In God We Trust

Tomorrow will be a big day for our country, with the inauguration of a new president, Donald Trump. Regardless of where you stand politically, people of faith should be praying hard for our country and for the new president and his administration. Although many, including myself, had hoped and prayed that the election mudslinging would come to an end, in many ways it seems to be intensifying. The prayer below (with slight adaptation by me), was written by John Carroll, the first Catholic Bishop of the United States,  for the inauguration of George Washington in 1789.  I hope everyone will join me in praying it together.  As my former pastor of happy memory used to say often, “prayer changes things.”  Let it be so.

  1. Almighty and eternal God,
    you have revealed your glory to all nations.
    God of power and might, wisdom and justice,
    through you authority is rightly administered,
    laws are enacted, and judgment is decreed.
  2. For the President:
    Assist with your spirit of counsel and fortitude
    the President of these United States,
    that his administration may be conducted in righteousness,
    and be eminently useful to your people over whom he presides.
    May he encourage due respect for virtue and religion.
    May he execute the laws with justice and mercy.
    May he seek to restrain crime, vice, and immorality.
  3. For the members of Congress:
    Let the light of your divine wisdom
    direct the deliberations of Congress,
    and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed
    for our rule and government.
    May they seek to preserve peace, promote national happiness,
    and continue to bring us the blessings of liberty and equality.
  4. For state and local officials:
    We pray for governors,
    for the members of legislatures,
    for judges, elected civil officials,
    and all others who are entrusted to guard our political welfare.
    May they be enabled, by your powerful protection,
    to discharge their duties with honesty and ability.
  5. We likewise commend to your unbounded mercy
    all citizens of the United States,
    that we be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of your holy law.
    May we be preserved in union and that peace which the world cannot give;
    and, after enjoying the blessings of this life,
    be admitted to those which are eternal.

    We pray to you, who are Lord and God,
    for ever and ever.


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New Every Morning

This past weekend, I had to the joy of introducing a group of about twenty people to Ignatian Spirituality.  What a joy it was to see so many of the retreatants have “ah ha” moments, some of which might truly be life-changing for them. I certainly pray that is the case, and I hope the on-line continuation of our time together proves to be even more fruitful.

Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that I have come to embrace the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola as my own.  To be a “contemplative in action,” to “find God in all things,” to focus one’s life on striving to serve God more and more each day (AMDG) resonated with me from the beginning of own Ignatian pilgrimage.  Even that word, “pilgrimage” drew me in.  To be a pilgrim, which Ignatius used when speaking/writing about himself means to be on a journey, one which will hopefully lead to eternal life with God.

However, to be a pilgrim in 2017 more that likely means the traveler will experience many roadblocks, wrong turns, grand canyon-sized obstacles and other risks along the way.  Thankfully, for five hundred years pilgrims and would-be pilgrims have used Ignatius’s Spiritual Exercises as a spiritual road map.  His daily Examen helps keep it’s devotees on the right path, and helps them when necessary to quickly and effectively realize that somehow they took a wrong turn but can safely get back on track before too much time is lost.  The Examen is just one example of several Ignatian practices we discussed on our retreat.

Finally, I wanted to wrap this post up with a scripture passage which took on new meaning for many of my fellow pilgrims.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)


As we greet another sunrise, either today, or tomorrow, or the next day, I hope you will join me in recognizing that God’s love for us never ceases, and every new days comes with more mercy than we will ever need.  It’s ours for the taking, and best of all, it’s available to all.

If you live in the Mid-Atlantic area, please consider joining us for our next retreat, The Ignatian Way, which will take place April 28-30 at Bon Secours Retreat Center in Marriottsville, Maryland.  Click here for details.




Hello 2017

Happy New Year!  I don’t know about you, but I’m really ready for the new beginning which always comes on January 1st.  Sure, many people make resolutions which quickly fall by the wayside as the days and weeks roll along, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying.  On this first day of January, I feel like I’m up for the challenge of sticking to my resolutions this year.  A few of my friends have agreed to team up and support/challenge one another in meeting our goals.  I’m excited for the potential of cheering each other on.  So often, we fail when we try to make changes on our own.  Of course, I know that many people fail to bring God into their discernment.  Will we ever learn?  Maybe this will be the year…

I hope you and those you love have a blessed New Year.  May you feel God’s love and presence each and every day!