America The Beautiful

American Flag waving in the wind, with blue sky behind it.

It was a strange celebration this year, what with all the social distancing and turmoil in our world. Sometimes it seems as if we are in mighty dark days. But I’d like to remind us of a few things:

People are mostly good. Folks are helping their neighbors. We live in the most beautiful country in the world.
And most importantly, God is good, God is Love, and Love never fails. 

Tim and I, with our boat dog Lucy, have been fortunate enough to see a great deal of our beautiful country in the last few years as we traveled the Great Loop. Perhaps no sight was more beautiful than seeing the Statue of Liberty with our own eyes, from our own boat. It was an experience we will never forget.

Statue of Liberty with boat crossing in front of it.

And so I’d like to offer to you two important songs as my tribute to my love for our country, and my prayer for peace in our homes, in our towns, in our states, in our country, and in our world. 

America The Beautiful
Oh, beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain
For purple mountain majesties, above the fruited plain
America! America! God shed his grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea.

beautiful for pilgrim feet, Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat, Across the wilderness!
America! America! God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law.

Oh, beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved, And mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine.
Till all success be nobleness, And ev’ry gain divine.

Oh, beautiful for patriot dream, That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed his grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea. 

Text: Katherine Lee Bates, 1859–1929 
Music: Samuel A. Ward, 1848–1903

Prayer of St. Francis
Make me a channel of your peace, Where there is hatred, let me bring your love
Where there is injury your pardon Lord And where there’s doubt true faith in you.

Make me a channel of your peace, Where there’s despair in life let me bring hope,
Where there is darkness, only light And where there’s sadness every joy.

O Master, grant that I may never seek so much to be consoled as to console,
To be understood, as to understand, to be loved as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of your peace, It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
In giving of ourselves that we receive, And in dying that we’re born to eternal life. 

God bless us all, and God bless America!

Love Always, Theresa Jo

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