The United States of America needs prayers more than ever.
As a quote I have often seen mentions, though we complain about “the times” we live in, the reality is, we are “the times”. America is in a dark valley, no doubt about it. As citizens of these United States, are we seeking God’s kingdom first? Are we picking up our Cross and following after Christ? Are we prioritizing our relationship with the Lord above all else in our frantic and hectic lives? Are we keeping inner peace amidst the exterior storms of life? Are we asking our God to create in us clean hearts and new and right spirits? Are we asking our Lord to give us back the joy of His salvation? Are we? If more of us were, it would seem we would not be on the brink. It is time to begin praying for America with renewed fervor. Praying for America includes praying for the Nation as a whole, for all citizens, for our President, Congressmen, Governors and other elected leaders. We should also be praying for candidates up for election and for all who work for the government. Moreover, our daily lives should be bearing courageous witness to the Gospel, not shrinking from it, not shirking it off as antiquated and not conveniently forgetting Truth in our public lives.
The United States of America really does appear to be on a precipice. What does her future look like? Is there much of future left for America? In a nation that is not only celebrating, but embracing and promoting sin as a good, as something to be legislated and encouraged to do, it seems that the very moral fibers that bind us are not only broken but have disappeared completely. Some would argue we’ve been hurdling down to the abyss for a while now and that my view that we are on a precipice is too optimistic. It has become increasingly difficult to talk to many Americans about Vice and Virtue when for too many Good and Evil and Heaven and Hell are undifferentiated in their hearts and minds.
This has been a very rough election year that may go down as one of the darker campaign periods in our Nation’s history, with vice, corruption and a lack of virtuous leadership on display, particularly in these last weeks leading up to Election Day. People are scandalized and apparently surprised by inappropriate behavior by politicians, yet seem unable to grasp the gravity of wickedness that our Nation has wholeheartedly become party to day to day across a wide mass of the citizenry. Pornography addiction is rampant, sex trafficking is widespread, sexual education programs in schools are abominably offensive and almost everything and everyone, from commercials, to clothing stores, to billboards and music is hypersexualized. Abortion is still widespread and we now call anything that we want to “marriage” quite divorced from reason and Divine Revelation.
Demonic possession is increasing at a rapid pace in our country. Relatedly, satanic prayer is now put on equal footing with wholesome, good prayer to the Creator as if wholehearted acceptance of worshipping of darkness and wickedness is a proper right of religious freedom. People grow scandalized at nativity displays in courthouse squares and either demand they be removed or else scream that statues to Satan or the like be put up alongside them for equalities sake, yet these same people neither squirm nor shudder at the prospect of the widespread possible return of brain vacuuming, skull crushing partial birth abortion of viable, beautiful, unborn children that possess as much dignity as each of us. Euthanasia is now championed as a “right” as well, though if Euthanasia as a “right” becomes common, it is apparent that it will become an expectation of a “civilized” citizenry to euthanize themselves when their usefulness is worn out. This suicide, assisted by the government may then likely become mandatory for certain classes and ages of people. These are all terrible symptoms of a possibly fatal disease that we are not properly treating.
The Disease: God is forgotten and the Dignity of Human Life from womb to tomb is forgotten. Absolute Truth is rejected, and thus our ability to properly govern our nation has been overshadowed increasingly over the past Century until a great darkness has begun enveloping the land. Blind to reason, Americans are ruled by their emotions and appetites and are willing to give up authentic freedom for false idols and false “rights” that claim to be in accord with freedom, but in reality, only enslave and bring misery. Indeed, Americans seem more anxious and depressed than ever despite the overabundance of luxuries and comforts at our disposal.
Where is the joy of the Lord’s salvation? We turned our backs on it. We have quite asking for his joy and true peace that the world cannot give. Instead of bearing the Light of Christ the light in us has not only become dim but has become darkness. Thus, the darkness itself has grown so terribly dark. It is totally human to struggle with sin, indeed we all sin, but it is quite another thing when as a person, as a Nation we let sin win, and quite opposite battling with evil, we make it a god. Authentic freedom will always mean the freedom to do what is good, right, and holy, the freedom to bring forth Truth, Beauty, and Goodness into the World, into our Republic through our thoughts, words, and deeds.
Let us, while there is breath in our body, not lose hope for The United States of America. May we, in this year of Mercy and every year, every day, every moment, entrust our lives and our Nation to our God’s Mercy and Love which is everlasting and give thanks. Always give thanks to the Lord. Everyday let us pray for America, but I ask in a special way in the lead up to the election that you find a special way to pray for a miracle, for a series of miracles, for the conversion of heart of our candidates and our elected officials that the night we have entered into in America will pass swiftly to a new dawn.
Practically speaking, what should we do? Ask for God’s grace, and ask that Americans and all people be receptive to that grace. Pray with renewed vigor. With that vigor in mind, here are some specific suggestions (In all prayer, no matter how it manifests, ask for the renewal and preservation of America and her people!): Ask the Lord’s forgiveness for your sins. Perform the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy (now is a great time to freshen up on what those are and do them). Take up 10 or 20 minutes each day for quiet prayer with God (we should all prioritize this one). Pray a rosary for The U.S.A. October is indeed the month of the Holy Rosary. The 50 Hail Mary’s of the 5 mysteries of one rosary are the same as the number of the 50 states. Do an hour of Eucharistic Adoration. Read and pray the Psalms. Make a point to read and reflect on the Old Testament and the New Testament each day. Lectio Divina is a grand way to read the Sacred Scriptures and is a fitting way to spend those 10 to 20 minutes a day with the Lord. Pick up a copy of and immerse yourself in the masterful Catechism Of The Catholic Church, bit by bit, or in longer sessions. Go to daily Mass. Fast. Go to Confession. Sit in silence under the starlight, or at sunrise or sunset and converse with the Lord about our Nation and her troubles, asking Him to deepen his relationship with you, with all Americans. We pray twice when we sing, so perhaps alone or in company, you might find fittingly patriotic and worshipful songs praising the Lord and asking for God’s grace for America. The wonderful songs “America The Beautiful” and “The Battle Hymn Of The Republic” are personal favorites of mine. In summary, find ways to pray and bring God back into your life.
This is how we begin to change our Nation, our culture and our world. Let the light of Christ again shine in you. Imagine the possibilities for grace and mercy in an America where simultaneously, millions of Americans are striving to turn back to and deepen their relationship with the Lord. Critically, remember to then share that light with others. Be merciful with others. Be courageous. Be joyful. Be like a child, trusting and loving the Lord fully, body, mind, and soul. Ask the Holy Spirit to come and renew you, and in renewing you, that the many “yous” that take up such a call may bring forth the renewal of the face of the Earth. And let us bring about this renewal beginning right here in the dark valley that is America in 2016. May our souls blaze for the Lord, asking for mercy, being merciful, and totally, entirely, completely trusting in the mercy of our Lord. Let your light, the light of Christ Jesus, shine before all Americans and before all men.
May God pour forth his grace on America and heal our divided and confused Nation at this dark hour.