enjoy your celebration for we still have  a beautiful land. (There will be two other blogs before Independence Day that fall on a Sunday this year.)

With love,

Bob Traupman

contemplative writer

A Prayer for the Fourth of July

IMG_0268_2

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This is an actual image of one of the four panels of the words of Thomas Jefferson emblazoned upon the walls of perhaps America’s most sacred shrine, the Jefferson Memorial.
The image was taken in October 2007 on my first pilgrimage to pray for our country’s transformation.

As I offer my thoughts, I invite you to observe this Fourth of July with an interior observance of the heart. Take time to make these words, of the Declaration of Independence, your own.
Those of you who are young people, realize that these words conceived, founded and established our country.

What existed only in the minds and hearts of our founding fathers and mothers became the United States of America.

But, we have wandered far way from this vision. We fail to realize that we must constantly re-birth America — for good or for ill.

It is my sense that at this critical point of American history that we — each and every American — ought to
re-visit that moment of our founding. 

Imagine what it was like.

Imagine their vision of what did not yet exist in the external world.

Imagine the courage they had.

Next to the Word of God, there are no words that are more sacred for me than these.
They are sacred because they reflected divine reality.
God blessed these words of Thomas Jefferson.   And our country was born on the Fourth of July 1776.

When I lived in Washington in the summer of 1979 when I was 36 years old,
I would often go and sit in the rotunda of this sacred shrine
and ponder anew the vision of these sacred words.

I’d like to share with you what was going on in my head and my heart 35 years ago 
They are faith-based thoughts.  I don’t want to impose them on you.
I just share them because they led me to a very positive view of our country and our world,
a view that resists the hatred and violence, the self-indulgence of our comatose society.
As you ponder my thoughts, ask yourself what vision of America, what vision of the world and our future do you yourself have?
What do you want for you, for your children, for our country, for our world, for our planet?

Dearest God,

I believe your Holy Spirit inspired these words:

WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF-EVIDENT
THAT ALL [PEOPLE] ARE CREATED EQUAL
AND ARE ENDOWED WITH CERTAIN INALIENABLE RIGHTS.
AMONG THESE ARE THE RIGHT TO LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.

As a Christian among other God-fearing women and men,
I address You and love You as my Father.
You are my Father.
But this means that You are not just my Father, but the Father of all those you have created.
You care about every person on this planet who has ever lived or who ever will.
Therefore, we are all equal in Your sight.  We are all Persons.
You conceived and created each human being with a unique identity, a body and soul, in Your mind and heart from the very beginning and you sustain each one of us today and for all eternity.

I have come to recognize that ALL of us are in Your family, Father.
And that makes us but sisters and brothers.
Help me to embrace all of Your children on this planet in my heart.
Help me to desire for every one what you have so generously provided for me –
a little place to call home,
simple food on my table,
a decent education
and decent health care.

Help me, Father, to recognize and support
the right of every human person to life, liberty and the pursuit of other people’s happiness as well as my own.
Help me not to be only concerned about my own needs, my own family’s needs,
but to realize that we are all one family.
Yet we are torn apart by hatred and violence; brother still kills brother.
Help us export love not hate, peace and development for all people, not war and destruction.

This is my constant prayer, heavenly Father, for the world in which I live.
I pray that you would allow me the grace to be able to help bring that about,
not only for the people of America but for the whole world.
To you, heavenly Father ~
Father of my Redeemer and elder brother Jesus ~
all honor and praise and thanksgiving now and forever.
Amen!

IMG_0256

This, dear friends, is my constant prayer for the world in which we live,
the world I wish to be a part of and help to bring into reality.
It has ever been such since my lazy summer  of ’79 in Washington and always will be.
I don’t expect you to use my words as you pray.
I just invite you to make your own prayer.

Make this Fourth of July a re-dedication to our ideals.
We need God in our world today.

