The love of one’s country is a gift from God. One should love his country while seeking its willing acceptance of the Kingship of Christ. History has witnessed America’s incredible power for good, and yet also its inexplicable acts of offense to God. In many ways, it is the best nation left on earth, yet we murder 4,000 babies every day. St. Augustine’s prayer is a fitting way to remember this day:
Before Thy eyes, O Lord, we bring our offenses, and we compare them with the stripes we have received.
If we consider the evil we have wrought, what we suffer is little, what we deserve is great.
What we have committed is very grave, what we have suffered is very slight.
We feel the punishment of sin, yet withdraw not from the obstinacy of sinning.
Under Thy lash our inconstancy is visited, but our sinfulness is not changed.
Our suffering soul is tormented, but our neck is not bent.
Our life groans under sorrow, yet mends not in deed.
If Thou spare us we correct not our ways: If Thou punish we cannot endure it.
In time of correction we confess our wrong-doing: after Thy visitation we forget that we have wept.
If Thou stretchest forth Thy hand we promise amendment; if Thou withholdest the sword we keep not our promise.
If Thou strikest we cry out for mercy: if Thou sparest we again provoke Thee to strike.
Here we are before Thee, O Lord, shameless criminals: we know that unless Thou pardon we shall deservedly perish.
Grant then, almighty Father, without our deserving it, the pardon we ask for; Thou who madest out of nothing those who ask Thee. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
V. Deal not with us, O Lord, according to our sins.
R. Neither requite us according to our iniquities.
Let us pray: O God, who by sin art offended and by penance pacified, mercifully regard the prayers of Thy suppliant people, and turn away the scourges of Thy wrath, which we deserve for our sins. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.