Monday, May 25, 2015

Mercy More Than Life: A Memorial Day Prayer

Our Challenge Is Not Merely Whether We Remember Our War Dead, But How We Remember Them and What those Memories Compel Us to Pray

My favorite song about the United States of America is America the Beautiful. It is my favorite because of this single verse, which has become an oft-repeated prayer of mine for this country. I have many friends and more enemies who think I am a hopeless, idiotic romantic when I express my hope in these terms. No one seems to think this country can become what, in many ways, it has never really been, not for all of its citizens at one time. 

Still it is my prayer, not because this country deserves it. We don't. Not because we have achieved it. To this day from the very beginning of this country we've only ever seen glimmers of it. 

Plenty of people have shown us the way, but we are still toiling up a mountain of failures that stand between us and the ideals we sing of. Still, I don't see how it will ever happen if we don't pray for it.
O beautiful for heroes proved 
In liberating strife. 
Who more than self their country loved 
America! America! 
May God thy gold refine 
Till all success be nobleness 
And every gain divine.

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