But we too often rely on ourselves and not on God.  Capitalism, by definition, creates that illusion.
I urge you to re-birth the vision of our founding fathers and mothers in your own heart this Fourth of July 2015.

We need to renew that vision, that commitment every year ~ every day,
from the mightiest to the lowest of our land.
Every year I warn us, if we don’t constantly attend to our renewal,
we will lose what we have and are. Great civilizations before us have collapsed because of their complacency.

Nevertheless, it is my sense that God will transform us if we pray and bind together.

If we just co-operate with the process.

Let us be at prayer and reflection, this Fourth of July in the midst of our celebration and fun.
Ask God for guidance.  Ask forgiveness for taking all of this for granted.
We need God to  bring us through these critical times.

And now, before you go, here’s a powerful song with historical images to inspire your reflection.  Click here.

Be sure to enter full screen and turn up your speakers.  Enjoy your celebration for it’s still a beautiful land.

With love,

Bob Traupman
contemplative writer

A Prayer for the Fourth of July

IMG_0268_2

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This is an actual image of one of the four panels of the words of Thomas Jefferson emblazoned upon the walls of
of perhaps America’s most sacred shrine, the Jefferson Memorial.
The image was taken in October 2007 on my first pilgrimage to pray for our country’s transformation.

As I offer my thoughts, I invite you to observe this Fourth of July by a deeper interior observance of the heart. Take time to make these words, of the Declaration of Independence, your own.
Those of you who are young people, realize that these words conceived, founded and established our country.

What existed only in the minds and hearts of our founding fathers and mothers became the United States of America.

But, we have wandered far way from this vision. We fail to realize that we must constantly re-birth America — for good or for ill.

It is my sense that at this critical point of American history that we — each and every American — ought to
re-visit that moment of our founding. 

Imagine what it was like.

Imagine their vision of what did not yet exist in the external world.

Imagine the courage they had.

Next to the Word of God, there are no words that are more sacred to me than these.
They are sacred because they reflected divine reality.
God blessed these words of Thomas Jefferson.   And our country was born on the Fourth of July 1776.

When I lived in Washington in the summer of 1979 when I was 36 years old,
I would go very often and sit in the rotunda of this sacred shrine
and ponder anew the vision of these sacred words.

I’d like to share with you what was going on in my head and my heart 34 years ago 
They are faith-based thoughts.  I don’t want to impose them on you.
I just share them because they lead me to a very positive view of our country and our world,
a view that resists the  hatred and violence and self-indulgence of our comatose society.
As you ponder my thoughts, ask yourself what vision of America, what vision of the world and our future do you yourself have?
What do you want for you, for your children, for our country, for our world, for our planet?

Dearest God,

I believe your Holy Spirit inspired these words:

WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF-EVIDENT
THAT ALL [PEOPLE] ARE CREATE EQUAL
AND ARE ENDOWED WITH CERTAIN INALIENABLE RIGHTS.
AMONG THESE ARE THE RIGHT TO LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.

As a Christian among other God-fearing women and men,
I address You and love You as my Father.
You are my Father.
But this means that You are not just my Father, but the Father of all those you have created.
You care about every person on this planet who has ever lived or who ever will.
Therefore, we are all equal in your sight.  We are all persons.
You conceived and created each human being with a unique identity, a body and soul, in Your mind and heart from the very beginning and you sustain each one of us today and for all eternity.

I have come to recognize that ALL of us are in Your family, Father.
And that makes us but sisters and brothers.
Help me to embrace all of Your children on this planet in my heart.
Help me to desire for every one what you have so generously provided for me –
a little place to call home,
simple food on my table,
a decent education
and decent health care.

Help me, Father, to recognize and support
the right of every human person to life, liberty and the pursuit of other people’s happiness as well as my own.
Help me not to be only concerned about my own needs, my own family’s needs,
but to realize that we are all one family.
Yet we are torn apart by hatred and violence; brother still kills brother.
Help us export love not hate, peace and development for all people, not war and destruction.

