Monday, May 2, 2016

Catholic Culture: Poetry

America, Reborn

Lord, lift this mighty host that is America;
Reconsecrate us in devotion to Thee.
Too oft have we forgot our heritage of faith -
The mess of pottage to our eyes was dear,
The gold within our coffers deadened us:
We, who by nature are between the earth and sky,
Earthward have sunk, and drunk of miraged visions.

But now, reborn,
We lift again to Thee our nation's soul.
Behold, we are Thy wheat,
Nurtured beneath the sunshine of the plains;
We are Thy grapes from vineyards in the sun,
And timber from Thy forests;
Ours are the iron sinews torn from earth's deep breast,
And oil from her rich arteries.

O God, we build anew and dedicate again to Thee
The host and temple of America -
Many we are, in space wide worlds apart,
But we are one today,
Made one by this, our common will:
That righteousness again shall walk among the sons of men.
Now, welded of our pain,
We would again be what our forebears were,

Men who did worship Thee,
And, mindful of Thy Fatherhood,
Could reach to brothers o'er the sea a brother's hand.
In every man we found Thy image then,
And, finding, wrote our nation's creed,
A pledge that made us the Samaritan
To the oppressed and lowly of the earth.
In those far days, our soul was  young and clear,
We opened arms to all who suffered wrong;
We bowed not, in our youth, however strong the foe,
For we were strong in loyalty to Thee,
And strong in faith that all men should know freedom
And worship Thee in freedom, as conscience should direct.

And now,
Amidst the ruins of a world that strove
To prosper and to live apart from what was bought,
On Calvary, by Christ, Thy Son -
Now we come back by that well-trodden way
That prodigals of every age have walked,
Back to our higher destiny - to Thee,
Our Father and our God,
And, kneeling in the valley of our grief,
Rededicate (both we who here must work
And those, our sons and brothers overseas,
Who still perhaps must die),
Rededicate ourselves to the great task that still remains,
That on the altar of our common victory,
Not to a god of war,
But to the Lord of Peace,
We give ourselves anew within the wounds

Of Him in Whom all men are one -
For all may yet redeem their faulty past,
Held in these wounded Hands of Christ, our Great High Priest.

We are a single host of grateful love for Thee,
A single will for universal peace for men,
A single soul of righteousness to come!
Lord, lift this mighty host that is America,
Reconsecrate us  now in Thy Son's Holy Name!

+Francis J. Spellman 

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