Wednesday, November 09, 2016

"The Welfare of The Republic"

So, folks, it's been a long campaign and a long night....

Still, at long last, the election is over.

Much as this American Church likely has over 70 million reactions to what we've seen and heard through these months, it seems even more the case that the experience has at least as many lessons for us, too... and soul by soul, taking them in on our own over the days and weeks to come is the best start we could seek for the road ahead.

Should the Vatican's prior custom hold, the Pope will make some kind of congratulatory outreach to President-elect Trump within days – either through the customary diplomatic telegram or a phone call – with the US bishops to accordingly follow suit.

With the latter's response to the incoming administration (at least, its start) set to dominate behind-the-scenes discussions at next week's USCCB plenary in Baltimore, for now, the key text remains what it's always been for American Catholics amid the turns of a nation – the prayer of the Stateside fold's founding shepherd, first delivered 225 years ago tomorrow (10 November 1791) at the first local Synod to be held on these shores.

On a clarity note, while John Carroll's words have sometimes been wrongly termed a "Prayer for Government," the Ellis notes remind us that their title instead focused on seeking God's protection "for all the ranks of society and for the welfare of the Republic."

In that same spirit, may his heirs begin the way forward with what the Church does best....
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.

We pray Thee, who alone art good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal, and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, Pope Francis, 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. Amen.