This is my constant prayer, heavenly Father, for the world in which I live.
I pray that you would allow me the grace to be able to help bring that about,
not only for the people of America but for the whole world.
To you, heavenly Father ~
Father of my Redeemer and elder brother Jesus ~
all honor and praise and thanksgiving now and forever.
Amen!

IMG_0256

This, dear friends, is my constant prayer for the world in which we live,
the world I wish to be a part of and help to bring into reality.
It has ever been such since my lazy summer  of ’79 in Washington and always will be.
I don’t expect you to use my words as you pray.
I just invite you to make your own prayer.

Make this Fourth of July a re-dedication to our ideals.
We need God in our world today.

But we rely on ourselves and not on God.  Capitalism, by definition, creates that illusion.
I urge you to re-birth the vision of our founding fathers and mothers in your own heart this Fourth of July 2014.

We need to renew that vision, that commitment every year, every day,
from the mightiest to the lowest of our land.
And I warn you (me too), if we don’t constantly attend to our renewal,
we will lose what we have and are.
Great civilizations before us have collapsed because of their complacency.

Nevertheless, it is my sense that God will transform us if we pray and bind together.
All we have to do is co-operate with the process.

Let us be at prayer and reflection, this Fourth of July.
Ask God for guidance.  Ask forgiveness for taking all of this for granted.
We need God to  bring us through these critical times. 

And now, before you go, here’s a powerful song with historical images to inspire your reflection.  Click here.

Be sure to enter full screen and turn up your speakers.  Enjoy your celebration for it’s still a beautiful land.

With love,

Bob Traupman
contemplative writer

A Prayer for the Fourth of July

IMG_0268_2

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This is an actual image of one of the four panels of the words of Thomas Jefferson emblazoned upon the walls of
of perhaps America’s most sacred shrine, the Jefferson Memorial.
The image was taken in October 2007 on my first pilgrimage to pray for our country’s transformation.

As I offer my thoughts, I invite you to observe this Fourth of July by a deeper, interior observance of the heart.
Take time to make these words, of the Declaration of Independence, your own.
Realize, especially those of you who are young people, that these words conceived, founded and established our country.

What existed only in the minds and hearts of our founding fathers and mothers became the United States of America.
But, we have wandered far way from this vision.
We don’t realize that we must constantly re-birth America — for good or for ill.

It is my sense that at this critical point of American history that we — each and every American — ought to
re-visit that moment of our founding. 

Imagine what it was like.
Imagine their vision of what did not yet exist in the external world.
Imagine the courage they had.
Next to the Word of God, there are no words that are more sacred to me than these.
They are sacred because they reflected divine reality.
God blessed these words of Thomas Jefferson.   And our country was born on the Fourth of July 1776.

When I lived in Washington in the summer of 1979 when I was 36 years old,
I would go very often and sit in the rotunda of this sacred shrine
and ponder anew the vision of these sacred words.

I’d like to share with you what was going on in my head and my heart 33 years ago 
They are faith-based thoughts.  I do not want to impose them on you.
I just share them because they lead me to a very positive view of our country and our world,
a view that resists the  hatred and violence and self-indulgence of our comatose society.
As you ponder my thoughts, ask yourself what vision of America, what vision of the world and our future do you yourself have?
What do you want for you, for your children, for our country, for our world, for our planet?

Dearest God,

I believe your Holy Spirit inspired these words:

WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF-EVIDENT
THAT ALL MEN ARE CREATE EQUAL
AND ARE ENDOWED WITH CERTAIN INALIENABLE RIGHTS.
AMONG THESE ARE THE RIGHT TO LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.

As a Christian among other God-fearing women and men,
I address You and love You as my Father.
You are my Father.
But this means that You are not just my Father, but the Father of all those you have created.
You care about every person on this planet who has ever lived or who ever will.
Therefore, we are all equal in your sight.  We are all persons.
You conceived and created each human being with a unique identity, a body and soul, in Your mind and heart                                      from the very beginning and you sustain each one of us today and for all eternity.

