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Sunday, July 4, is Independence Day in the United States. It’s a fitting time for all of us to consider the blessings of our freedoms as well as the responsibility that comes with them. I’m reminded of these responsibilities—both personal and national—when we sing “America the Beautiful.” The lines that turn this into a prayer are:
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) offers a beautiful prayer for Independence Day on their website (USCCB.org):
God, source of all freedom,
this day is bright with the memory
of those who declared that life and liberty
are your gift to every human being.
Help us to continue a good work begun long ago.
Make our vision clear and our will strong:
that only in human solidarity will we find liberty,
and justice only in the honor that belongs to every life on earth.
Turn our hearts toward the family of nations:
to understand the ways of others, to offer friendship,
and to find safety only in the common good of all.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Prayer credit: USCCB.org
Lyric credit: by Katherine Lee Bates (1859–1929)
Image credit: Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com