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Sunday, July 04, 2010

Battle Hymn on the 4th of July

Today we celebrate our Independence as a nation, even we, who are Catholics, and who were not welcomed upon these shores. Yet we came, also as refugees, and we came willingly, not only to escape famines and wars and persecution, but also out of that commission of Christ to go forth and bring the gospel to all nations.

And so we came, and we made our homes here in this Protestant nation, knowing that as we live here, we are merely pilgrims, for our citizenship is Heaven. Our God-given duty is to bring the light of Christ everywhere we go, to live in His name, to die in His name.

We live this commission out with dual citizenship, for as our primary citizenship belongs to God, we become earthly citizens in this nation, taking the title "American". Even though we weren't wanted here, this country could not make us go and we have, indeed, continued to spread the gospel to all levels of society. We have taken up the American flag, and have died for this country so that all men might have freedom to practice their religion, might have the freedom to determine the laws of this nation and society, free from dictatorship, free from oppression, free to welcome others to our land so that they, too, can make it their earthly home.

We are called by God himself to the virtue of Patriotism, for we recognize the great gift of the American soil and government as an extension of His own benevolent hand, and by serving our country as good citizens from taxpayer to soldier to public servant to Supreme Court Justice, we are serving God as long as we remember that we live and die for Him in all that we do.

My fellow American citizens in Christ, today as we celebrate, let us recall those who have come before us, those pilgrims who also made this land their home and served it with every moment of their lives, putting their hands to the plow and keeping their eyes on Christ.  Let us recall that we are still called today to do the same,  and that in dying to make men free, we do so not just for political boundaries, but to keep our religion free; we die so that others may attain eternal life.

Our greatest obligation to our country is to serve God with everything we have, everything we are, and everything we will ever be, and in so doing, sanctify our nation.



Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch fires of a hundred circling camps
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps;
His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery Gospel writ in burnished rows of steel;
“As ye deal with My contemners, so with you My grace shall deal”;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with His heel,
Since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet;
Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free;
While God is marching on!

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.


paramedicgirl said...

Such a patriotic post! That's what I love about Americans - their patriotism. I like how you tied it to heaven, but I must say, I have heard better versions of that beautiful song - The Battle Hymn of the Republic.

Adoro said...

I actually couldn't listen to the version. I am on dialup so I went with the title - that it was the Army singing for the Pope. I thought that at least was appropriate! :-)