How Blessed We Are to be Americans.

Whatever one’s political persuasion may be, this Inauguration Day is a solemn day in American Culture, as much for what it its not as for what it is.

It is not a day marked by fire bombs. No one will fear to be executed for having voted for the winning candidate. The public swearing-in of the President is not the result of a military coup. This evening there won’t be riots in the streets. And when the President raises his hand to promise fidelity to the Constitution, no one will burn him in effigy.

In the United States of America, Inauguration Day is a gift from God, reminding us that He has blessed us in ways few other countries have been blessed.

Why, then, are our hearts heavy today? Because our young men and women are in harm’s way in Afghanistan. We are saddened because this week of Inaugural Celebrations must end with a March in Washington–a peaceful one, please God–aimed at reminding every citizen that fifty-five million children have lost their lives to a law that defies reason. And our hearts are heavy because this great country, first established on a firm foundation of faith, seems to be losing its soul to a spirit of materialism, egocentricity and secularism.

So what should be our response to this day, a National Celebration? First should be a prayer of thanksgiving for the gifts we have received as Americans: the freedom to vote without fear; the freedom to worship when and where we wish; the freedom to assemble, and to work toward a just society. But we must also pray that the citizens of this great nation will embrace a culture of life and not of death, will seek the common good rather than the glorification of self, and will come to cherish truth above illusion. Is there hope for America? Yes. We will see it in the young couples waving small American flags in the crowd today, and in the old soldier wearing his threadbare uniform to show his pride in his country. And we will see it on Friday during the March for Life on the faces of children with Down Syndrome in the arms of their parents, and of Priests, Religious and lay people silently praying for an end to the scourge of abortion.

How blessed we are to be Americans. With what fervor must we be willing to stand up for all that is good, and holy and true.

I bless you in His Love,
Mother Marie Julie

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