I have come to recognize that ALL of us are in Your family, Father.
And that makes us but sisters and brothers.
Help me to embrace all of Your children on this planet in my heart.
Help me to want for every one what you have so generously provided for me –
a little place to call home,
simple food on my table,
a decent education
and decent health care.

Help me, Father, to recognize and support
the right of every human person to life, liberty and the pursuit of other people’s happiness as well as my own.
Help me not to be only concerned about my own needs, my own family’s needs,
but to realize that we are all one family.
Yet we are torn apart by hatred and violence; brother still kills brother.
Help us export love not hate, peace and development for all people, not war and destruction.

This is my constant prayer, heavenly Father, for the world in which I live.
I pray that you would allow me the grace to be able to help bring that about,
not only for the people of America but for the whole world.
To you, heavenly Father ~
Father of my Redeemer and elder brother Jesus ~
all honor and praise and thanksgiving now and forever.
Amen!

IMG_0256

This, dear friends, is my constant prayer for the world in which we live,
the world I wish to be a part of and help to bring into reality.
It has ever been such since my lazy summer  of ’79 in Washington and always will be.
I don’t expect you to use my words as you pray.
I just invite you to make your own prayer.

Make this Fourth of July a re-dedication to our ideals.
We need God in our world today.

But we rely on ourselves and not on God.  Capitalism, by definition, creates that illusion.
I urge you to re-birth the vision of our founding fathers and mothers in your own heart this Fourth of July 2013.
We need to renew that vision, that commitment every year, every day,
from the mightiest to the lowest of our land.
And I warn you (me too), if we don’t constantly attend to our renewal,
we will lose what we have and are.
Great civilizations before us have collapsed because of their complacency.

Nevertheless, it is my sense that God will transform us if we pray and bind together.
All we have to do is co-operate with the process.

Let us be at prayer and reflection, this Fourth of July.
Ask God for guidance.  Ask forgiveness for taking all of this for granted.
We need God to  bring us through these critical times. 

And now, before you go, here’s a powerful song with historical images to inspire your reflection.  Click here.

Be sure to enter full screen and turn up your speakers.  Enjoy your celebration for it’s still a beautiful land.

With love,

Bob Traupman
contemplative writer

About this entry

Tags:

Edit:
Edit this entry.

A Prayer for the Fourth of July

IMG_0268_2

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This is an actual image of one of the four panels of the words of Thomas Jefferson emblazoned upon the walls of
of perhaps America’s most sacred shrine, the Jefferson Memorial.
The image was taken in October 2007 on my first pilgrimage to pray for our country’s transformation.

As I offer my thoughts, I invite you to observe this Fourth of July by a deeper, interior observance of the heart.
Take time to make these words, of the Declaration of Independence, your own.
Realize, especially those of you who are young people, that these words conceived, founded and established our country.
What existed only in the minds and hearts of our founding fathers and mothers became the United States of America.
But, very sadly, it is my sense that we have wandered far way from this vision.
We don’t realize that we must constantly re-birth America — for good or for ill.

It is my sense that at this critical point of American history that we — each and every American — ought to
re-visit that moment of our founding.  Imagine what it was like.
Imagine their vision of what did not yet exist in the external world.
Imagine the courage they had.
Next to the Word of God, there are no words that are more sacred to me than these.
They are sacred because they reflected divine reality.
God blessed these words of Thomas Jefferson.   And our country was born on the Fourth of July 1776.

When I lived in Washington in the summer of 1979 when I was 36 years old,
I would go a couple of times a week and sit in the rotunda of this sacred shrine
and ponder anew the vision of these sacred words.
I’d like to share with you what was going on in my head and my heart 33 years ago and today as we face this critical election.
They are faith-based thoughts.  I do not want to impose them on you.
I just share them because they lead me to a very positive view of our country and our world,
a view that resists the profound hatred and violence and self-indulgence of our comatose society.
As you ponder my thoughts ask yourself what vision of America, what vision of the world and our future do you yourself have?
What do you want for you, for your children, for our country, for our world, for our planet?

