Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Solemn Fourth

Jon McNaughton's One Nation Under God

I have posted this painting by artist Jon McNaughton before. It is a powerful one, especially when you see the different figures portrayed as well as the documents lying on the steps. If you follow this link, you can hover over the painting's various parts and an explanation of the figure or document is given off to the side.
As our nation observes (I don't have the heart to use the word celebrate) Independence Day today, we are perhaps the farthest we have been as a nation from true freedom since the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were drafted by our founding fathers. The fabric of liberty and freedom are becoming more threadbare by the day.
May our prayers of supplication and reparation restore the fabric that this nation was founded upon. May we be once again, One Nation Under God.
I leave you with this prayer composed by John Carroll, the first archbishop of this country. He wrote it for the occasion of George Washington's inauguration, but it is extremely appropriate for our own day and time. Our pastor read it at the end of the Prayer of the Faithful at Mass today.


Archbishop John Carroll’s Prayer for Government
Composed for the Inauguration of George Washington


We pray you, O God of might, wisdom, and justice,

through whom authority is rightly administered, 

laws are enacted, and judgment decreed,
assist with your Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude
the President of these United States,
that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, 
and be eminently useful to your people, over whom he presides; 
by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; 
by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; 
and by restraining vice and immorality. 



Let the light of your divine wisdom direct 

the deliberations of Congress, 

and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws 
framed for our rule and government, 
so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, 
the promotion of national happiness,
the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; 
and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.



We pray for the governor of this state, 

for the members of the assembly, 

for all judges, magistrates, and other officers 
who are appointed to guard our political welfare, 
that they may be enabled, by your powerful protection, 
to discharge the duties of their respective stations 
with honesty and ability.



We recommend likewise, to your unbounded mercy, 

all our fellow citizens throughout the United States, 

that we may be blessed in the knowledge 
and sanctified in the observance of your most holy law; 
that we may be preserved in union, 
and in that peace which the world cannot give; 
and after enjoying the blessings of this life, 
be admitted to those which are eternal.
Grant this, we beseech you, O Lord of mercy,
through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. 
 Amen.






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Closing Prayer

Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King

My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.