Sunday, February 18, 2018

Third Sunday Meditation: Help, Lord!

"In singing this psalm, and praying it over, we must bewail the
general corruption of manners, yet, thank God that things are
not worse than they are, but pray and hope that they will
be better in God's due time."
-Matthew Henry

Psalm 12

To the Chief Musician;
set possibly an octave below.
A Psalm of David


For principled and godly people are here no more;
faithfulness and the faithful vanish from 
among the sons of men.

To his neighbor each one speaks words without use
or worth or truth; with flattering lies and double heart
deceitfully they speak.

May the Lord cut off all flattering lips and the tongues
that speak proud boasting,

Those who say, With our tongues we prevail; our lips
are our own to command at will-who is lord and
master over us?

Now will I arise, says the Lord, because the poor are
oppressed, because of the groans of the needy; I will set him
in safety and in the salvation for which he pants.

The words and promises of the Lord are pure words, like
silver refined in an earthen furnace, purified seven times over.

You will keep them and preserve them, O Lord; You will guard
and keep us from this evil generation forever.

The wicked walk or prowl about on every side, as vileness
is exalted and baseness is rated high 
among the sons of men.

"The blessing of peace is not a product of politics-
but a fruit of righteousness.
God's order is always righteousness and peace-
not peace and righteousness.
The Bible has been telling us that for centuries.
When will we learn it?
Desperately we need a return to government by principles
rather than by politics.

But where are the principles evident in the events of this present hour?

Peace is not made by compromise. It does not grow out of expediency.
Peace is not a flower growing in the world's formal garden.
It is rather a product of the blacksmith's forge-
hammered out on the anvils of sacrifice and suffering...
heated in the fires of devotion to righteousness...
tempered in the oil of mercy and goodness...
Peace is a costly thing.

Every Catholic and Protestant, who owns the name of Jesus
must fight together to make America good enough to lead the world,
to make the American Dream of equal opportunity for all men come true.
Nonetheless, I believe that the dream has been glimpsed by enough
people and is deep enough in the heart of the average citizen
to shape America's future and make the dream come true.
We have already done a great deal for the rest of the world.

Let no man minimize our gifts.
But they are not enough.
We have to give more, and I do not mean more dollars.
I do not mean more tractors.
I do not mean more guns.
We have to give more of the only thing, after all, that makes
our life different from theirs, namely, our ideals,
our faith, our philosophy of life
our concept of human dignity
our Bill of Rights
our American Dream...

...But we cannot fool God about our individual or national goodness.
Let us not be deluded into thinking we can fool ourselves,
And so I come to my text-II Chronicles 7:14,
It is God's word for America today-

"If My people, which are called by My name,
shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face,
and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven,
and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land."

Excerpts from the sermon,
"The American Dream"
By Reverend Peter Marshall Sr.
Twice-elected Chaplain of the United States Senate

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