Summer has officially begun. As we watch the nightly news, we can anticipate a long and a difficult one. The just protests that sprung up around the nation following the horrible death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, have been hijacked by a variety of forces that have led to the anarchy that we now see playing out nightly on the streets of our nation. Unfortunately, the nation's focus on the needed reforms in policing and the judicial system that the George Floyd death made clear, have been eclipsed by many different groups with many different and conflicting agendas.
Saturday, July 4, we will mark the 244th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and the birth of our nation. More than ever before it should be a day of prayer for our country. In these times in which we live, we can too easily forget the inspired vision of our founders in which they foresaw a country founded on the ideal that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. Among these rights are the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Throughout our history, this vision has drawn people from all over the world to our shores. To realize this ideal is a never-ending task, and we face a pivotal moment in our history today.
The Greek philosophers, famous for their wisdom, always taught that virtue is in the middle. They warned against extremes in either direction. We must reject two extremes present in our country today. The first would argue that everything in America is bad and that the country is unredeemable. The second would be a complacency that would hold that all is well with America, turning a blind eye to the existence of racism and the need for reforms to realize that more perfect union of which the founders, themselves, fell short.
As we make plans to celebrate the Fourth of July this year, in whatever form that celebration will take, let us make sure that prayer for our country will be a part of these celebrations. Whether that prayer includes Mass, a family visit to the Blessed Sacrament, participation in a public rosary or a heartfelt prayer for justice, peace and reconciliation at the family barbecue, let us all invoke God's help upon our country this coming Fourth of July. Let us pray that all citizens will equally enjoy the blessings of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
In 1895 when Katharine Lee Bates wrote the words to the song'America the Beautiful,' she wisely included in the third verse of that song the words, "God mend thine every flaw." Let us celebrate and preserve all that is good in our country, while we continually strive to recognize and mend our flaws. May God truly crown our country with a renewed sense of brotherhood on this July 4, 2020.
See you at Mass!
Opportunities for Prayer Saturday July 4, 2020
Saint Thomas Aquinas Parish, Illinois and 46th Street
Public Recitation of the Rosary invoking Mary's Maternal Intercession upon our Country: 12:00p.m.
Christ the King (Mary, Queen of Heaven Garden)
Prayer for an End to Racism and Injustice
Outdoor Mass 5:00p.m.
Christ the King Parking Lot