Monday, July 4, 2016

One Nation, Under God

A few years ago, the Catholic Church made some changes to its liturgy. There was a reason for it, which has been explained to me more than once, but what these changes meant to those of us in the pews was that we had to learn new words to old prayers.

For the most part, I've adjusted and, in some cases, have even come to appreciate some of the new wording. But a few of the changes removed text that I found meaningful -- text that the new wording failed to capture in quite the same way. I really miss this exchange, for example, following the recitation of the Lord's Prayer (which, in the Catholic liturgy, ends with "and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."):
Priest: Deliver us, Lord, from every evil, and grant us peace in our day. In your mercy keep us free from sin and protect us from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ. 
All: For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever.
Just look at those beautiful words, spoken by the priest. Deliver us from every evil. Grant us peace in our day. Protect us from all anxiety.

Who among us, regardless of religion, color, gender, sexual orientation, nationality or political affiliation does not wish -- or pray -- for those things?

So, today -- Independence Day in the "land of the free and the home of the brave" -- I wish
for you and those you love all of those things. I pray for them for our country, and for the world, not just today, but every day.

Deliverance from evil. Peace. Freedom from anxiety. Joyful hope.

What a wonderful world.

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