Dearest God,

I believe your Holy Spirit inspired these words:

WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF-EVIDENT
THAT ALL MEN ARE CREATE EQUAL
AND ARE ENDOWED WITH CERTAIN INALIENABLE RIGHTS.
AMONG THESE ARE THE RIGHT TO LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.

As a Christian among other God-fearing women and men,
I address You and love You as my Father.
You are my Father.
But this means that You are not just my Father, but the Father of all those you have created.
You care about every person on this planet who has ever lived or who ever will.
Therefore, we are all equal in your sight.  We are all persons.
You conceived and created each human being with a unique identity, a body and soul, in Your mind and heart                                      from the very beginning and you sustain each one of us today and for all eternity.

I have come to recognize that ALL of us are in Your family, Father.
And that makes us but sisters and brothers.
Help me to embrace all of Your children on this planet in my heart.
Help me to want for every one what you have so generously provided for me –
a little place to call home,
simple food on my table,
a decent education
and decent health care.

Help me, Father, to recognize and support
the right of every human person to life, liberty and the pursuit of other people’s happiness as well as my own.
Help me not to be only concerned about my own needs, my own family’s needs,
but to realize that we are all one family.
Yet we are torn apart by hatred and violence; brother still kills brother.
Help us export love not hate, peace and development for all people, not war and destruction.

This is my constant prayer, heavenly Father, for the world in which I live.
I pray that you would allow me the grace to be able to help bring that about,
not only for the people of America but for the whole world.
To you, heavenly Father ~
Father of my Redeemer and elder brother Jesus ~
all honor and praise and thanksgiving now and forever.
Amen!

IMG_0256

This, dear friends, is my constant prayer for the world in which I live,
the world I wish to be a part of and help to bring into reality.
It has ever been such since my lazy summer  of ’79 in Washington and always will be.
I do not expect you to use my words as you pray.
I just invite you to make your own prayer.

Make this Fourth of July a re-dedication to our ideals.
We need God in our world today.
But we rely on ourselves and not on God.  Capitalism, by definition, creates that illusion.
I urge you to re-birth the vision of our founding fathers and mothers in your own heart this Fourth of July 2012.
We need to renew that vision, that commitment every year, every day,
from the mightiest to the lowest of our land.
And I warn you (me too), if we don’t constantly attend to our renewal,
we will lose what we have and are.
Great civilizations before us have collapsed because of their complacency.

Nevertheless, it is my sense that God will transform us if we pray and bind together.
All we have to do is co-operate with the process.

Let us be at prayer and reflection, this Fourth of July.
Ask God for guidance.  Ask forgiveness for taking all of this for granted.
We need God to  bring us through these critical times. 

And now, before you go, here’s a powerful song with historical images to inspire your reflection.  Click here.

Be sure to enter full screen and turn up your speakers.  Enjoy your celebration for it’s still a beautiful land.

With love,

Bob Traupman
contemplative writer

About this entry

Tags:

Edit:
Edit this entry.

A Prayer for the Fourth of July

IMG_0268_2

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This is an actual image of one of the four panels of the words of Thomas Jefferson emblazoned upon the walls of
of perhaps America’s most sacred shrine, the Jefferson Memorial.
The image was taken in October 2007 on my first pilgrimage to pray for our country’s transformation.

As I offer my thoughts, I invite you to observe this Fourth of July by a deeper, interior observance of the heart.
Take time to make these words, of the Declaration of Independence, your own.
Realize, especially those of you who are young people, that these words conceived, founded and established our country.
What existed only in the minds and hearts of our founding fathers and mothers became the United States of America.
But, very sadly, it is my sense that we have wandered far way from this vision.
We don’t realize that we must constantly re-birth America — for good or for ill.

