While this point of the calendar would normally mark the beat's "end of school" and the beginning of Vatican (and, ergo, these pages') summer, all indications remain that we've still got some considerable fish -- or, in this case, steaks -- to fry in due course, so you'll probably want to stay tuned for the ad intra fireworks.
Along those lines, by right -- at least, in a perfect world -- your narrator would be crashed out on some generous soul's couch at the Shore by now. For the record, though, I've yet to see sand this season, and likely won't til everything's wrapped up down here in the bunker... and, for that matter, Upstairs.
Still, even if the Jersey coastline's steadily eroding, luckily the place ain't going anywhere more quickly than the news... and, in the meantime, such is the work.
All that said, for your holiday enjoyment, the classic warhorse that's become especially linked to these days....
...with -- as is traditional 'round here for the great days of state -- the Prayer for the Nation and its church written and first delivered in August 1791 by the "Father" of the Stateside faithful, John Carroll of Baltimore, a cousin of the lone Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence:
We pray, Thee O Almighty and Eternal God! Who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy, that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of Thy Name.And lastly, from the ice of the late, lamented Spectrum in the Bicentennial year, let the Flyers fans sing:
We pray Thee, who alone art good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal, and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, Pope N., the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of his Church; our own bishop, N., all other bishops, prelates, and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise amongst us the functions of the holy ministry, and conduct Thy people into the ways of salvation.
We pray Thee O God of might, wisdom, and justice! Through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.
We pray for his[/her] excellency, the governor of this state , for the members of the assembly, for all judges, magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability.
We recommend likewise, to Thy unbounded mercy, all our brethren and fellow citizens throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal.
Finally, we pray to Thee, O Lord of mercy, to remember the souls of Thy servants departed who are gone before us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of peace; the souls of our parents, relatives, and friends; of those who, when living, were members of this congregation, and particularly of such as are lately deceased; of all benefactors who, by their donations or legacies to this Church, witnessed their zeal for the decency of divine worship and proved their claim to our grateful and charitable remembrance.
To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light, and everlasting peace, through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior.
More once the pyro-barge is all loaded up and good to go. But in the meanwhile, gang, hope you're getting a great weekend, with all the fixins.
God bless America and, as ever, grant every grace and good thing to you and yours.