It is my sense that at this critical point of American history that we — each and every American — ought to
re-visit that moment of our founding.  Imagine what it was like.
Imagine their vision of what did not yet exist in the external world.
Imagine the courage they had.
Next to the Word of God, there are no words that are more sacred to me than these.
They are sacred because they reflected divine reality.
God blessed these words of Thomas Jefferson.   And our country was born on the Fourth of July 1776.

When I lived in Washington in the summer of 1979 when I was 36 years old,
I would go a couple of times a week and sit in the rotunda of this sacred shrine
and ponder anew the vision of these sacred words.
I’d like to share with you what was going on in my head and my heart 31 years ago and today as we face this critical election.
They are faith-based thoughts.  I do not want to impose them on you.
I just share them because they lead me to a very positive view of our country and our world,
a view that resists the profound hatred and violence and self-indulgence of our comatose society.
As you ponder my thoughts ask yourself what vision of America, what vision of the world and our future do you yourself have?
What do you want for you, for your children, for our country, for our world, for our planet?

Dearest God,

I believe your Holy Spirit inspired these words:

WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF-EVIDENT
THAT ALL MEN ARE CREATE EQUAL
AND ARE ENDOWED WITH CERTAIN INALIENABLE RIGHTS.
AMONG THESE ARE THE RIGHT TO LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.

I, as a Christian among other God-fearing women and men.
address You and love You as my Father.
You are my Father.
But this means that You are not just my Father, but the Father of all those you have created.
You care about every person on this planet who has ever lived or who ever will;
Therefore, we are all equal in your sight.  We are all persons.
You conceived and created each human being with a unique identity, a body and soul, in Your mind and heart from the very beginning and you sustain each one of us today and for all eternity.

I have come to recognize that ALL of us are in Your family, Father.
And that makes us but sisters and brothers.
Help me to embrace all of Your children on this planet in my heart.
Help me to want for every one what you have so generously provided for me –
a little place to call home,
simple food on my table,
a decent education
and decent health care.

Help me, Father, to recognize and support
the right of every human person to life, liberty and the pursuit of other people’s happiness as well as my own.
Help me not to be only concerned about my own needs, my own family’s needs,
but to realize that we are all one family.
Yet we are torn apart by hatred and violence; brother still kills brother.
Help us export love not hate, peace and development for all people, not war and destruction.

This is my constant prayer, heavenly Father, for the world in which I live.
I pray that you would allow me the grace to be able to help bring that about,
not only for the people of America but for the whole world.
To you, heavenly Father ~
Father of my Redeemer and elder brother Jesus ~
all honor and praise and thanksgiving now and forever.
Amen!

IMG_0256

This, dear friends, is my constant prayer for the world in which I live,
the world I wish to be a part of and help to bring into reality.
It has ever been such since my lazy summer  of ’79 in Washington and always will be.
I do not expect you to use my words as you pray.
I just invite you to make your own prayer.
Make this Fourth of July a re-dedication to our ideals.
We need God in our world today.
But we rely on ourselves and not on God.  Capitalism, by definition, creates that illusion.
I urge you to re-birth the vision of our founding fathers and mothers in your own heart this Fourth of July 2009.
We need to renew that vision, that commitment every year, every day,
from the mightiest to the lowest of our land.
And I warn you (me too), if we don’t constantly attend to our renewal,
we will lose what we have and are.
Great civilizations have collapsed because of their complacency before us.

Nevertheless, it is my sense that God will transform us if we pray and bind together.
All we have to do is co-operate with the process.

Let us be at prayer and reflection, this Fourth of July.
Ask God for guidance.  Ask forgiveness for taking all of this for granted.
We need God to  bring us through these critical times. 

And now, before you go, here’s a powerful song with historical images to inspire your reflection.  Click here.

Be sure to enter full screen and turn up your speakers.  Enjoy your celebration for it’s still a beautiful land.

With love,

Bob Traupman
contemplative writer

About this entry

Tags:

Edit:
Edit this entry.